Eagle Soccer Looks to Soar to New Heights
Walnut Ridge, Ark. – A mixture of returning and young talent highlight the Williams Baptist College soccer squad for 2012.
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After winning a school record seven games in 2011, the bar has been raised to a higher level for the upcoming season. “Last year we had a modest goal of making the American Midwest Conference tournament. We achieved that for the first time in team history, but this year we want more,” said Head Coach Shane Stolz. “Now, it is an expectation to qualify for the conference tournament.”
Williams signed a class consisting of 12 incoming freshmen and one transfer. “We have some newcomers who are ready to contribute right away, but with 13 returners, we have the luxury to be patient and develop them, as well,” said Stolz.
Victor Vouga, Esteban Piccinini, and Lucas Braga return for the Eagles. They were all selected to the 2011 honorable mention All-AMC team.
Stolz is excited about the leadership of his returning players. “We have a solid core of returners who understand what is expected of them and that has rubbed off on the newcomers,” he said. “The newcomers see their leaders’ work ethic and it spreads throughout the squad.”
The Eagles have been practicing for over a week, and Stolz believes preseason has been instrumental for his squad. “Our challenge is getting 25 student-athletes from all over the world in sync on and off the pitch. We have all grown closer together during this time, and it will help us compete,” he said.
Williams’ first match will be on August 30 at 4:30 p.m. against Harding University. The game will be played in Walnut Ridge at the WBC Soccer Field.