Head coach Erica Dambach on Monday announced her team captains for the 2017 season — senior defenders Elizabeth Ball and Brittany Basinger.
— Penn State WSOC (@PennStateWSOC) April 24, 2017
Both Ball and Basinger started all 21 matches for the Nittany Lions last fall, but they fell to Virginia 3-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Penn State did, however, clinch a share of its 18th Big Ten regular-season title since joining the conference in 1994.
Ball and Basinger finished last season with two goals apiece, but their main contributions came as part of a stifling defense, which allowed just 20 goals with freshman keeper Amanda Dennis in net.
Penn State’s backline should be even better this coming season as it welcomes back U.S. U-20 World Cup members Kaleigh Riehl, Maddie Elliston, and Ellie Jean. Ball, who hails from Richmond, Va., earned First Team All-Big Ten honors in 2016 and was consistently lauded by Dambach as one of the squad’s top leaders.
Basinger is also a proud Virginian, hailing from Purcelville — just west of Baltimore and D.C. She resumes her role as captain, having served in the position alongside Nickolette Driesse and Megan Schafer last year. Basinger also has ample experience with the U.S. National youth teams. She’s started all 71 matches of her career, but missed the 2014 season due to injury.