The Albion College Women’s lacrosse team (6-4, 2-0) may be small and young, but they are loaded with potential.
With hopes to continue their growth and success, six first-year athletes have hit the ground running thus far. Kadie Koolwick, Bloomfield first-year, is one of the many young talents Albion has to offer.
Koolwick is Albion’s starting center midfielder and ranks second on the team goals with 22, trailing Ashley Glenn, New Hudson sophomore. With such an impressive stat-line early in her season, and career, Koolwick has a seemingly limitless ceiling.
“Kadie is very talented and it’s as if she has no idea,” said Shanta Loecker, head coach. “She’s very humble, she leads by example every day and she works extremely hard for us.”
Fielding a young roster like Albion’s is often times an indication of a rebuilding year. Not for the Brits. Koolwick has high hopes for the Britons and foresees vast improvement.
“They’re getting better every day,” Koolwick said. “I’m getting better every day.”
With good foundation to build from, Albion can only get better.
“All season, our focus has been to get better every time we practice and every time we play,” Loecker said. “We’ve gotten so much better, we’re learning a lot and we’re having fun doing it.”
Koolwick played for Bloomfield United club team while in high school, finishing the season with a 9-10 record. Bloomfield was ranked No. 14 during the 2011-12 season and was knocked out in the first round of the state playoffs by the eventual champions, Birmingham.
Isabel Fontana, Bloomfield first-year, was teammates with Koolwick in high school. The chemistry they have developed has translated into success for Albion.
“We all work so well together, and Kadie is just such a well-rounded player,” said Ashley Glenn, lacrosse teammate.
Having a limited roster requires stamina and discipline in order to get wins.
“The team is obviously really small,” Koolwick said. “Being able to play the entire game is a huge deal.”
The Brits have had to recruit from within Albion College in order to fill roster spots. As a result, some players have little to no experience. With only 13 players, conditioning is very important due to infrequent rotations.
Extensive playing time with little rest can physically draining. Taking advantage of opportunities is crucial.
As a goal scorer, Koolwick’s job is to take full advantage of any and all opportunities. She made every shot she took her senior year of high school, and she brings similar success to the Britons, nailing 62 percent of her shots on goal.
“[Ashley Glenn and I] are not afraid to go to the goal and shoot,” Koolwick said.
Glenn and Koolwick are a powerful offensive duo, and the young sophomore sees the potential for greatness in Koolwick as well as the team.
“We can only keep improving because there’s so much talent that we have now,” Glenn said.
Having a strong player-coach relationship is highly beneficial to team success, especially for a small and young team. In her first year as head coach, Loecker has developed that relationship seamlessly.
“We love [coach Loecker],” Koolwick said. “She pushes us really hard, but she is amazing.”
Koolwick is part of a group of very talented individuals. Her production will help in the vast improvement of the Women’s lacrosse team for years to come.
“Kadie really doesn’t have a ceiling, her potential is endless,” Loecker said. “There is still plenty that she needs to work on to get better, but it’s a great place to start because she wants to get better and has stepped up already.”