Loy Norrix Soccer Team Ready to Rock the Field

Sarita Nieminen

The spring has arrived, and for the Loy Norrix Women’s soccer team, it means putting their cleats on and running out to the soccer field. Soccer is a team sport where every individual matters. You’re expected to work hard and be in good condition. Practicing with your teammates makes the tough practices easier and shared results makes it more fun.
After the team’s success last year including winning districts, both the team and the coach, John McKenzie, are excited about the upcoming season and are ready to rock the field.
The women’s team started conditioning for the season in January by working out in the weight room and running in the school. Now that the season has officially started, the team is practicing every weekday for two hours when they don’t have a scheduled game.
Having a good fitness level is very important in soccer. You’re expected to be fast, strong and have good endurance. The game doesn’t stop to wait for you to be ready, it continues no matter what and you need to stay focused.
“The team fitness level is pretty good,” said Coach McKenzie.
That is where the importance of good team spirit comes along. The team needs to trust each other and work well together in order to stay focused.
Soccer is a team sport where the players need to make their decisions with the idea of what is good for the team, not only for the individual player. Everyone needs to be available and concentrated on the game even when they don’t have the ball or they are on the bench.
“Players have to make most of the decisions. Those teams that don’t have good team chemistry are not going to be that good,” said McKenzie.
This year is a rebuilding year for the team. They lost nine seniors at graduation last year, but a lot of new freshmen have secured a place on the team, including freshman Maggie Grabemeyer.
Grabemeyer has played soccer on Midwest Union since she was four. This year she can finally play as a Knight. She’s excited to play through her time at Loy Norrix, and she feels happily welcomed to the new team.
“I like the people, it’s fun to hang out with them everyday,” Grabemeyer said.
As a new and younger player on the team Grabemeyer has learned a lot from her new coach and teammates. For her, working hard does not feel so bad when you have others supporting you all the time.
“The freshman class this year has some really high-quality, committed players who adapted well to the team. I like to think we are all one big soccer family. We have always had good team atmosphere,” said senior and team captain Maria Egloff.
Next fall Egloff will be attending Hope college and is excited to be a part of the Hope soccer team. This is her last year as a Knight and she has hopes for the championships this year.
“We did really well last year, we won the district championship. We lost nine seniors, but I believe we can still achieve a lot this year,” Egloff said.
Both the team and McKenzie agree that this year’s goals are winning both district and the conference championships. The team knows that the competition is going to be tough. They have plan to work hard to achieve their goals.
The girls varsity soccer team has already played the first game of the season against Sturgis and won 8-0. They had home game against Mattawan that they lost 1-0. They played Stevensville Lakesore, losing in double overtime 3-2. They are hoping that Loy Norrix soccer fans will come to cheer them on.
“We usually have a good student section turn out to home games. The enthusiastic fans make it even more fun to come out play for a school which supports its student athletes,”  Egloff said.