Setting school history this week, Finlandia is hosting the American Collegiate Athletic Association’s men’s and women’s soccer conference tournament. With that Finlandia Fridays was visited by two soccer players, Kasey Barber and Kirsten L’Esperance, both of whom are looking forward to this upcoming weekend.
Barber discussed how the men’s team has had their fair share of difficulties this season. With a new coach and less players than expected, Barber stated “it’s been tough. But we’ve been able to manage a lot of close games. Our keeper Noah (Raisanen) has been doing a great job and we’ve had good defense, we’ve just struggled offensively.” Despite the hardships, Barber is staying positive mentioning “coach Chris (Scott Chrysafidis) always says we never give up.” Men’s soccer takes the field this Saturday at 4p.m. against the Thomas More Saints.
Women’s soccer has seen more success than the men, with 11 wins and 3 losses. L’Esperance stated that having a larger roster has been beneficial. “(coach) Jordan (Andrews) brought in a lot of girls this year. We have 11 freshmen and we have been clicking well,” said L’Esperance. Leading the team in goals and assists, L’Esperance did not expect this much success. “Coming from a year ago not expecting to play soccer, I came into this telling myself to work hard and enjoy it because I know it goes by fast.” L’Esperance and the Lions suit up to take on Thomas More at 10 a.m. this Saturday.
Barber is a junior graduating early from the Biology program, with his sights set on earning his doctorate in physical therapy. Hailing from Naches, Washington, Barber found FinnU when now women’s head coach Jordan Andrews reached out to him about FinnU’s program. Outside of men’s soccer, Barber is the former vice president of the first year honor society Alpha Lambda Delta.
L’Esperance is also a junior, who transferred in from the local community college. Originally from Brighton, Michigan, L’Esperance stated that she loves the area and after deciding she wanted to study to be a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), FinnU was the best fit for her. Debating between the one-year and two-year program, L’Esperance ultimately chose the two-year program so she could play soccer.
ACAA Tournament links:
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