The Faith Eagles women's soccer team enters the 2020 season with high expectations but also faces one of the more difficult schedules in program history. Second year head coach Zack Barron hopes the high level of competition will make his team well-prepared for the post season, where the team hopes to make a return to the national tournament for the second consecutive year.
Faith is coming off its greatest season ever last year, winning 14 games while losing only 5. The Eagles finished third in the NCCAA National Soccer Championships and return two All-Americans (Karina Fritz and Abigail Speichinger). Two others who were named to the NCCAA Division II All-Tournament Team (Allison Yuan and Molleigh Adams-Freund) also return.
"The ladies came into preseason camp with great attitudes and with a purpose to focus on glorifying God in all that they did," said Coach Barron. "This purpose was lived out in their attitudes as we sought to push our players spiritually, mentally, physically, and tactically in the preseason."
The Eagles are forced to play much larger competition this year due to the coronavirus pandemic since many of the schools they would typically compete against are not playing. Faith begins its season Thursday, September 10, at Maranatha Baptist University and gets its first home matchup the very next day against Grace Christian University—the school Faith lost to in the National Semifinals last November. The Eagles play Waldorf twice, a school that gets soccer talent from across the globe, and at home against Northwestern of Minnesota, with an enrollment five times larger than Faith. Despite the challenging schedule, spirits are high amongst the team.
"Our theme for the season is 'Finding Joy in Surrender,'" said Coach Barron. "We are looking forward to seeing the team grow in that theme. We have a good mix of returners and new players who have come in, highlighted by two All-Americans returning. This year will be our strongest strength of schedule to date, with some quality competition. We are embracing the challenge as a team and looking forward to it. We are thankful for the opportunity to compete on the field this fall."