By Coach Brandon Fritz
Perspective Under Pressure. Soccer players learn how to deal with on-the-field pressures metaphorically, illustrating pressures Christians face spiritually. For example, like two opposing defenders isolating an attacking offensive midfielder or two opposing forwards advancing against one back line defender, Christians often face adverse people or circumstances that create internal pressure in the heart. Keeping a faith-filled perspective under pressure keeps the heart governed with the peace of God and a mind free to decide a God-honoring response. The Lady Eagles found this valuable truth helpful on and off the pitch in 2018.
While five wins were a few shy of the team's goal (partly due to several game cancellations), the Lady Eagles improved from the previous year in tactical play. Statistically, more players contributed to defensive and offensive categories supporting how much each individual improved over the year. While the win-loss column doesn't indicate, the Lady Eagles program continues to head in the right direction towards competitive and winning play.
To highlight a few successes, Lyndi Shepard led the team in goals and points while Jessica Frerichs was a close second in both categories. Molleigh Adams Freund and Allison Yuan led the team with assists while Kallie Gibson led the team in saves with a 72% stopping percentage.
The team was led by our captains Janet Busenitz, Laura Christensen, Maddie Morton and Lyndi Shepard. Lyndi Shepard, Allison Yuan and Karina Fritz were all awarded 1st Team All-Region voted on by the coaches of the North Region of NCCAA Division II. Deni St. Lawrence was also recognized by her team and coaches with the "2018 Grit Award" as an outstanding athlete who persevered adverse circumstances with a Christ-like attitude.
Several unexpected challenges arose throughout the season as they so often do in athletics. Perseverance and adaptability arose from a perspective that these "light afflictions were but for a moment but worked for us a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory." While great improvement in the style and dynamics of play took place, the work of sanctification in the hearts of the athletes and coaches far exceeded any success in soccer.