By: Brianna Story and Georgia Brittan
On March 22, 2017, the women’s soccer team were brought into a classroom where they were notified, in an emotional announcement from coach Plocher, that he would be resigning as head coach to pursue another career at another school, and the team would have a new coach going forward. Understandably shocked and upset, the girls were informed of what the process would be going forward with hiring a new head coach. Greg Heier, Presentation College’s Athletic Director, told the women that they would open an application for the position in the following days, and that they would begin interviewing people once they started applying. The women were also told that they would potentially be involved in the process of the hiring by being able to meet with some of the prospects and ask questions. On April 24th, Mr. Heier called a meeting for the women to give them an update on where the process is up to. He notified the girls that there were over 30 applicants for the position, with many having very good experience. There will be roughly three prospects chosen by the search committee that will have an on campus visit next week and will have the opportunity to meet the team.
The team has been working hard, since they were notified of the situation, to stay positive and keep training at a high intensity, preparing for the upcoming season. In a meeting held exclusively for the players a couple of days after the news broke, the captains discussed their intention to keep things as normal as possible in terms of practicing and scrimmaging. The girls also decided as a team that they would work hard together to be strong as a unit and to have a positive attitude moving forward. Rachel Goslinga, the interim head women’s coach, said that “the girls responded really well, obviously, it’s going to be different where certain girls are going to respond differently…” With a number of the girls going into their final year with the PC women’s soccer, it was very tough to hear that their coach of the past three or four years would no longer be there for their last. However, the team, collectively, has proven to be a strong front dealing with these tough circumstances.
The captains have been adamant about keeping the team motivated and positive, with Brittney Cusick, the women’s team captain, stating “I think it’s important for us right now to just stay connected as a team… and yeah it’s unfortunate that we have to lose our coach, but at the same time, us being united… we’re all still together, we’re all still here for each other.”
On April 18th, 2017, the men’s head coach William Brasel, accompanied by Greg Heir, announced to the men’s soccer team that he would also be resigning from his position as the head men’s soccer coach due to personal reasons. An obvious shock to them all, the boys took the time to let it sink in. Mackenzie Burgoyne, the men’s soccer captain, said “The team as a whole was completely shocked and taken aback at the news… Everybody was fairly upset because of the questions it poses for the future of the program, and having to build a new relationship with this coach. Everybody understands coach’s decision but are upset that he’ll be leaving us.”
On the dawn of the news of both coach’s departures, both the men’s and women’s teams are taking the time to adjust to the new situation and prepare for the future. With Assistant coach Terry Kampa being named the men’s interim Head Coach. When speaking to two freshmen players on the men’s team they gave some insight into how they are feeling about everything going forward. Cillian Fagan said “I was very sad to hear the news. It has been a pleasure to have him as a coach. I completely understand his reason for leaving and wish him all the best for the future.” Chase Steadman offered his thoughts on the future of the men’s program, “Even with coach Brasel leaving, which is a huge loss, I hope the men’s team will continue to grow and expand in the future.”
So, going forward, both teams have opted to be incredibly positive and hard working in preparation for the upcoming season. Team bonding has become an important aspect of maintaining team morale. The women’s team has been having a lot of fun planning team events where the girls can get together, bond, catch up, and relieve their stress from school. These events can be small, more spontaneous events like a bonfire by the North Suites, or a more thought out event like a team social. The boy’s team have also been getting involved in team bonding with team meals and FIFA tournaments.
Both teams have had to deal with a rollercoaster of emotions over the past few weeks, but by sticking together and working hard, they are well prepared and excited for the upcoming 2017/18 season.