By Cassandra Sanregret
The Augustana Women’s Soccer team began their training in early August to prepare for their third season in the ACAC league. The majority of the team from the past year has returned, making the training go smoother. A team’s chemistry plays a big role in the overall outcome of a game. Luckily, there was only three new players added to the team this year, creating less changes in the team dynamic. This chemistry, plus the hard work of every player over the summer helped the team win all of their pre-season games.
The Women’s team started off their pre-season by playing SAIT, and for seventy-five minutes of the game Augustana dominated. With a win of 3-1 the players felt confident going into their next two games. Back-to-back games were held at Augustana against RDC. Both games were won by Augustana, even though each game showcased a different starting line-up. The depth of skill within this squad proves that every player has earned their spot, and that the coaches feel confident playing anyone off the bench. Lastly, another set of games against Olds and Lakeland were won by the women’s team. Now with pre-season completed, all the players are excited for the real season to begin.
Even though the team is only in their third season, they have many veterans who have experienced the intensity of college level soccer. A handful of the squad has been there since day one, so for them every season is about improving the program and showing that Augustana deserves a place in the ACAC soccer league. Two of the veterans include captains Laura Graham, who played in the CIS before coming to Augustana, and Tara Berger, who played for RDC before Augustana,. Both players are there to push and up-lift the team, especially rookies, in games as well as practices. As with any team new blood is always there to help the players fight and improve in order to have a starting position. One rookie, Michelle Greer, is a goal keeper that has transferred from NAIT. Even though she is classified as a new player to the Augustana team, she will still play an important role since she has played at nationals, twice.
Coaches Paul Stone and Gil Bridger have noticed the hard work and dedication of each player and believe that this team has the skill and depth to go far this season. Beating Grand Prairie this year is a goal that the coaches have set out for the team. Achieving that goal would then mean the team has a strong chance of making it to playoffs, which the players have made their goal. If the team can keep up their confidence as well as improve week by week, every other team in the league should be worried about coming up against Augustana.