Aaron Ladzinski – Staff Writer
The Defender women’s soccer team is on fire. As of September 18 they are 3-1, and the loss was only a goal to Johnson & Wales a very tough team. The team was picked to finish last in the GPAC, but now have turned some heads their way. A team full of young talent doing so well is hard to believe. Believe it ladies and gentlemen, the Defenders are here to stay.
The early success could be the result of the new Coach Bill Elgersma, or from the new talent on the team. Elgersma is coming out as the women’s head coach after seven years of not being able to coach the team. “The team is young and full of patience impossible to name a best player because of so much talent,” said Elgersma about the team.
Elgersma seemed to be very confident about everything, including the upcoming GPAC conference where the Defenders don’t know what to expect. According to Coach Elgersma, “The conference changes every year and it’s hard to predict who’s going to be the team to beat.”
The team has number of younger classmen, with 13 freshmen and sophomores. The team is rebuilding this year. Last year the team went 0-17-1. It may be hard to be confident during a new year after a tough last year, but the team is sparked and ready to play harder for that win.
When asked about the quick success and the rest of the year, Ashley Bloemhof said “Hopefully better than last year. GPAC is going to be tough and the fire in our belts. It’s going to be an exciting season to come. We have a really good young team, with a fresh start that went well. We can only go up from here.”
The team has only allowed seven goals during the first four games, and have scored 11 goals for the Defenders. The main scorer for the Defenders is Natalie Sakuma as she has 5 of the Defender goals and 10 points. The other top players are Tori Mann and Adri Van Groningen. Mann has tailed two and Van Groningen one.
But as everyone knows, it’s not offense that wins the games, it’s the defense. The Defenders captain Allison Lammers is a junior full of knowledge and experience. The team looks to her for leadership. After a few games of the season, Lammers said, “I was nervous at first but seeing what the freshmen brought to the table is very confident. The first games were good games to prepare us and get us ready for the GPAC.”
The Defenders are getting ready for the GPAC, which they will begin on September 27 against Midland.