GV Soccer lands 10 signees on National Signing Day, prepares to defend 2019 national championship

Courtesy+to+Twitter%2C+GVSU+Women%27s+Soccer

Courtesy to Twitter, GVSU Women’s Soccer

Kellen Voss, Print Associate Editor

Wednesday, Nov. 11, was a rather eventful day for the Grand Valley State University soccer team as 10 talented incoming freshmen signed to join the Lakers and defend the squad’s 2019 national championship.

In the fall of 2021, GVSU will add forwards Claire Breault and Chandler Clark, midfielders Hannah Becker, Nina Ferraro, Ryann Fetty and Stephanie Sturgeon, defenders Karen Barry and Cierra Trudeau, and goalkeepers Allison Fredrick and Kendall Robertson.

While these young players have known for quite some time that they would be future Lakers, head coach Jeff Hosler was excited to see them get the appreciation they deserve on social media from family, friends and GVSU fans.

“I think it’s really cool that these kids get the opportunity to be recognized again,” Hosler said. “A lot goes into their playing careers, whether it’s through youth club and high school. In our sport, a lot of these girls have been set on coming to GVSU since their sophomore year of high school, so it’s a long time coming for them. These kids made the decision back then cause they are really excited about Grand Valley State and our soccer program.”

Much like a construction worker throwing on a hard hat and grabbing his lunch pail, Hosler feels that this class in particular is willing to put in the work every day to retain the program’s championship mentality.

“What’s really special about this class is I think this group understands that this is a day of celebration, knowing that the work is going to continue to get ready for next fall,” said Hosler. 

Every recruit has gotten a chance to visit campus physically, and with most of them giving a verbal commitment to GVSU a few years back, Hosler made the distinction that the majority of these student-athletes are “pre-pandemic kids.”

Due to recruiting rules, COVID-19 restrictions and the standard summer break, these talented future Lakers won’t be able to practice with the team until next August, joining the current Lakers in their pursuit to defend their 2019 national championship.

This current iteration of the Laker soccer team hasn’t gotten a chance to compete this fall, but Hosler and his staff are still seeing gradual improvement from these student-athletes.

“I think we’ve gotten a lot accomplished this fall,” Hosler said. “Everyone would prefer to have competition but we all certainly understand the risks associated with it. We’ve been training essentially five days a week, and we’ve seen growth in our players.”

GVSU Soccer completed that training Friday, Nov. 20, as with the fully remote shift happening university-wide over Thanksgiving break, the student-athletes will only be allowed to work out on their own at their own discretion.

A spring game schedule was recently approved by the GLIAC, giving these Lakers a chance to play in a few games this spring. Those games will essentially kick off their season and will count towards their fall 2021 record. 

“We’re excited to kick off what would have been our official 2020 season on March 19,” said Hosler.

Despite the championship pedigree, Hosler is happy to see this team continue to play with something to prove, especially after the heartbreaking run in 2018 that ended with a loss in the national championship.

“2018 was heartbreaking,” Hosler said. “It was an unexpected run with a young team that got all the way to the national championship game, with that being our first loss. The way that went really established a chip on our shoulder throughout 2019.”

After all this training, the anticipation is building for this championship team to defend their title, as Hosler and the GVSU soccer team is thrilled to return to the pitch.

“We’re chomping at the bit,” Hosler said. “I think any competition is going to be really well received by our group. They’re really hungry to get back out there. The way this group is wired, they understand it’s a daily focus and they continue to play with a chip on their shoulder. It wouldn’t surprise me if they can use the pandemic and what’s been taken from us and channel that into the spring and the fall. We’re just excited to get back out there.”