As noted earlier this month, Springfield Catholic’s two senior girls signed to play college soccer. Anne Prenger will be competing in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while representing the UMSL Tritons, where she’ll play for Coach Beth Goetz. Here are Coach Goetz’s comments on Anne:
We’ve been following Anne a bit for the last two years, mostly with her St. Louis Soccer Club team. We saw her play again this past fall in a tournament, and felt that she would had the potential to bring a lot to our program here at UMSL. Anne is obviously a strong defender, as reflected in her being chosen Defensive Player of the Year last high school season. Her strength in the backfield will definitely be an asset at this level.
We have a relatively young team heading into the 08 season, and I think Anne and our other incoming freshman will have the opportunity to compete for playing for time and will raise our overall level of play.
Anne began her college search at the beginning of her junior year. Her goal was to find a school that had a competitive soccer program and either a pre-med or nursing program that would meet her academic goals. She was first exposed to UMSL when her St Louis SC squad was invited to visit the campus and meet the team to learn more about the program. Coach Goetz stood out for Anne and when assistant Denny Hearne attended some tournament games last Fall, her coaches made him aware that Anne would be interested in talking to UMSL about opportunities there. I wanted to find out more about her St Louis SC experience so I talked to Coach Jim Taylor. Turns out she was recruited to his squad as well.
I have watched Annie play for 6 to 7 years. The first few years she was on an opposing team and she consistently caused us to change our strategy to compensate for her. When she became available, I immediately invited her to play on our squad to bring us her leadership, skill, field vision and toughness which would help us to achieve our goal of regional and national competitiveness. She provided that positive impact through her play and diligent teamwork. At UMSL, I expect Annie will provide the same positive impact and through her play keep Coach Goetz’s squad at a regional and national level.
Continuing her recruiting cycle, Anne attended the Drury game at UMSL (a 1-0 win on PK’s early in the season) and then made her formal visit during Christmas break. She made a verbal commitment soon afterwards, based upon an offer that included financial assistance. The offer made was not the final offer but a guaranteed minimum with final support determined following signing according to Anne. In the end, it was the quality of the Nursing program at UMSL that pushed Anne to the Tritons. The early impression Coach Goetz made also played a role, with Anne commenting that on her being friendly and open with the team and having a very merit-based approach. No preconceived notions that would limit Anne’s opportunity to compete for a position on the team.
Anne and her Springfield Catholic teammates are days away from beginning formal practice for her final season. She’s a returning captain, a 2nd Team All-State player, All-Ozark Defender and four year starter. The team is coming off an 18-5 season, their last game a loss in the Quarterfinals to an extremely tough St Dominic’s squad that ultimately were crowned State Champions. She has high expectations, matched only by her coach, Ben Timson:
Anne is the best pure defender, and one of the best players, we have had at Catholic. Technically she is impeccable which comes from many years of working on her game through the club system. She also excels tactically…..her ability to organize our defense and begin our attack from the back comes from her highly developed understanding of the game and excellent field vision. I am excited about Anne’s opportunity to continue her soccer career at the University of Missouri – St. Louis and I am confident she will be a significant contributor to the Triton program during her time there. I’m also happy that Ron and Jeanne will have the opportunity to watch her play during her college days!
All I can add to that is amen. I’m looking forward to seeing Anne on a regular basis in the GLVC. Congrats!