Senior defendsers to be big factors for women’s soccer

By Sam Bauman

This season’s women’s soccer team brings a defense that is both talented and highly experienced.

Led by senior Courtney Ksiazek and junior Lauren Noonan, the defense has had a strong showing early this season, despite a 4-1 defeat to Purdue. The experience of Ksiazek and Noonan has also helped the newcomer to the group: freshman Jackie Wandt.

“I definitely look up to Courtney [Ksiazek] and Allie [McBride],” Wandt said. “They’re both very talented players with a lot of experience. I’m lucky to be able to play with them as well as learn from them.”

Being a role model for younger players like Wandt is something Ksiazek takes pride in.

“I like to think that I’m a leader,” Ksiazek said. “Everything is so new coming to college on a new team, and to share my past years of experience is important to me. I like to help the younger girls as much as possible.”

The experience that Ksiazek and Noonan bring to their game helps the Huskies perform better on the field. Their ability to trust their instincts and experience allows them to react better to situations during the game.

“Being an upperclassmen helps me out a lot on the field,” Noonan said. “I know what to expect coming into each game. I know how to prepare myself to play my absolute best. On the field I am more confident on what to do with the ball because I know what works and doesn’t work in certain situations.”

The experience also comes with added expectations and pressures because the upperclassmen are looked to for support.

“As an upperclassman it’s my job to make sure that I’m in control and doing my job,” Noonan said. “It’s important because the younger players look at me for guidance and direction.”

The defensive experience has also led to great commodore between the girls. This gelling allows the girls to know and communicate what they need to do in key situations.

“We share a lot of chemistry,” said Ksiazek. “We’ve been learning each others’ tendencies. Also, our chemistry off the field helps tremendously with our relations on the field.”

With a solid bond between the older players, Wandt is doing her best to get into the swing of things with the other defenders.

“It’s early in the season so I’m still trying to get the hang of things,” Wandt said. “We’re getting better after every game and training. In general I think we’re working well together, and I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.”

With an already solid core of seasoned players, as well as talented younger players, the Huskies’ defense is poised to help lead the team to success.