Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Fall Sports Media Day: Winona State Soccer Welcomes Several First-Year Students

Pronob Kumar
Smiling and confident young freshmen on the Winona State University women soccer team. From left Kaylee Narveson, Lexie Lyden, Annika Groendal

The Winona State Women’s Soccer team recruited nine new players to start off the season, all of which are first-years. This is a big number as the team has only 29 players in total.

A significant fact about this first-year group is their unity and their ability to blend with the team. On the media day, they were often found hanging around with their senior players and they were excited to share their opinions of the team.

Most of the time, players only see the team while thinking about which university to attend. But these players were a little different, they also considered the class size and the courses they will study here.

“I was really drawn to their math department because I know they have a great program here and I really love those small class sizes because I would be able to get to know my professors,” Annika Groendal, a first-year from New Berlin, Wisconsin said. “Then I met the soccer team one day and they just made me feel so welcome. I was immediately sold on the school.”

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After one of the best defenders, Bailey Deininger, left the team as she graduated, Reanne Weil took charge of the Warriors. Weil is a fourth-year now and she will have the jersey number 10 for the rest of the season.

Head Coach, Jill Leibforth is confident with the leadership of Weil as she brings confidence to the team. She also had a great season last year, being the third highest point-taker of the team.

“Reanne, there’s not much more you can ask from a captain, a player, and a leader,” Leibforth said. “She really knows how to get the best out of everyone. And, you know, even if it’s not her day, she’s going to make sure that everybody else is still operating and moving forward.”

Leibforth promotes a positive mentality as one of the greatest attributes a player could have. Along with a strong work ethic, the ability to persevere no matter the type of day is how the team will win games in their conference, and Weil has an abundance of these skills.

Weil is also happy to have a lot of first-years on the team, even moreso because they are primarily from nearby Winona.

“I feel like they’re going to bring a lot of their parents which is nice. We need a lot of fans out there,” Weil said. “But I think they bring a lot of grit with them as well. They want to beat teams around from this area.”

The team currently has just six players who are fourth-years and only 3 third-year players. This year they have plenty of experienced Warriors, but next year they will have a sudden shortage.

It is likely these new Warriors will be the ones to take charge of the team in the upcoming years even before they become seniors.

Before the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) starts, the Warriors will have a pre-conference match against Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. The match will take place on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.

Winona State will also have three away matches after that. They will have their first home match on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. After traveling for a month, they will face University of Minnesota Crookston in their first home match.

Winona State will start their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, against Concordia University, ST. Paul. The match will take place in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Warriors have a great history against Concordia with a record of nine wins against five losses, though both teams are facing each other after almost a year.

Winona State is eighth on the NSIC women’s soccer overall statistics of 2021, and fourth in 2022. They have a rapid growth rate, which is quite impressive and a hopeful predictor of future conference statistics.

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About the Contributor
Pronob Kumar
Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

Pronob Kumar (he/him/his) is a sports reporter for The Winonan and started in the Fall of 2022. He is now a photographer as well. Kumar is currently a second-semester Sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Applied Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics and Physics.

In addition to working for The Winonan, Kumar is also a student employee on the IT Infrastructure team at Winona State University. He is also a tutor at the Library and a teaching assistant at the CS department. He is also the International Orientation Leader at the International Office and Orientation leader for WSU.

Outside of school, Kumar loves to play Chess. He was an under-18 national team chess player in his country. He also likes to cook food and go hiking with his friends. He enjoys drawing pictures and likes to tour different places.

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