by Claire Milligan
With only nine returning players from last season, soccer coach Mike Buchheit was able to add 15 new players to the roster, which allows a full JV and varsity schedule. “This is a record number of participants. This is the largest group of freshman, sophomores, and juniors yet,” said Buchheit.
Of the nine returning players, four were picked to be Eagle Leaders for this season: senior Cailey Terpstra, and juniors Bekah Horstman, Laura DeZwarte and Makenna Van Dyke. Buchheit looks for many qualities and characteristics when choosing leaders, such as a positive attitude and spirit for competition. “We all have chances in life to benefit from the time it takes to mature into a leader, and our Eagle Leader’s role is one of those great opportunities for those that have invested in our program to become a true servant leader to our girls soccer team,” said Buchheit.
The team is working hard to shoot for many goals this season, and not all of them are in a net. Buchheit is encouraging the girls to keep focus for the entire game along with positive thoughts every match. One of his biggest goals is for a score to be made in the first five minutes of a game and to avoid being scored upon. “I want everyone to come to each game and practice mentally prepared to improve and compete for their team,” said Buchheit.
According to Buchheit, staying healthy from start to finish will be one of the biggest challenges this season. Along with staying healthy, there are many new players, 15 to be exact. “We will quickly be put into game situations that put a lot of pressure on our players, but given the challenge I know the girls will be ready to compete,” said Buchheit.
Every season the team has a new theme. This years theme is “Moving Forward.” Buchheit intends to “move forward” on the soccer pitch and put pressure on the opposing team with a stronger offensively skilled team. But it can also be seen off the field as in getting back up when life knocks you down. “This season’s soccer team is a group of girls that aren’t afraid to pick themselves up, challenges themselves, and help each other through the tough spots,” said Buchheit.
Practices started March 20 and the first official game was a win 2-1 to DSM Christian on April 3rd. The first round of regionals is May 30th.
“In our 3rd season this is clearly a team that is poised to take another step forward. We have talented upper class players that are complemented with a deep and talented freshman class,” said Buchheit.