Dixie State University’s women’s soccer team officially begins its 2017 preseason training Monday, Aug. 14. The Trailblazers open camp with 40 players on the roster, including 20 returning letterwinners and six regular starters from last season’s 11-7-0 team (9-4-0 PacWest/tied for third).

Head coach Kacey Bingham (Arizona State, 2006) returns for her fifth season on the Trailblazer sideline as Dixie State opens its final season as a member of the Pacific West Conference. Bingham has compiled a 39-27-3 overall record in her three seasons as head coach, including a 33-16-1 mark in PacWest play.

Following its first full week of training, DSU kicks off its three-match preseason slate with an exhibition game vs. USU-Eastern at Legend Solar Stadium on Friday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. The Trailblazers will also host two more scrimmages, the first coming vs. Heat FC on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m., followed by their final preseason match vs. College of Southern Nevada on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m.

Dixie State officially opens the 2017 regular season with four-straight games away from home, starting with a pair of matches played in Nampa, Idaho, vs. Western State Colorado on Thursday, Aug. 31, followed with a road tilt at Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, Sept. 2. The Trailblazers will play eight home matches this season, beginning with a non-conference showdown vs. in-state foe Westminster College at Legend Solar Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m.

2017 Dixie State returnees

Dixie State welcomes back six regular starters for 2017, highlighted by the reigning PacWest Player of the Year in senior forward Darian (McCloy) Murdock (Herriman, Utah/Herriman HS). Murdock, who also earned first-team all-PacWest and second-team NSCAA all-West region honors, led the conference with 12 goals scored and was second overall in total points (26). She started in all 18 games last season and accounted for nearly half of the DSU’s offensive output (27 goals), including five game-winning goals to her credit.

Joining Murdock in the offensive third this season is junior college transfer Jamie Iurato (Mesa, Arizona/Heritage Academy), who earned NJCAA First-Team All-America honors after she led the nation in goals (48) and finished second nationally in points (103) as a sophomore at Paradise Valley CC. Iurato, who originally signed with Oklahoma and played one year for the Sooners in 2013, also netted 11 game-winning goals at PVCC in helping lead the Pumas to a 2016 NJCAA national championship.

On the defensive side, DSU returns nine letterwinners who helped lead the Trailblazers to seven shutout wins last year, including five in PacWest play. The unit, anchored by 2016 second-team all-PacWest pick senior defender Montana Hadley (Bountiful, Utah/Viewmont HS), junior Nichole Mertz (Springville, Utah/Springville HS) and sophomores Kilee Lamb (Smithfield, Utah/Sky View HS) and Bailey Kroll (Meridian, Idaho/Rocky Mountain HS), allowed only 17 goals in 18 matches last season and limited opposing teams to 8.4 shots attempts and 4.4 shots on goal per match.

In goal, sophomore keeper Felicity Tarr (Tucson, Arizona/Mountain View Marana HS) saw time in 10 matches with three starts as a freshman in 2016 and posted a 4-1-0 record with 12 saves and a 0.65 GAA (four goals in 550 minutes). Tarr went 3-1-0 in PacWest play and earned her first collegiate win in goal at Westminster College. In addition, senior netminder Sarah Beecher, who redshirted in 2016, will also figure into the goalkeeper mix heading into fall camp.

Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.