GVSU soccer adds two new coaches

courtesy / gvsulakers.com

courtesy / gvsulakers.com

Kady Volmering

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The successful Grand Valley State women’s soccer program is welcoming two new assistant coaches to their program for the 2019 season. The Lakers have hired Megan Link and Dustin Smith, bringing them to GVSU in February to start preparing for the fall season.

Both Link and Smith come from an extensive soccer backgrounds. Link travels to the Lakers from Southwest Baptist after being head coach for four years. While with the Bearcats, Link had 16 All-MIAA honorees on her team, two United Soccer Coaches All-Region players, earned a top 25 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches national pool and had two CoSIDA Academic All-District first team members.

Link also had her own successful collegiate career with the Bearcats, starting as their goalkeeper for four years. She moved on to Iceland where she played professionally for Afturlding Football Club before returning in 2014 to start her coaching career with the Missouri Youth Soccer Association.

Similar to Link, Smith is coming to the Lakers with soccer experience, coaching nine years at Florida Tech, serving five years as assistant coach and the last four years as head coach. Smith led the team to the first conference championship appearance in team history and left the team with 30 wins and 19 losses. Smith also coached youth soccer clubs for several years.

The Lakers had a strong 2018, advancing to the national championship with no losses before losing to Bridgeport.

The Lakers will return several underclassman, including standout goalkeeper junior Jessica Radice, who played the majority of the minutes in each game in the net. Radice believes that welcoming two new coaches will help bring a new perspective to help them prepare for the 2019 season.

“I think Megan and Dustin will add an outsider’s perspective,” Radice said. “They will be able to shed light on things we might not have noticed since we have been so involved with the program already. They are both well respected coaches and very knowledgeable, which can only help our program.”

Link and Smith will be joining head coach Jeff Hosler and assistant coaches Annette Stromberg and Scott Modisher. The new hirings come shortly after the resignation of assistant coach Kristen Walker for personal reasons in early January.

Though the team has only been able to meet Smith so far, Radice said it’s been a great for everyone.

“He always has an upbeat attitude in the weight room and during practices,” Radice said. “Dustin is a friendly face to walk past and see in the Fieldhouse. He is super positive from the second he steps into the room or field.”

Link and Smith will come onto campus later this week and will aid the Lakers, who are scheduled to scrimmage several Division I teams in the upcoming off-season.