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Women’s Soccer: Lange leads defense for prolific AU

At some point in time, Jenee Lange will cover 2012 in bubble wrap and place it gently in her vault of treasured memories.

First Lange, who keyed the defense in leading the Aurora University women’s soccer team to a 5-0 rout of Benedictine University Wednesday at Vago Field, was the leader of an AU team that finished 19-2-1 and earned a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Second, she was named defensive player of the year in the Northern Athletics Conference and was also chosen as a NAC Scholar Athlete.

All of it came after first-year head coach Troy Edwards had Lange switch positions.

“It was my first time in college playing center back,” said Lange, a senior. “I’ve done that in the past for clubs and high school. It was definitely a change. I knew my role would be different on the team.”

When Lange entered AU she found the defensive spots loaded with returning talent. So she turned her talents to offense, scoring nine goals and netting five assists in her first two years.

Edwards needed a leader in the back line and Lange is all about that. Last summer she was one of 300 NCAA student athletes selected to attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum.

“He (Edwards) saw that I could control things from the back (and) that my best asset was being a leader from behind,” Lange said.

In being selected to attend the NCAA Forum, Lange was up against 700 athletes from all three divisions of NCAA sports.

Basically, the forum is held to help athletes learn about careers in sports, especially coaching.

“That was a great experience. You’re with a lot of top athletes, both athletically talented and academically talented,” Lange said. “It was information overload. You learn to present yourself, to set goals for yourself and the steps you need to reach your goals.”

AU (4-0, 1-0 in the NAC) reached its goal Wednesday in a hurry.

The Spartans scored twice in the opening 10 minutes to put the Eagles (2-3, 0-1) in a deep hole early.

Sophomore Nicci Bermudes led the way offensively with a goal and two assists. Lisa Bajkowsi, Nichole Wolfe, Lorelei Ritzert and Danielle Gilberg also had goals while Wolfe, Mariah Ziegenbein and Erin Aragon added assists.

In their four games, AU has outscored the opposition 16-3.

“We’re an older team, we’re talented and we’ve been to the tournament (NCAA) before and we know what it takes to get there,” Lange said.

That would be another entry to that vault of memories.

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