The University of Oregon women’s soccer team learned they will be getting some much needed help on defense this year when head coach Kat Mertz announced the transfer of Mia Gunter.
Gunter, transferring to Eugene as a sophomore, won the Big 12 Conference championship last season with the West Virginia Mountaineers. A skilled defender at 5 foot one inches from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, she started four games and competed in ten matches.
She will arrive in Eugene and will give the Ducks a solidified defensive presence with veteran experience that belies her sophomore status. Gunter’s list of achievements is long and impressive: named to five all-star teams throughout Canada and also played in seven provincial championships.
In high school at St. Francis Xavier, she helped win a championship while being named a member of the National Training Center, the Canadian version of the U.S. Olympic Development Program.
As a defender/midfielder, Gunter has the knack for attacking opposing players with her quick feet and agility. She can easily pick off the player she’s guarding and strike the ball to an open teammate without hesitation. Because of her field-vision, she can make good decisions down the field and move the ball quickly.
Oregon will look to have a positive season after not renewing former coach Tara Erickson’s contract in November 2012. The Ducks finished the season with an 8-10-2 record in the Pac-12 and it was the fourth consecutive losing season, before hiring Kat Mertz in December.
Ducks Women’s Soccer begins August 17 with an exhibition match on the road against UC Davis.