Soccer hopes to reach .500 against Graceland

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Western is sitting at a 2-3 record after their loss to Truman State on Tuesday, Sept. 17. They are scheduled to play their sixth game of the season against Graceland University on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in Lamoni, Iowa.

Graceland is at a 6-1 record, their only loss coming from Olivet Nazarene University. They currently have five shut-outs this season and are ranked no. 1 in total shut-outs so far this season and ranked 13 in total shut-outs per game.

Defender Brooke Lucas said, “”Friday is going to be a big test of our mental strength. We have to come out [Friday] with a passion and not give up until that final whitsle blows no matter what the circumstances may be.”

The Yellow Jackets play offense aggressively, having scored 18 goals total on the season. They also have fantastic defense, which allows them to keep the ball away from their net and challenges the other team to push harder for the goal.

Western has five goals so far this season. They have knocked 46 shots on goal out of 82 and have also managed 3 assists.

Graceland’s head coach, Fred Wagenaar said, “I try to schedule good opposition in the first half of the season in order to be ready for our conference games.”

Western and Graceland have met on the field before. On Sept. 9 of last season, Western won against Graceland with a final score of 2-0.

When asked about his expectations in comparison to last season, Wagenaar said, “Last year, Western beat us, but we enjoyed both the game and the atmosphere. Western played well and with a good attitude from their players, and that made for a fun game.”

Both teams seem to have a fair amount of respect for the opposition and have positive attitudes about the game to come.

Forward Katie Kempf said, “Graceland is a good team. I am hoping that we can bring the same energy that we did last year, and if so, it is going to be a very winnable game.”

Despite the loss of Kempf due to a knee injury, the Griffons plan to continue to roll with the punches.

“As long as we believe in ourselves, we will be a threat to any team who steps on the other side of the field,” Lucas said. “I think this team is capable of  accomplishing anything we set our minds to.”

After the Graceland game, Western will welcome Lindenwood to Spratt Stadium. The game is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22 at noon.

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