Q/A with girls soccer coach Carl Wiersema


Rider Media

Aubrey Glidewell is one of the top players for the Rider girls soccer team in 2020-21.

After their previous season was cut short, the Rider girls soccer team has returned to the fields with high hopes for this year. The Rider Chronicle spoke with the longtime girls head coach Carl Wiersema to discuss expectations, key players and how this season will be different.  

Q: What are your expectations for this season?

A: Greatness. Every year we expect greatness. This is a very talented team, so we’re hoping that we can just keep getting better every day. 

Q: After last year ended abruptly, has that changed the team’s mindset of playing this year? 

A: I think we’re really determined, we’re trying to take care of ourselves health-wise with this pandemic going on, so that hopefully we can keep playing. We kind of felt shorted a bit last year.

Q: Who are some key returning players this year?

A: Gabby Garcia, Ashlyn Hollars, Kristen Toliver, Maddie Maness and Aubrey Glidewell. They can provide leadership. When they practice, they practice with intensity and hardness and that rubs off on the newer kids. We kind of try to set a level of competition in practice that comes over into the game.

Q: Who are some newcomers that you expect to make an impact on the team this season?

A: We have a lot of JV players who have moved up and are making a big difference, and we also have some freshmen up here who are making a big difference. Henlee Wilson, Kaylee Marshall, Jimena Rodriguez and Amy Ward. 

Q: How will this season differ from previous ones? 

A: I think every season is a new puzzle because you’ve got new players that you’re trying to fit into one scheme, so it’s always interesting to see how it’s going to happen. We do have a new district, so we have a couple of new teams that we haven’t played in a long time, and that will be interesting as well. 

Q: How do you think dealing with COVID will affect the players and their performance?

A: I hope that it won’t. We’re trying to be very cautious in masking up,  washing and social distancing. So far we’ve been pretty lucky with it. We’re just trying to keep that going, so we hope that the pandemic does not make a big difference for us. 

Q: Are there any special precautions you have to take in order to protect the players and coaching staff?

A: We train in our masks, the only time they take their masks off is when they’re in a game. When they’re on the bench, they wear their masks; we social distance and again, we wash our hands and we’re spraying the equipment.