Story by Charlie Crowley, Saint Reporter
Photo Courtesy: Andris Visockis
Here at Aquinas College, the students embrace the fall season appropriately: plenty of hooded sweatshirts, a large amount of pumpkin spiced coffee drinks, and above all else, football.
Well, kind of. Try futbol. AQ’s Women’s Soccer squad is preparing for another big season with high hopes of picking up right where they left off. The Saints finished with an impressive 11-2-6 record, with a notable win against Davenport University and a draw against Siena Heights University, both of whom were nationally ranked. Despite a loss in the conference quarterfinals to Cornerstone last year, Coach Rodger Garner states that one game is not the fuel behind the Saints’ fire.
“We do not need extra motivation,” said Garner. “Each player on the team is motivated to play their best for their teammates. Our motivation is to play to the standard that our teammates set.”
Garner’s coaching staff should look forward to the standard for this year, as the team returns their top five scorers from the 2014 season. The attack will be fronted by junior Leeann Latsch, who tallied 7 goals and 2 assists last season, and senior Casey Westveer, who put up 6 goals and 3 assists of her own. Depth will not only be found up front, but on the middle and the back end as well. Goalkeeper Lindsay Armstrong is coming off a solid season in which she was named first team All-WHAC, posting a 9-2-5 record and a point .875 save percentage. Despite losing three starters from last season, this year’s team will feature a large amount of upperclassmen players who have logged significant minutes in the past two to three years.
Although every conference matchup is circled on the team’s calendar, the September 30 matchup should be one to watch when the Saints travel to Lima, Ohio to take on the University of Northwestern Ohio. UNOH was the national runner-up last season in NAIA, and Aquinas will look to exact revenge after a 0-3 loss last year. Coach Garner said he is also looking forward to the first ever Maroon-White alumni scrimmage, which falls on September 27, the Sunday of homecoming weekend.
With a strong all around game, depth provided by upperclassmen, and a strong incoming freshmen class, the Aquinas Women’s Soccer team is looking to turn some more heads this year.
“The coaching staff is excited to see how this team does this year,’ said Coach Garner. “We have great talent, and the ladies have put in a great amount of work in the off-season.” The Saints will start the season on the road at Cleary University, and open at home on September 9 against Taylor University.