BY MARIAH RASMUSSEN
Taking a team from the bottom to the top is no easy feat for just anyone. However, one person who appears to be full of promise is first-year coach, Seth Spidahl. Spidahl has just completed his first year as the Pacific Lutheran University’s women’s soccer head coach. In previous years, the women’s soccer team has not had a promising outlook for finishing on top of conference, but all of that is about to change.
Having played soccer since he was five years old, Spidahl was immediately interested in the game. It wasn’t until he was 17 years old and got an offer to coach his friend’s younger brother’s soccer team that coaching became his passion.
“Once I had the chance to coach, a light bulb went on and I realized that I had the ability to affect people’s lives through the game of soccer,” Spidahl said.
To begin transforming the Pacific Lutheran University women’s soccer team into a top competitor in conference, Spidahl brought some much needed passion and fire to the team. As a Pacific Lutheran University alumnus, Spidahl has a great deal of pride in the school, which he brings into his coaching.
“When the players have to leave the program I want them to be proud of where they left it,” Spidahl said. “That is my goal.”
Although the Pacific Lutheran University’s women’s soccer team took sixth out of nine in conference, they had their first winning season since 2006, according to Pacific Lutheran University’s athletic website. Upon being asked if Spidahl will be able to transform the team into a more competitive force, Kailey Lyman, a first-year player said, “Definitely. He is a very experienced coach and knows the game of soccer very well. He is so dedicated to his team and will do whatever it takes to win.” Lyman played for one year on the club team that Seth coached prior to coming to Pacific Lutheran University.
The improvements don’t stop with the overall record. Spidahl is also working to give his players a sense of hope and pride.
Mimi Granlund completed her last year of collegiate soccer in the fall of 2012 as a team captain.
“I am very proud of how I left the program. I think that the new coaching staff has had a positive impact on the team,” Granlund said. “It was amazing to have such a great group of teammates, and leave a program that I believed in.”
Before Spidahl was hired, the Pacific Lutheran University women’s soccer team was in need of a change. Spidahl said, “there was no where to go, but up.” The qualities that Spidahl brought to the team were able to start the team’s 2012 season on a better foot. “Soccer is a game of inches,” Spidahl said, “two more wins, or two more goals, and we would have finished in the top half of conference. Next year we will be there.”
Looking forward to next season, Spidahl is confident that the team will be able to finish in the top three, and be in close competition for the conference title.