Annie Gerdes is set to begin her first year as the head coach for the Prairie Fire women’s soccer team. She is no stranger to the program as a four-year letterwinner and former assistant coach in the program.
“Our goal is to get better every day,” said Gerdes. “Last year was not up to the standard that Prairie Fire women’s soccer has played over the last eight years and we have been working to get back that level of play. These women have been giving their all since arriving and I am extremely proud of them and excited to show everyone how far they have come.”
The women’s soccer team returns nine players from last season, including five starters. The team also welcomes 11 newcomers. Starting goalkeeper Carina Escobar returns after notching 94 saves last season. Two of the top attackers return in Isabella Shubert and Aleene Ramirez as well as key defenders in Kasey Snyder, Avery Leigh, and Rosalie Ross. Alex Halleck is a key midfielder/defensive player who started all 15 games last season. Midfielder Lia Mena Villanueva will also be counted on heavily this year as veterans of the team.
“Our veterans have stepped up and know what it takes to be successful,” added Gerdes. “Knox women’s soccer was considered the underdog even after two championship titles, so we are accustomed to this feeling and this is where we thrive.”
The program will open up their season when they travel to Millikin University on September 1. They open at home on September 11 as they host Lakeland University.