Huntington, Ind. - Huntington University women's soccer coach Ryan Burgher and JV coach Andre Laird announced the foundation of the HU junior varsity program. Burgher and Laird signed ten current HU students to lead the Forester JV squad into its inaugural season.
"This is an exciting time for the women's soccer program," said JV head coach Andre Laird. "Not only are we adding top-tier girls for our varsity roster, but the addition of the JV program and these girls increase our talent pool and provide a lot more options come game day."
Jillian Stiemke will be entering her senior year at Huntington University. Stiemke, originally from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, transferred from Taylor University Fort Wayne, where she played keeper for the TUFW women’s team. She is majoring in recreation management and says, “It's going to be a challenge to get into playing again and in so many other ways. I'm excited for the challenges from all over the spectrum that will come. Not just the athletic challenge, but all the other challenges that come with being on a team and just living life with people. I'm excited to build relationships and have my mind blown hearing and seeing God work in everyone's lives.”
Randee Bushnell, a sophomore from Lansing, Michigan, attended Lansing Christian High School. Bushnell has been playing soccer for 13 years, including four years of varsity experience with the Pilgrims This exercise science major says, “I have always loved soccer and look forward to the opportunity to play again.”
Sarah Bailey Wolfe will enter the 2011 season as a junior elementary education and middle school language arts major from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Wolfe attended both Portage Central High School and Kalamazoo Christian High School.
Brittney Morgan from La Porte High School in La Porte, Indiana, will be a sophomore midfielder next season. Morgan is pursuing her degree in recreation management with a focus on aquatics. Brittany says, “I am excited to play because I miss being a part of a team and playing soccer. I love the fact of being able to have some competition and build friendships as well!”
Lindsey Karst is a Huntington North High School graduate and will be entering her junior year at Huntington University. Karst, an elementary and special needs education major, commented, “I'm excited to play because I love the team atmosphere. It’s so great to have a group that is all good friends. I love being active and soccer will definitely give me a chance to do that. And lastly I don't have much experience with soccer so it is going to be great to learn and develop a new skill.”
A senior nursing major from Lansing, Michigan, Tracee Bushnell will be a striker for the Forester JV team. Bushnell says, “I think it will be fun to play soccer again. I am also excited to be a part of a team again.”
Katie Dwyer is a Secondary English Education major from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has been training with the varsity squad during the winter and spring and has a natural ability in goal. “I'm excited to take on a sport that I have little experience in because it gives me a great opportunity to grow and improve at something new,” said Dwyer. “I've thoroughly enjoyed practicing with the team this spring and can't wait to keep playing in the fall.”
Dana Stewart will be returning to the field after a three year break. She was a starter for Falcons (Fairfield High School) and will serve as a striker for the Foresters. She is entering her junior year at Huntington and is pursuing a degree in art education. Stewart says, “Soccer has been missing from my life for the past three years, and it's been far too long.”
Sarah Hale, a native of Hilliard, Ohio, is currently a freshman at Huntington University studying graphic design. She will be a defender for the Foresters JV soccer team and when asked what she’s excited about, she had this to say, “Soccer is really big in my family and is my favorite sport and although I have been a soccer referee for about six or seven years, I have never played on an actual team so I'm really excited to finally get this chance to play!”
After playing on the Forester basketball team this past year, Stefani Skiendziel will be switching her focus to soccer next season. Skiendziel, a graphic design major from Hillsdale High School in Michigan, played soccer throughout high school and will play in the midfield for HU.
Picture above (top row:left to right): JV Coach Andre Laird, Essie Kaufman, Brittney Morgan, Dana Stewart, Sarah B Wolfe. (bottom row:left to right) Jillian Stiemke, Randee Bushnell, Tracee Bushnell, Sarah Hale, Stefani Skiendziel, Katie Dwyer.