By Kurt Miller
The last two years haven’t been kind to the Albion College women’s soccer team, a program that’s done historically well in the MIAA conference. But that’s the past, and the future looks bright.
First-year head coach Eric Scott was hired last Feb. to guide the program back to the top of the MIAA, a place he believes the team should finish year-in and year-out.
“We have two goals every year for as long as I’ll be here,” Scott said. “That is to get to the national tournament. The second goal is to always get that MIAA academic distinction, which is a 3.3 team G.P.A.”
Since 2001, the women’s program has only had three losing seasons in 13 seasons, all of which have come in the last three years, so turning the program around is hardly unthinkable for Scott.
His work started right away in Feb. on the recruiting trail.
“I used a lot of contacts I had generated in the club game and wanted players who knew we were going to have to rebuild,” Scott said. “I also recruited a lot of players who are independent and do not need a lot of motivation. This whole class has worked with the returners to help take on the responsibility of getting the program where it needs to be.”
As many as seven first-years have been on the field at once, according to Scott, and five are currently in the starting lineup.
Lindsey Lubanski, captain and Lathrup Village senior, said it hasn’t been difficult getting her new teammates to fit in with the rest of the team.
“They work hard,” Lubanski said. “They don’t necessarily act like they’re freshmen on the team. They came in just being a part of the team and not feeling like they were below anyone.”
Lubanski and Anne Marie Galus, captain and Saginaw senior, are under the direction of their third coach in four years, but Galus and her teammates have bought into Scott’s coaching philosophy.
“He has a more attacking perspective, which is what we needed,” Galus said. “We didn’t score a lot last year, so his mentality is getting goals and that’s what we need.”
A new coaching staff, a solid new group of recruits and a dedicated group of returners have already paid dividends for the team.
The Britons got their first win of the year defeating the College of Mount St. Joseph 2-1 in their second game of the season.
Scott is pleased with how his team is performing and remains focused on this year’s team, but he also realizes how important it is to change the culture he walked into and develop his own culture of excellence for the future.
“I was here when they went to national tournaments over and over again,” Scott said. “I want to get it back to that point. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I think we can do it in the next four years.”