Tale of the Week - Kiel Close To Home For Lakeland Soccer
Athletics - posted on 10/24/2005
When hitting the recruiting trail for the Lakeland men's and women's soccer teams, head coach Marc Colwell hasn't always had to travel far. The two programs have lured a total of nine players from nearby Kiel.
The men's roster sports six Kiel graduates on the squad: senior David Radder, juniors Corey Petzold and Scott Kress, sophomores Danny Carlson and Chris Christopherson, and freshman Seth Walsdorf. The women's roster currently lists three freshman players: Ana Carlson, Jennifer Graff and Danielle Ristow.
"Kiel has a nice high school program," Colwell said. "It's a smaller high school, but they have produced some very talented players. The players we've had from Kiel have worked well for us and I'd like to keep that local pipeline going."
Last season on the men's squad, the athletes from Kiel accounted for 30 percent of the teams' total points (34 of 113 points), and Kress led the team in goals scored.
This season, these former Kiel Raiders have once again played an important role for the Muskies. Kress is currently tied for second in goals scored with four and is leading the team in shots. Walsdorf has one goal, a game-winner against Maranatha Baptist in the first Lake Michigan Conference game of the season. Petzold is third on the team in assists with two, while Christopherson also has an assist. Radder and Danny Carlson have played key roles on defense.
"All of the upperclassmen have played well for us and have earned starting time or significant minutes," Colwell said. "As far as underclassmen, Walsdorf ended up starting for us around the middle of the season, but has been injured lately and we hope to get him back in time for the conference tournament.
"All of these guys have lived up to even more than I expected. You're not always sure what to expect coming from a smaller high school. They have done extremely well, and they are good, talented players. I don't know if other (college) coaches have given these guys and guys from smaller schools the looks that they should give them. They have talent, and I will keep looking there."
On the women's side, the Muskies expect big things from their Kiel grads in the future, since they have already played positive roles as freshmen. Carlson has scored a goal and an assist for the Muskies this season, while Graff has added a goal and Ristow has notched an assist.
"Ana Carlson had ankle surgery late this summer," said Colwell. "I think you will really get to see what she is capable of next year. She is no where near 100 percent right now, but she continues to work and battle in practice.
"Ristow has earned a starting position for us in the back. She is a talented athlete and we expect a lot out of her in the future. Graff is the ultimate team player; she will do anything that the team needs."
Although they are from the same school, these players came to Lakeland for very different reasons.
Radder chose Lakeland because he wanted to be able to play collegiate soccer.
"It was close to home," said Radder. "I knew that I could get some minutes."
Graff choose Lakeland because she wanted to be close to her mother.
"My junior year of high school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer," said Graff. "I decided I wanted to stay close to home. Lakeland was close and it was a place where I could stay at home, go to school and get my degree."
To a person, every Kiel native has said that they love playing at Lakeland with their friends from high school.
"It is good because we know each other and we already know how each other plays," said Petzold. "It makes it easier here because we play a similar system and we know how to react during game pressures."
Kress enjoys the fact that not only did he get to grow up playing with these peers, they're been able to watch each other grow.
"It's fun because I get to watch us develop," said Kress. "We have grown up playing together and now we are playing together at the collegiate level."
Of course, the nice thing about having so many young talented players from one school is that word will spread at Kiel about the Lakeland program. With all the experiences that Ristow heard about, it helped make her decision to come here easier.
"I knew more about the team because of the people from Kiel," said Ristow. "I heard about the experiences they had with the team. I decided to come here with one of my friends that I am really close to."
While he isn't officially recruiting for Lakeland, Walsdorf relates his experiences back to his friends at Kiel, and it's helped get a few more potential Muskies on the line.
"I have talked to a couple of my friends back at Kiel about coming up to Lakeland," said Walsdorf. "A lot of them are interested in the field of studies that they can get into here. They are going to go to schools that fit their field of study. But if Lakeland matches what they are looking for, I think the fact that they could not only get a good education, but they could continue playing soccer might help influence them to come here."
While the athletes from Kiel chose Lakeland for different reasons, each of them is enjoying their time here, and feels they made the right decision. Colwell hopes their experiences will trickle back to the other local athletes - both in Kiel and other local schools - paving the way for him to make future recruiting calls to talk Lakeland soccer.
"We are continuing to look in some of these smaller areas," said Colwell. "It is nice to have Kiel, New Holstein, Plymouth and Sheboygan here. There is quality soccer near here on both the men's and women's side.
"We are going to continue to look in this area and try and find quality student athletes. This area has a lot of great academic high schools, but since they are smaller schools, I think the students would appreciate our smaller environment and class sizes as well."
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