Archive for the ‘college soccer’ Tag

2014 College Soccer Awards   Leave a comment

Best XI (alphabetical):  Paige Birschbach, Ripon College; Taylor Blazei, Tennessee Tech; Michelle Greeneway, Lake Forest College; Katelyn Hronek, Lake Forest College; Brandi Peltier, Ripon College; Samantha Read, Cardinal Stritch University; Brianna Reid, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Kaitlin Schmitz, St. Norbert College; Anna Stadler, Cardinal Stritch University; Maria Stephans, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Jenna Woodson, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Player of the Year:  Michelle Greeneway, Lake Forest College

Rookie of the Year (first-year player):  Paige Birschbach, Ripon College

Freshman of the Year:  McKenna Kowalski, Concordia University of Wisconsin

 

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Posted November 11, 2014 by Scott in Uncategorized

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College Season Update   Leave a comment

Now that almost every team has played a third of their schedule, it’s time to parse through the stats and see how the watch list is doing.  So far in 2014, the 47 field players we are following has accumulated 37 goals and 27 assists for 101 points.  Leading the pack is Paige Birschbach (Ripon College/Campbellsport) with six goals and seven assists for 19 points, followed closely by Michelle Greeneway (Lake Forest College/Sheboygan North) with 18 points (eight goals, two assists) and Brandi Peltier (Ripon College/Hustisford) with 17 points (seven goals, three assists).  Birschbach and Peltier’s teammate at Ripon, Jessica Ochocki (Cedarburg), is part of a trio of players [the others being UW-Whitewater’s Brianna Reid (Oak Creek) and St Norbert College’s Kaitlin Schmitz (St. Thomas More)] with three goals on the season.  Players from our 2014 Women’s Premier League team have combined for 14 goals and 16 assists (44 points), the bulk coming from Birschbach and Peltier.  Maria Stephans (UW-Milwaukee/Hartford) has contributed three assists to her school’s early-season efforts and Anna Stadler (Cardinal Stritch University/Wauwatosa West) scored a goal in the Wolves’ opening match against Viterbo.

Are there players you know about that we should know about?  Drop us a note at our player gateway page.  We’re looking to have a two-team pool of approximately 41-43 players for the 2015 WPL season and are on the lookout for women who have the drive, discipline, and skill to wear the club colors with pride.  Our hope is to have more players in contact with us before the turn of the year, which will lead to finalizing the two teams and how players will be allocated earlier than this past year.

Coming soon: a set of interviews with players from the watch list.

Posted September 16, 2014 by Scott in Uncategorized

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2014 College Soccer Preview   1 comment

The 2014 college soccer season kicks off in full force this weekend when most schools will be in action (NCAA Division II teams will begin their schedules next week).  As you know from past years, our season preview focuses on players we’re scouting, their teams, and other notable trends from our online research of rosters.  This year, 16 players from our 2014 Women’s Premier League team return to campus, eager to build upon their 2013 college campaigns and incorporate some of their summer learning to their play.  We’ll start with them, then move onto freshmen of note and a set of new prospects we’ll be watching in light of our planned 2015 expansion.

2014 Milwaukee United SC co-Most Valuable Player Maria Stephans (Hartford) returns to UW-Milwaukee for her sophomore season having earned a starting spot at central midfield for the Panthers and being named one of the squad’s captains. Further north, 2014 co-MVP Brandi Peltier (Hustisford) kicks off her senior season at Ripon College alongside MUSC teammate Paige Birschbach (Campbellsport), where they hope to elevate the Redhawks into the Midwest Conference tournament for the first time in school history and Peltier goes after her fourth straight 20-goal season.  Some of their summer teammates, however, will plan to have a bit of say in whether either of those accomplishments are reached, as Katelyn Hronek (Wauwatosa West) at Lake Forest College and the St. Norbert College duo of Katherine Oleniczak (Wauwatosa East) and Kaitlin Malliet (DSHA) will be pressing to return their teams to the top of the conference standings (Lake Forest won the MWC in 2012, St. Norbert in 2013).  Cardinal Stritch University sees five members of our summer team (Danielle Doucette, Anna Stadler, Michelle Peltz, Cassie Braam, and Samantha Read) come back to campus with the expectation of earning a second consecutive Chicago Collegiate Athletic Conference playoff berth.  Alverno College will have three Owls in the fold (Neysel Powell, Casey Scheibengraber, Amber Thomas) as the Inferno search for their first-ever winning season after going 10-10 last fall.  Lastly, lifelong friends and teammates Heidi Hetzel and Leeah Rivas (Sheboygan South) will attempt to lead UW-Oshkosh to a Wisconsin Intercollgiate Athletic Conference championship after coming second to UW- Whitewater in both the regular season standings and the conference tournament in 2013.

Every year brings a new class of players to college campuses near and far.  This year is no exception, with potential 2015 Owls joining some of our above-mentioned players at Ripon (Jessica Ochocki, Cedarburg), Cardinal Stritch (Flor Corra, Milwaukee St. Anthony), and UW-Milwaukee (Olivia Wright, DSHA, and Emily Senger, Waukesha North).  Other players of note that are beginning their college careers this year include goalkeeper Nina Pantich (Greendale Martin Luther) at Concordia University-Ann Arbor, Jacki Quast (Hartland Arrowhead) at Longwood University, Sarah Watts (DSHA) and Taylor Koepke (Germantown) at St. Cloud State, Kristin Bronikowski (DSHA) at Carroll, and Jessica Hyde (Waukesha Catholic Memorial) at the College of St. Benedict. As part of a planned expansion to two teams for the 2015 WPL season, we are reaching out to players who have been unable to find suitable playing opportunities either due to a lack of numbers coming through the ranks at their previous club or the club not offering WPL play.  Amongst the prospects from this outreach are UW-Milwaukee’s Taylor Swittel (Brookfield East) and Abbey Hoerchner (Kettle Moraine Lutheran), UW-Whitewater’s Jenna Woodson (Menomonee Falls), and Taylor Blazei (Slinger) from Tennessee Tech.

In all, this year’s player pool is a little more targeted toward where we as a club want to go in 2015 and geared toward making both our expansion to two teams a reality and focusing on taking the on-field product to the next level after two seasons around the .500 mark (2-3-1 in 2013, 3-2-1 in 2014).  Behind the numbers, however, lies a down year for the area in terms of sending players to the next level.  The most disturbing thing that came from our online scouting is that there is not a single Milwaukee Public Schools class of 2014 graduate playing this fall (the three MPS players at Alverno make up the entirety of the district’s involvement in the college game this year).  That said, one positive trend is the breadth of schools where this year’s freshman class has gone.  New schools on our scouting schedule include Longwood (Va.), UW-Platteville, Concordia (MI), and Concordia (WI), with Beloit and St. Cloud State returning to our list after several years off it.  You can follow all the players we’re watching and keep up with their teams by bookmarking our weekly schedule.  Our first in-person scouting trip of the season will be this afternoon when we’ll be at MSOE to see them take on St. Norbert College, with kickoff at 5pm.

Posted August 29, 2014 by Scott in Uncategorized

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2014 WPL Roster Release (Part II)   Leave a comment

The next six women chosen to don the colors of Milwaukee United SC include two members of last year’s team, two freshmen from Cardinal Stritch University, a forward from Alverno College, and a three-time Midwest Conference first team selection from Ripon College.

Kristy Leopold – A sophomore athletic training major at Southwest Minnesota State, Leopold was part of a Mustangs team that qualified for the Division II NCAA tournament this past fall, advancing to the third round with a pair of upset victories.  MUSC’s Most Valuable Player in 2013, Kristy hails from Fox Point and played her high school soccer at Nicolet along with 2014 club teammates Michelle Peltz, Danielle Doucette, and Amber Thomas.

Katherine Oleniczak – A sophomore business major at St. Norbert College, Oleniczak made ten appearances for the Green Knights as they won both the Midwest Conference regular season and tournament titles in a record-breaking season.  Katherine’s return to Milwaukee United brings the number of 2013 players on the roster this summer to eight.

Anna Stadler – A freshman photography major at Cardinal Stritch University, Stadler amassed nine goals and four assists in her first season with the Wolves.  Prior to matriculating at Stritch, Anna played her prep soccer at Wauwatosa West High School.

Danielle Doucette – A freshman elementary education major at Cardinal Stritch University, Doucette made eleven appearances for the Wolves as part of a defensive core that included 2013 MUSC players Brittney Brown and Bre McDonald.

Amber Thomas – A junior at Alverno College, Thomas has played at forward, right midfield, and right back for the Inferno in her three seasons, playing in 58 of a possible 60 matches.

Brandi Peltier – A junior psychology major at Ripon College, Peltier joins Milwaukee United following her third straight 20-goal season for the Redhawks.  With 65 goals and 143 points in her first three seasons at Ripon, Brandi holds the career record at the school in both categories.

Posted February 6, 2014 by Scott in Uncategorized

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Player Recruitment   Leave a comment

With all but a handful of players on our watch list finished for the 2013 college season, player recruitment takes on nearly all of our attention over the next two-three weeks.  A Tweet posted by the boss about some of the snags in the process evoked a response from one of the college coaches that follows his account, asking for further clarification.  Since there is no way to succinctly answer the question in 140 characters, we’ll lay out our philosophy here.

Our recruitment efforts begin in August with online research of area players on NCAA and NAIA rosters.  From there, we define our watch list for the purposes of in-person and online scouting.  In some years, it will be just Milwaukee County, in others it might include players in neighboring communities like Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, and New Berlin, specific players that have a connection of some sort to the club, and/or under-served and isolated soccer communities in the metro area outside of Milwaukee County.  We determine who is being scouted for possible inclusion on our summer teams, and we do that based on our own initial criteria of residency, school attended, high school play, and college play.  We also are quite clear about that criteria both on the website and in conversations we have with interested players.  Therefore, having outside soccer interests promote players to us who clearly are outside of our demographic focus (and thus not on our watch list) is something we do not look kindly upon.

Once college seasons wind down in early November, we attempt to make contact with as many players as possible from our watch list via social media or through players on their college teams who have played for us in the past.  Technology has improved so much in the last several years that we are able to go straight to the player with our invitations rather than attempt to make that contact through an intermediary (e.g., their college coach).  This direct approach also eliminates us dealing with gatekeeping from these intermediaries.  Our view is that these players are adults and can research our website for more information on who we are/what we believe and discuss their questions or concerns with us one-on-one.  We provide as much information to them as we have available given that there are always uncertainties with crafting a league schedule and securing training/match facilities several months ahead of the season and we attempt to maintain an open means of dialogue with prospects.

Being that our profile is unique in this area (female-only, competitive, high school and college/post-college players), it is possible that some may not have heard of us when their frame of reference is the well-known, U6-U99 clubs that compete prominently in the Wisconsin State League for men and in youth soccer.  We can forgive that, but we aren’t so nice when it comes to outsiders passing judgement on our methods or structure or attempting to intervene in how we pursue our goals and objectives.  We may fail at times, we may struggle on occasion to advance our mission as quickly or completely as we would hope, but we will not rest until women’s club soccer in Wisconsin is given the same respect that men’s soccer has enjoyed.

Posted November 17, 2013 by Scott in Club Philosophy

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Play for Us (2013 version)   Leave a comment

This is a repost of our player pitch from last year, with some edits to bring it up-to-date.

The 2013 college soccer regular season is coming to a close, with just a handful of matches left for all teams.  Despite a number of local players expected to participate in conference tournaments (and hopefully their division’s NCAA tournaments) once the calendar turns to November, the bulk of our scouting work for the season is completed and our focus turns to planning who to invite to our two players’ events over the semester break in December.   We have stated in past entries who we are, what we want to do, and what it takes to be selected to play for us.  With that, I am going to lay out WHY you should want to play for Milwaukee United Soccer Club.

1)  We will be competitive.

With our mission being to provide increased playing opportunities for local soccer players and those from underserved soccer communities, most people might believe that we will not be able to hold our own against teams that recruit far-and-wide to bring together top-loaded rosters from (in their opinion) more prestigious programs.  That is simply not true.  Last summer, we were able to shutout three of our six opponents despite having only two traditional defenders on the roster and finished in the middle of the pack in the South division of Wisconsin’s Women’s Premier League.  This year’s watch list has eclipsed 250 points thus far and is closing in on 100 goals for the campaign, with 38 of 66 field players picking up at least one point.  The players we are looking at come from programs as diverse as the University of Central Florida, which has been ranked in the Division I polls this season, to Alverno College (an all-women’s school in Milwaukee) and Michigan Tech (located in the northernmost portion of the Upper Peninsula), and we feel these players are capable of coming together to form a pair of solid teams for the 2014 WPL season.

2)  We will help you get better for next season.

Because we have spent considerable time watching players, we are familiar with current strengths and weaknesses in their games.  As mentioned in our entry titled A Full Year Approach, we view college and summer soccer as two complementary building blocks, where each can help a player get better for the other.  A player may have been a striker in youth and prep play, but has been shifted to another position when she started college play.  We will work with the player in training and matches to develop her skills in both her “natural” position and her “college” position so that she is able to return to campus in the fall a better player and able to make a significant contribution to her college team.

3)  You will be amongst friends (and perhaps rivals).

As I go over the playing/educational backgrounds of players in the pool, I notice that there are very few cases where a player doesn’t share some common thread with at least one other player on the list.  This is important because joining a new club/team can be awkward or unnerving, just like going away to school or moving.  Since the teams will come by and large from within the borders of Milwaukee County, there is a common language of cultural references the team will have (even if it is spoken in different dialects reflective of the 19 communities which make up the county).  To quote just a few of these common Milwaukee references:  Summerfest; Bradford Beach; Kopp’s; Mayfair; The Domes; bubbler.  People outside of the Milwaukee area might not know what you mean, but anyone from here will know and have some memory/experience of them.  Our goal is to turn a group of players that come in as individuals into a cohesive sisterhood where everyone is bonded into a common purpose and fights together as one, for each other and for their hometown.

If those reasons don’t encourage you to join us, take this one:  YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!  As you may notice, I mention nothing about tryouts.  That’s because all of the information we need to make roster decisions has been garnered by watching you this season (or in past seasons in the case of older players).  We know what positions you play (in general), the relative amount of playing time you get, your stats from the season, and have determined that we want you representing us on the field, all without you having to prove it in a one-day, make-or-break event against others who are fighting with you for limited roster spots and to whom you may feel no loyalty to help show their best.  It’s this cutthroat approach to the game that we are wanting to reduce or eliminate.  Sure, you will be competing with one another for space on the match day roster or in the first XI, but not for a place within the organization (unlike some clubs in the area you or I may know), and you will have a place here unless you choose to no longer play (and even then, opportunities exist to participate off-the-field with the club).

Excited?  Interested?  Fill out the form below to receive our player questionnaire and let’s get the ball rolling on having you participate in one of our play dates over the semester break.

Posted October 14, 2013 by Scott in Club Philosophy

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We’re Moving Along   Leave a comment

Now that the college soccer season is underway, here’s a quick update on the watch list’s performance to date.  As of Sunday, the 66 field players on the list have compiled 52 goals and 34 assists for 138 points, with Michelle Greeneway of Lake Forest College leading the way with eight goals followed by St. Norbert’s Kaitlin Schmitz with five goals and five assists.  Of players from this past summer’s team, Rasika Perera from Mount Mary University has four goals, with Cardinal Stritch’s Cassie Braam (two goals, one assist), Brittney Brown (one goal), and Lourdes Gil (one assist) also getting on the score sheet in 2013.  Stand-out first-year players thus far include Alverno’s Samantha Devcich (five goals) and Hayley Serketich (four goals, three assists), Brianna Reid from UW-Whitewater (three goals, three assists), Sara Travia from Milwaukee School of Engineering (three goals, one assist), Anna Stadler of Cardinal Stritch (three goals, two assists), and Augsburg’s Morgan Kenny (one goal, four assists).

Off-the-field, we are working on a couple of projects for the end of 2013 and start of 2014.  We are looking at holding a series of events over the winter holiday break during the time span of December 27th through December 30th, comprising two player combines (one for returning MUSC players, pre-qualified new players, and selected invitees; the other for potential 2014 MUSC players), a morning of community service with local organizations, and a fundraising banquet/silent auction.  Following that, several members of the Milwaukee United SC organization are planning to attend the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Philadelphia in mid-January.  We will have more to share about these in the next couple of weeks.  If you are interested in helping with (be it logistically or financially) or attending any of these events, please drop us a note at the bottom of this entry.

Players who want to get the process moving to play for us in 2014 should also drop us a line, as the sooner we’re able to send you the initial paperwork, the sooner you’ll be able to solidify a spot on one of our two teams.

Posted September 17, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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