Manchester University
Oak Leaves

Women's Soccer Team Strives for Unity

Zoe Vorndran

The Manchester women’s soccer team kicked off its 2016–17 season with 10 new first years along with a new head coach, Christine Johnson. “It's like a new beginning; a fresh start after last year,” said Megan Erwin, junior goalkeeper.

Since the addition of new team members, the team will focus on building the soccer culture. “As a team we are still finding the right system and putting the pieces together within that system,” Johnson said.

The women’s soccer team has games on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All of their games have been nothing but excitement and opportunities to grow together. The girls train for a couple of hours during the other weekdays to hone their techniques and prepare for these matches. To do so, the women work on a series of technical, fitness and tactical skills throughout the week. 

This year the soccer team is also welcoming four team captains, who include Kari Carpenter, Jessica Sanchez, Courtney Hersick and Jenny Pudlo. “I have always been a firm believer that it takes a group to move a mountain, not an individual,” Johnson said. Despite the transitions the team has experienced a high sense of teamwork and unity. 

The statistics have not been in the team’s favor as it has not yet won any of its games, but the players’ commitment, determination and unity keep the team spirit alive. “We are working on becoming closer,” Erwin said. “This year is also going to be about improving. If we continue to get better and reach the goals that we set, we have succeeded.”  As the season progresses, the team will have more opportunities to grow as a unit.

Despite the newness of the team, the returnees have something to offer. Returning sophomore Maranda Birmingham has led the way in the offensive for the women this fall after coming off her debut season last year. Throughout the season, she has scored most of the Spartan goals with assists from her teammates Courtney Hersick and Jenny Pudlo. The three goalkeepers, sophomores Caroline Smith and Cami Holford and junior Megan Erwin have made some impressive saves throughout this early part of the season as well. 

The Manchester Spartans welcomed Wilmington College to the Good Field pitch this past Saturday. With many fans, the stadium was full of excitement and anticipation as the soccer game commenced. The game against Wilmington was also one of three back-to-back matches against the Ohio Athletic Conference, and was the first of many home games this fall. Over the next few weeks, Spartans will await the arrival of Otterbein, Rose-Hulman, Franklin, Defiance and Mt. St. Joseph. On Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, the women’s soccer team will begin competing in the conference tournaments.

September 16, 2016