Women’s soccer gears up for the season

The Truman State University women’s soccer team has a coach with a proven track record and a talented roster to lead them into the fall season and hopefully another impressive campaign to put in the record books. 

Due to the COVID-19 protocol implemented by the GLVC last season, many Truman sports teams that normally participate in fall sports were forced to wait until spring to play their first games. This season, the GLVC will return to its normal schedule, resulting in a quick turnaround for the players. 

“I think it will be alright to get the summer to heal up a bit and get fit and get back into the normal routine,” Head Coach Mike Cannon said.

Cannon also mentioned a change in GLVC policy which states that players will no longer have to wear masks during practice and team events. He said the change in policy will make things easier, especially with the heat and humidity that summers in the midwest regularly bring. 

Beth Hopwood goal keeps for the team. Hopwood was the starting goal keeper in all 14 matches last season, she also made 34 saves with a 7-7 record. Photo from TMN Archives

Cannon has been coaching the team since 1993, and over that time he has accumulated one of the highest win totals for active coaches in Div. II women’s soccer at 357 out of 552.

He attributed this success to the amount of time he has spent in the game and the love he has for this level of competition. 

“Some of it is longevity, but it’s more about the program. If you look at the overall program record it’s not too far off from my record … one of my goals when I came into this program was to get the record over .500,” Cannon said.

Cannon has far surpassed his goal and still has big plans for the team. For the 28 seasons he has coached at Truman, the team has won a little over 70% of its games with 357 wins over that span. 

While the impact a coach has on a team cannot be overlooked, the players also provide

enormous contributions. Last spring when an injury bug swept over the whole team, there were freshmen who stepped up in a huge way. Largely due to their impressive play last spring, Cannon plans to continue to give them significant playing time.

“[Midfielder] Cassidy Gann started at the end of last season and will have the chance to start right off the bat this year [and defender] Izzy Heintz will have a significant role,” he said.

The other three freshmen were out with significant injuries for the majority of last season but will have the chance to get playing time this fall according to Cannon. 

The women’s soccer team is set to begin their 2021 campaign this fall with their first game Sept. 3 against Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan. The first home game will be Sept. 12 when they face Drury University at Bulldog Soccer Park.