The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The Pacific Lutheran University Lutes Women’s Soccer team is ready for the 2012 season under new head coach Seth Spidahl. Spidahl was hired by the school in February. He takes over a team that went 4-13-1 in 2011 and has been picked 7th by Northwest Conference coaches in 2012. The Lutes open their new season Friday in Tacoma against Canadian school Capilano University (the “Blues.”).
We asked Spidahl about his club in the Q & A session below.
Seth Spidahl: We have added 14 new Freshmen to the 2012 PLU Women’s Soccer Roster. I think we have added depth and talent in all positions from goalkeeping, backs, midfielders, and forwards. Four freshmen that have looked very good in pre-season training camp are Lauren Larson – Forward; Jamie Hoffman – Forward; Kailey Lyman – Midfield; Nicoya Benham-Marin – Fullback. Lauren and Kailey come from the WPFC ECNL program, Jamie was a tryout player who had an outstanding training camp from FWFC Reign, and Nicoya comes to us from ID and the Nova soccer club.
What are your specific pre-season / training goals? What’s new this fall in your program?
Our goals for pre-season camp are numerous. We have a lot of new players, and a new coaching staff so team building is a high priority. Getting to know each other, setting goals, building team chemistry for sure is very important. We have to identify a system of play based on the players we have…and eventually a style of play that will come later. We need to instill a belief we can win games while we are trying to build and identify how we are going to play. We have a brand new lighted synthetic field for this Fall to train and play games, new goals, new team shelters, new scoreboard, and a new grass game field that won’t be ready until Fall 2013.
What are the challenges / opportunities inherent in your 2012 match schedule?
Our biggest opportunities or “measuring stick” games will be against the top two teams from 2011….UPS and Linfield. Both coaches have built up great programs and UPS has been at the top of the NWC for many years. Those games both home and away as we play everyone twice, will be great games to measure our progress as a team. The biggest logistical challenge is we play five games at home on Saturdays, and have to drive down to Oregon after to play an away game on Sunday. That is a lot of travel as we are caught in that rotation of games for this year.
Who are 3-4 players you’ll rely on this season for success? Why are they important?
Key players for us will be one of our three GK’s to emerge as the #1 starter: Marisa Gonzalez, Lauren Higgins, Laurie Reddy. In the back, one of our captain’s and CB Mariah Rasmussen will be the linchpin in our defense. She reads the game very well and is a quite, but fierce competitor. In midfield, Mimi Granlund will lead the way…she is a two way midfielder who can score goals and be a great ball winner. A very intelligent player and another team captain. And Erica Boyle, another captain, is the heart and soul of the team. Her spirit and energy will lift us in games. She really embodies the PLU Spirit! Up front, Sam Benner and Lauren Larson will be relied upon to score a majority of goals but we will take them from anyone and anywhere. Sam has pace and is a very direct player…Lauren has a great goal scoring record from HS and Club soccer that hopefully she brings with her to the college game.
Where do you see your program in terms of competing within your conference? What other season goals do you have?
This is a tough one to be honest…I have not seen a lot of the teams play so it’s tough to predict where we will finish. Our goal is to finish in the top half of the Northwest Conference as that would be a big improvement upon last year. The other goals for the season are to improve every day; work harder than any other team in the country; and to enjoy the college soccer journey! If we can do those things, we will have a great chance at maximizing our potential as a group.
2012 Pacific Lutheran Women’s Soccer Schedule