The 2013 Crusader women’s soccer team is full of youth and an eager desire to learn more about the game. “We have 9 new freshman and 10 sophomores on this year’s team,” says head coach Bryan Board. “With no returning juniors or seniors, we are excited to see how our talented sophomores step up to lead our young team this year.”
One of these talented sophomores includes Harmony Lorch, a 5’8” midfielder from Aurora, Colorado. “Harmony will be a big key to our team’s success by her ability to hold down the middle and control the offensive attack,” remarks Board. “We’re hoping she can stay healthy this year, and really use her knowledge of the game to help others improve.”
Another key sophomore is Kaitlyn Rygh, a 5’6” defensive player from Grayson, Georgia. Kaitlyn was named to the all-tournament team at the NCCAA National Tournament last fall, and the coaching staff was very excited about her progression as a player throughout the season last year.
Returning as goalkeeper this year is sophomore Michala Marino from Grand Blanc, Michigan. “Michala has really improved over last year and the beginning of this year as a quality keeper who understands our system,” says Coach Board. “It has been good to see her take the leadership role in the back and organize our players. She will be a big help to our team this year as her skills continue to improve.”
The Crusader women’s team is also excited about several new players who have the potential to make an instant, tremendous impact on the team. “We’re really excited about freshman Courtney Dunn (Oshkosh, WI). She has great ball skills, a big foot, a great understanding of the game, and could be a great ball-winner at the holding midfielder position,” says Board.
The Crusaders also welcome freshman Emily Hinsenkamp, a 6’1” forward from Harrison Township, MI. “Emily is extremely athletic and has great footwork for a girl her height. We’re really excited about the explosiveness she can bring to our offense, as well as provide us with a solid back-up goalkeeper,” states Board.
The Crusaders schedule this year will reflect a few more NCCAA games than usual, hoping to adequately preparing them for another deep run at the national tournament. “I’m really excited about our schedule this year as we were able to get a lot of games against NCCAA schools, meaning they will be very competitive and allow our young girls to get experience against the level of talent that we will face at the end of the year,” says Coach Board.
The freedom in scheduling allowed for the Crusaders to match up against several quality opponents including an away match at Ripon on September 6th (NCAA), at North Central on September 13th (NCAA), at Central College in Iowa on September 14th (NCAA), and Ohio Christian at home on October 11th (NCCAA),
Coach Board is eager to see how his young talent matures and improves each game this season, and says that the team’s goal will remain the same as it has in years past. He states, “Every year, we always want to see the program advance and become more competitive. We would love to continue our streak of going to the NCCAA National Tournament, and even take it to the next level of being in championship contention. My desire for the program is to start focusing on what it takes to become a national championship team, and then have the desire to commit to that process. This year with a young team, we need to first learn our system, and then begin to build our program and culture here at Maranatha.”