Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 15, 2017

Womens' Soccer

Junior Isabella Zoog dribbles the ball away from an opponent from Indiana Tech on Sept. 10. As a seasoned soccer player, Zoog has played for Manchester for three consecutive years.

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics 

Women's Soccer Undergoes Changes

Teresa Masteller 

Manchester women’s soccer is in for quite the season this year as they say a temporary goodbye to Head Coach Christine Johnson and welcomed nine first-year students. 
“It’s definitely stressful,” says Assistant Coach Katie Beal, “but the team has been great; they understand it’s a weird transition year.”

Johnson is currently on maternity leave, but is expected to return to her normal coaching duties sometime in October, while Beal takes over in the meantime. After playing soccer since age 3, Beal says that she feels “completely confident” in her coaching abilities, but Johnson is always available to answer questions. “We text back and forth,” Beal states. “She’s still very much involved, so I’m not completely on my own.”
Beal referred to this season as a “transition year” for the team. In addition to the team missing their head coach, they welcomed nine new first-year students. The team’s roster features 24 players, but injuries are allowing only 17–18 of the teammates to participate.
With so many new players, the team has spent a lot of time working on new formations. Senior Abbey Krupp, who has played soccer for 13 years, sees the value in this strategy. “I am looking forward to the team improving on what we’ve been doing the last three weeks in practice, implementing our new formations, and seeing those work,” she claims. “I think we just need a few more practices to fully get where we need to be. Everyone on the team is really driven.”

Although the team currently holds zero wins out of their five games, Beal remains optimistic. “I actually feel really good about this season,” she says. “The record and the score from the game does not reflect the way the games have gone. The team is really picking up on the things they’re working on in practice, and they’re doing a great job implementing it into the game. There definitely is improvement.”
First-year Alexis Beeman also reflected on the women’s soccer team and the friendships formed between the teammates. Krupp and Beeman expressed that the team builds close friendships due to the amount of time that they spend together. “[We] bond over this thing that’s important to everybody on the team individually,” said Krupp.

Junior Isabella Zoog, who has played on the women’s soccer team at Manchester for three years, has enjoyed seeing the team change throughout her time here. “I like to be able to see what we can do on the field,” Zoog says. “The team has a lot to build on, and I’m excited to see what we’re able to put together. It’s different season to season. The relationships get tighter and you’re able to see it on the field and off.”
The Lady Spartans’ next game is this Sunday, September 17 at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.