WSU soccer: Greco, Deininger named Players to Watch

Missy Greco (7) was named as a 2021 Player to Watch along with her teammate Bailey Deininger. Photo by Chops Hancock.

The Winona State University (WSU) women’s soccer team is eager to start their 2021 campaign, having last played a competitive match nearly 22 months ago. The Warriors will be led into the season by Missy Greco and Bailey Deininger, having been tabbed as WSU Players to Watch on offense and defense, respectively. 

The Warriors are looking to build upon their 2019 season, where they finished ninth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and just missed out on the NSIC Tournament. Coach Matt Kellogg, who is in his fourth year leading the Warriors, will rely on a veteran roster of 18 upperclassmen this season, as well an exciting blend of new talent. Eight returners saw action in at least 10 games in 2019, including five that started 10 or more games.

Defensively, the Warriors will depend on Bailey Deininger. The junior started 17 games in 2019 and led all field players in minutes logged during her freshman season. Even though Deininger has just one full season under her belt, coach Kellogg trusts her on-field decisions as the leader of the defense. In goal, the Warriors will rely on senior Yanel Ortiz, who started all 18 games and posted four shutouts in 2019.

On the attack, the Warriors will be led by senior Missy Greco, a three-year staple on the team who has seven goals and 17 points in her career. Greco is a familiar face leading the WSU offense, having 50 matches played under her belt. Additionally, Winona State will also look to junior forward Jaida Wiege, an 2019 All-NSIC Honorable Mention selection to contribute offensively. Wiege led the team in shots (57) and shots on goal (24) during her freshman campaign, while contributing to three goals and eight points.

In a poll, Minnesota State - Mankato earned the nod from head coaches around the NSIC, collecting 218 points and the top spot in the poll. Winona State picked up 117 points to finish seventh in the preseason poll, eight points ahead of Wayne State College. 

Winona State fans will get their first look of the 2021 Warrior side in preseason action, when WSU hosts Clarke University on Friday, Aug. 20.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Maxwell Field at Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium. 

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