Pierce College’s women’s soccer team has began recruiting and practicing for the fall 2014 season. Although the team faced many obstacles last year during its inaugural season, this year the coach and players are expecting better success on the field.
After 15 years, Athletic Director Duncan Stevenson’s plan to start a women’s soccer team was approved. Although this was an exciting step for female soccer players, the team had limited practice time together. The team played its first game last season with only five practices.
“It was a lot of pressure playing with so little time together, but that’s all part of being a first-year team,” captain Kaylee Holloway said. “You have to work out the kinks,”
The 2013 season ended with a 4-15 record. The team placed fourth, out of six teams, in the Southern Division.
“Last season was a learning and building year,” head coach Luke Helling-Christy said. “It gave me a chance to become accustomed to the college age group and learn ways to be more successful for the seasons to come.”
After the spring sessions, the women plan to hold more trainings throughout the summer. These trainings will involve mostly fitness workouts and weight lifting days in order to reassure that each person on the team can keep up with the amount of fitness that is required.
Returning players and coaches both are approaching the second season in a different direction from last year. The returning players have started running spring training sessions, which are open to prospective players.
“Fitness was definitely a weakness of ours last year,” Holloway said. “We plan to really focus on making that a strong point this coming season in order to take the team to a new level.”
Molly Goertz, team manager and former player, has built a Facebook page to help connect with the girls and to draw more attention to Pierce College athletics.
“Advertisement is a very important part when you are trying to grow and improve a team,” Goertz said. “We were greatly lacking that last season, and it is key that we get the word out in order to draw in more interest and players.”
Many of the players plan to sit at tables throughout both the Puyallup and Fort Steilacoom campuses, and they will distribute tryout information and connect with interested peers. They will hang up posters around the campuses and give away rally towels with the Pierce College women’s soccer logo on the front.
The coaches have focused their attention on scouting talented players this year. Both Helling-Christy and Randy Jones, the team’s assistant coach, have spent time watching film from players on local teams as well as from other states. The coaches are even reaching out to players who still are in high school but graduating soon. They plan to not only focus on this coming season’s team but also the team following that.
Players must be full-time students who take 12 or more credits to be eligible as first-year participants. Students attending Pierce College in the Running Start program can’t play collegiate sports.
In addition to searching for new talent, the team is searching for ways to raise money to pay for travel expenses, team dinners and uniforms. The coaches plan to host fundraiser events, such as car washes and bake sales, and also find a sponsor.
“We are really focusing our energy on trying to find a sponsor for the team,” Jones said. “Our ultimate goal is to be able to eventually have a charter bus for Pierce College athletics that can transfer all sports teams to and from away games.”
Success for the soccer team is not all that they are aiming for this year. Both the players and the coaches expressed their focus on creating excitement for their fans this year.
“Building the team is very important, but so is building our fan base,” Goertz said. “The feelings a player gets when they have their peers watching and cheering them on is unmatchable, and the more support we can get the better,”
For more information on tryouts and practices, contact head coach Luke Helling-Christy at lhelling-christy
@pierce.ctc.edu or submit an online Student Information Request form to the college’s Athletic Department. The form is available at www.pierce.ctc.edu/athletics/
recruit#recruit. Scroll to the bottom of the page to connect to forms for specific sports.
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