CU Women's Soccer Starts Season Strong
The 2012-13 Cornerstone University women's soccer team is off to a terrific 6-1 start. Coach Randy Strawser was hopeful before the season began, but was not sure how his squad would stack up.
"I didn't really know what to expect. I know that we have assembled a group that will be unified, and that will be the key to our success this season. We have a core group of seniors that have a chance to leave a mark on this program."
The team is off to a running start and looking to carry their momentum on throughout this year.
Key returners to coach Strawser's squad are Anna Stegink, Riley Steen, Amanda Van Laar, and Kate Weigman. They will have to work hard to overcome the loss of Jen Kuipers and Heidi DeVries. The returning players will also have to mesh with newcomers such as Teigan Mitcham, Kerri Hoffman, and Josie Litty.
The early results sure look good. According to coach Strawser, "The team has done well in the early part of the season. We defeated Taylor 2-1 in OT and Taylor has a very good team. We defeated St. Francis 5-3 and we lost 3-0 to them last season. We lost 3-0 to #8 Spring Arbor and they have a very good team, too."
The Golden Eagles begin Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play on Oct. 3 at Indiana Tech. As to how the conference will shape up this year, coach Strawser said, "I think that it will be more competitive from top to bottom. There will not be an easy game in the WHAC."
The women's soccer team would love to have a packed house for their game on Friday, Sept. 28, when they play Grace Bible College for "Night of Nets," a fund raiser to purchase mosquito nets to prevent malaria in third world countries.
Night of Nets to Stamp Out Malaria
The Cornerstone University men's and women's soccer programs are once again hosting a unique global fundraising event seeking to raise resources to purchase bed nets to help stop the spread of malaria in Africa and to raise awareness in the soccer and college campus communities of this need.
This year, the women's volleyball team has joined the effort as well, meaning there are three chances to come out and support both CU athletics and a global cause. The first two events will be held at the men's and women's soccer games on Sept. 26 and Sept. 28, respectively, while the third event will be hosted at the women's volleyball game on Oct. 3. All three games are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
There will be a suggested $6 admission fee (the cost of a bed net) for these matches. All proceeds from these events will go directly toward the prevention of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Donations for malaria prevention work will also be taken at the games and can be made online at www.teamworldvision.org/cornerstone.
Every night, more than 2,000 children worldwide die from malaria. Spread by mosquitoes, malaria is one of the world's deadliest predators, killing more than 750,000 children under the age of 5 every year and costing Africa's economy more than $12 billion in productivity.
For the price of attending a college soccer game, World Vision will provide a long lasting, insecticide-treated bed net that will reduce the incidence of malaria by between 50-60 percent for at least two children in an African home. In summary, every person who pays admission to these soccer and volleyball matches will personally help improve and save the lives of children at great health risk in Africa.
The bed nets purchased as a result of past Night of Nets events were distributed in the spring of 2012. Students and staff were able to see first-hand the great need and remarkable opportunity for impact on a recent CU Global Opportunities trip to Zambia, where malaria is a major health concern.
Cornerstone's goal this year is to raise $30,000-the total cost of 5,000 bed nets that will directly and immediately help save and improve the lives and futures of over 10,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa.
In an effort to help CU reach that goal, the Cornerstone University Chapter of Student Veterans of America announced in chapel that their members have pooled their donations and have pledged $1,000 to match donations made within the first 30 minutes of the gates opening at the men's game on Sept. 26.
This is a great event for the students, staff, and fans of Cornerstone University to give back while cheering on the Cornerstone athletic teams.
Bell has High Hopes for 2012
According to Cornerstone University's men's soccer head coach Mark Bell, his goal for the team this season is the same as it is every year: to win the WHAC Tournament. The Golden Eagles have not advanced past the second round of the postseason since 2006, but Bell, who is entering his 15th season on the sidelines, feels his 2012 squad is ready to take the next step.
"This is a veteran team," says Bell. "We would like to advance further into the WHAC tournament than we've done in the past. We have been disappointed in the last three years since we've bowed out of the tournament long before where our expectations have led us to believe we might go."
Bell feels this year's team will have success based on its veteran leadership. The Golden Eagles welcome back nine starters from last season's regular season WHAC champions that posted an 11-7 overall record, including a 5-1 WHAC mark. While the ultimate goal is reaching and then advancing in the NAIA Tournament, success in the regular season is what opens the door to the postseason.
Isaac Grotenhuis, Matt Osorio, Jake Stanko and Jordan Wilson all earned first-team all-WHAC honors in 2011. Grotenhuis returns as Cornerstone's leading goal scorer, having deposited nine goals to go along with three assists one season ago.
The mix of experienced veterans and talented newcomers should have the Golden Eagles in position to achieve the ultimate goal of reaching the NAIA tournament.
The season kicked off on Aug. 30 with a home game against Robert Morris University, which played to a 0-0 tie. After six games, the Golden Eagles are 3-2-1, playing a difficult schedule against ranked opponents. The conference season will begin with a game against Concordia University on Sept. 22 and the regular season will conclude on Oct. 27.
"It's one of the hardest schedules we have had in a number of years," states Bell. "We have the 17 games, along with a tough preseason. You always want to test the players and you want to find out how they compare against tough competition. We are always looking to play the best teams that we can possibly play. It tests us and hopefully prepares us for the postseason."
The Madness is Coming
This year's Midnight Madness event-to kick off the 2012-13 men's and women's basketball seasons for Cornerstone University-is scheduled for midnight on Oct. 5 (doors open at 11 p.m. on Oct. 4). The night will showcase Cornerstone's basketball players, whose seasons begin that day. This event is always a favorite among students, alumni and community members, and it is highly recommended that fans arrive early to secure prime seating.
Midnight Madness is an annual event that provides an opportunity to see new players for both teams, and this year fans will also get a chance to see the new women's basketball head coach Katie Mattera at the helm for the first time.
Coach Mattera would love for all Cornerstone students and fans to attend. "Every student should attend Midnight Madness because we are their team," she said. "We need them to be involved in our games and we would love to meet everyone. It is a new year with so many changes, but the one thing that remains the same is our devoted student body of fans!"
Men's head coach Kim Elders, coming off another trip to the NAIA national tournament, is also hoping for big attendance on Oct. 5. Coach Elders stated, "Students should attend to be introduced to their team which has a lot of new faces on it. It will be an exciting night and the team always appreciates the students' support and involvement."
The late night event will be full of activities and school spirit, including a little competition from the other athletic teams at Cornerstone. Be on the lookout for some surprises from the basketball teams and the fans, as many will be decked out for a costume competition.
Midnight Madness provides the fans with a unique opportunity to meet their players and coaches and witness the beginning to a new season. Both the men's and women's basketball teams have their goals set high for the 2012-13 season and will represent Cornerstone University with pride.
Free Kicks with Paige Knott
Paige Knott, a senior from Zeeland, has played in the midfield in all seven matches of the 2012 campaign for head coach Randy Strawser. She brings strength, poise, and depth in the center-mid for the Golden Eagles this season. As part of a new series of interviews with CU soccer players, Knott sat down for another edition of "Free Kicks with..."
The best part about being on the Golden Eagle's Soccer team is:
The family like environment that is created on the team.
My earliest soccer memory is:
When I played co-ed and I was one of only two girls when I was young.
Other than soccer, my favorite sport to play is:
When I have an hour of free time, I like to:
Hang out with my family.
If I won a million dollars, I would:
Take my family on a great vacation.
If someone looked at the songs on my iPod, I would be embarrassed about:
It is not good for you, but I still eat:
A place I would like to visit one day is:
Zanzibar, Santa Monica.
If I could eat dinner with three other people (living or dead), they would be:
Jane Austin, Peyton Manning, and Abe Lincoln
My favorite biblical character is:
Esther because of her bravery and faith through the hard times
When surfing the Internet, the website I visit the most frequently is:
Something about me that other people don't know is:
I can touch my tongue to my nose.
My favorite Superhero is:
After graduation, I would like to: