Soccer kicks off outdoor season

Georgette Breen-Naylor

While most of the NMU student-body went on vacation for spring break, the Wildcat’s soccer team remained on campus getting ready for spring season.

After last year’s season, the girls soccer team have a few things to look forward to in this upcoming spring season. Although the ’Cats are located in Northern Michigan, head coach Matt Granstrand said they will make it work.

“We have been practicing and conditioning,” Granstrand said. “It can be a challenge to put together a spring game schedule being this far north.”

The ’Cats will not be in the Upper Peninsula for long. They will travel to Europe for the second time in the past several years to play teams from other countries. Granstrand said he sees this as an opportunity to learn first hand about some different countries.

“It allows us to train and compete with teams from Holland, Germany, and Belgium,” Granstrand said. “As well as experiencing what it’s like touring and playing in a soccer rich society.”

The trip to Europe will occur over our summer break. The ’Cats will go for ten days and upon returning start their season. The school does not fund this trip so the ’Cats raise 100 percent of the funds to go.

Sophomore midfielder Kim Rietveld who is also one of the team captain’s said she’s excited to go to a place that is new to her. Rietveld said she believes it will be a great opportunity to gain experience playing different teams.

“I have never been to Germany,” Rietveld said. “I am also looking forward to playin games in Europe.

While the players are excited about the experience overseas, Rietveld said she’s looking forward to getting back and playing some games this spring.

“I am really excited to play in the dome tournament,” Rietveld said. “and travel to play some games in Minnesota.”

The ’Cats will start their spring season in Early April. Granstrand said the main concern is that the team is young. The ’Cats main focus will be academically. Granstrand also said he wants the team to get comfortable with the higher minimum fitness standard.

The team has been working hard since the end of last season and Rietveld said she wants to see how much the team has improved. As one of the captains, Rietveld said she wants to stress everyone giving their best effort.

“I feel like if you are not going to try your hardest,” Rietveld said. “you won’t achieve anything to your full capacity.”

The ’Cats went 4-12 overall last year. However, 3 of those 4 wins were within their conference. With a young team, Granstrand said we are a very close team, like a family. With six new signees, the ’Cats will expand their roster. The new signees are goalkeeper Carolina Glantz, midfielder Wynona Maravilla, defender Natalie Yeck, forward Paula Hafner, forward Carmen Villarruel, and goalkeeper Siri Skogland.

Granstrand said that it was imperative that they brought in a class that would mesh well with the current group of wonderful young ladies. With only one senior on the roster the ’Cats will be depending on their younger players and new recruits.

“We are excited to announce the addition of six quality student athletes to our team,” Granstrand said. “We will work well together on the field.”

Just a few months away from the start of the regular season the ’Cats will have the spring season and some games in Europe to get ready. Rietveld said that the spring is always a good time to figure out what needs to be worked on.

“Since it is right before the summer,” Rietveld said. “We get to practice and play in order to prepare for our actual season in September.”

Granstrand said that although the team has been through alot, he expects the team to show their drive to everyone this season.

“There is a drive inside all of us that is unspoken,” Granstrand said. “But it will become obvious to everyone watching when we play this fall

The ’Cats will open up their spring season at the dome weekend on Apr. 7 and 8.