William Jewell College soccer is starting the 2017 season with many new faces and a new drive to compete. The women’s soccer team has already proven that they are ready to take on anyone by starting out undefeated with a record of 3-0. The men’s team hasn’t had the luck of being undefeated, starting off their season with a record of 0-2. Nevertheless, the first two men’s games of the season were filled with competition.

The women started their season with a non-conference game against Missouri Southern State University (0-2) Sept. 3. The Cardinals came out of preseason fighting, topping the Missouri Southern Lions 1-0 with a goal by first-year elementary education major Alexa Hawkins. Both the women’s and men’s teams had their first conference games over the weekend, playing the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, and then the Lewis University Flyers on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. The women defeated the Prairie Stars 2-0 with goals by senior psychology and applied critical thought and inquiry major Aspen Hawkins and sophomore nursing major Gracie Schweinfurth. They then kept the ball rolling with a win over the Flyers with a score of 1-0. The single goal came from first-year psychological science major Annalee Arbeitman.

The men’s season started by jumping right into conference games.

 “Our conference is pretty competitive so they know from game one it’s going to be intense, it’s going to be a battle,” said Coach Garrett Jahn.

And a battle it was. Both games were filled with nonstop competition for the win. The men started with a loss to the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars with a score of 0-1. Sunday, the men came back with their heads held high to play the Lewis University Flyers. The men lost their second game of the season with a score of 4-1 with the single goal by first-year business administration major Noah Espinosa, his first career goal.

Both teams have changed from what they were last year, with new faces and new positions. For the women, Coach Jefferson Roblee came into the new season with different positions for a lot of the returning players. He said that he likes to “use talents for what it is and what you need.”

Aspen Hawkins has been a key component in helping the players’ transitions to their new positions run smoothly. Hawkins runs the center of the field using her foot skill to pass the ball quickly around the field.

For the men, second year head coach Jahn decided that new players are going to be the key to success for this season. Along with many new players, sophomore Drew Dempsey is one to watch.

“[Dempsey] has a little spark plug. He’s something that we haven’t had in the past,” said Jahn.

Dempsey was a big help in the first two games of the season, playing all over the field. One moment he would be up top charging the offense to try and get a goal, and the next he would be in the back field helping to defend the Cardinals’ goal.

Both Jewell teams play the Truman State University Bulldogs today, with the men playing at 1 p.m. and the women playing at 3:30 p.m. The next home game for the men is a non-conference game against Harding University Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. The women’s next home game is also a non-conference game against Northwest Missouri State University Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

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