Winfield soccer

Winfield’s boys soccer team is looking to make a playoff in 2020. Top row, from left to right, coach Erin Hesselbach, junion midfielder Stephen Witt, junior forward Xavier Baldwin, sophomore forward/midfielder Kaden Klamann, junior midfielder/forward Brett Piotrowicz, junior midfielder Gage Trempler, senior sweeper Greg Penrod and freshman forward/midfielder Cooper Martin. Bottom row, from left to right, freshman midfielder Alec Vaness, freshman forward Sean Nicholl, freshman midfielder/defender Grant Brown, senior stopper Noah Thomas, sophomore stopper Gabe Trempler and freshman stopper Justin Klamann.

In Erin Hesselbach’s first season as Winfield’s boys soccer coach, she knew there would be some growing pains and adjustments.

Hesselbach expects considerably more from her squad in 2020 – and she thinks she has a group of Warriors who could possibly make a run.

“In my first year, the players had to get used to me – and I had to get used to them,” she said. “We made some strides, and I hope we can improve even more this year.”

Hesselbach’s expectations of her team are high, and she team the Warriors are up for the challenges of 2020.

“I do think we’ll see some better results (in season two). I think they know what to expect from me,” she said. “The soccer is starting to come around, (the players) have adjusted to our system and they’ve been pretty good in their overall effort so far.”

Winfield will rely on its upperclassmen, especially its senior captains, sweeper Greg Penrod and stopper Noah Thomas, to provide victories this season. 

Both players said they have accepted their coach’s challenge as leaders – and are prepared to do everything they can to achieve the desired results.

“I’m hoping to work a lot harder this season, knowing I’m a senior,” Thomas said. “As a captain, I have to push my teammates as hard as I can.”

“I want to get (my teammates’) heads in the right direction. I want to get their minds focused,” Penrod said. “As a captain, I want to lead by example, and show them how to play the game the right way.”

Hesselbach said the seniors are the foundation of her team.

“I have a fantastic senior class. They’re leaders on and off the field,” she said. “They’re great human beings and leaders, and I don’t have to tell them what to do.

“They’re an extension of the coaching staff on the field – and I can’t wait to see them in action over the next couple of months.”

Winfield feels it’s improved considerably enough that a postseason run isn’t out of the equation in the very least.

“We need to put in work,” Penrod said. “Our first 30 minutes (of each game) have always been lackadaisical, and we need to play a full game every game.”

“We need to give it our all. We need to want to be here,” Penrod said. “As long as we’re not lazy, we can win and make the playoffs.”