Manchester University hits the road for its curtain raiser Friday, August 31.
Match details: The Spartans face off against neighboring county non-conference rival Huntington University in a 6 p.m. kickoff at HU's field located just behind the Merillat Athletic Complex.
Spartan Shorts: Head coach Christine Johnson's squad, slated for a first eight finish in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, is looking at big picture goals going into the new year. "[Myself, our staff and student-athletes] have been trying new things [towards positive outcomes]," she said. "There's more to just the statistics and wins and losses for us. While those things matter, the holistic development of the entire human being [is the bottom line]." … A fundamental leadership group core of senior midfielder/forward Maranda Birmingham (Kouts, Ind.); senior goalkeepers Cami Holford (Valparaiso, Ind.)and Caroline Smith (Mason, Ohio); junior midfielder/forward Katie Green (Chesterton, Ind.); and senior defender/midfielder Isabella Zoog (Brownsburg, Ind.) is in place. Each of the quintet has appeared in 20-or-more matches with Birmingham and Zoog having played in 40-or-more. Their numbers don't end there, either, as Birmingham, a 2016 all-HCAC second-team honoree, has produced 20 goals; Green and Zoog have been very dependable in the midfield and defender spots; and the duo of Holford and Smith have held down a significant share of the net-minding tasks to the tune of a combined 3K-plus minutes. "Each of them brings something different and unique [in regards to leadership]," Johnson noted. "That's great [for the entire team], as it allows the opportunity for this intangible to filter throughout and in a variety of manners. This group is the glue for this year's team. We're very hopeful looking ahead [because of them]."
Home Schedule Starts: The sides' time away from North Manchester isn't long. Manchester University faces off against Olivet College of Michigan Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. in their Good Field debut.