By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
A fresh start.
As the Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Soccer team prepares for the fall season, the program looks for a new beginning. The fall season will unfold a new team, a new coach and new high expectations. How high? The upcoming season has been deemed “the championship season”.
With the recent departure of Erin Reinke, Hannah Bolton has moved up to head coach of GCU Women’s Club Soccer for 2018-19. Bolton is not new to GCU or the club soccer program. This past May, Bolton graduated from GCU with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and Sports Performance and is currently pursuing her MBA with an Emphasis in Sports Business. Bolton played on the women’s club soccer team for three seasons, and helped coach the Lopes this past spring.
Bolton has a passion for coaching. She’s coached in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon with the Eugene Timbers FC, guiding the U-11 to U-16 teams. Currently, Bolton coaches the 08 girls’ team for the AZ Nomads Soccer Club in the greater Phoenix area. Bolton will also add basketball to her coaching resume as she will be assisting Lopes’ Head Coach Kyle Speed for the 2018-19 Women’s Club Basketball season.
As Bolton steps into her new role as head coach, a new team culture has quickly emerged.
“The culture is a competitive, here-to-win attitude,” Bolton said. “Every day, each player is coming to practice wanting to compete and setting up expectations of being fully prepared and ready to play. Taking those little details more seriously is one of the best ways to be prepared for the season.”
Bolton is calling her first season as head coach the program’s championship season.
“Being a part of the team the last couple of years, this is definitely the most ‘hungry’ group we have had,” said Bolton. “They are just so competitive. Each time they step out on the field, they are fighting for a spot. We have new players coming in who have played at a higher level, which attributes to our new competitive spirit. We have a lot of speed and technical players which will lead to a strong attacking mindset.
“This season will be a lot of fun to watch.”
GCU Women’s Club Soccer has 10 solid match ups.
The Lopes compete in the West Coast Soccer Alliance Southwest Conference, taking on in-state rivals Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona.
The Lopes will be attending the annual Aztec Cup hosted in San Diego, California by San Diego State University at the end of September. The Aztec Cup will bring tough competition, but the Lopes are looking forward to play SDSU, the winner of both 2017 Aztec Cup and the WCSA national championship.
“In order to be the best, we must play the best,” Bolton said. “We’ll play solid teams which will better prepare us for conference play and lead us down that championship road.”
This Sunday, the Lopes will open their season at home with a double-header at Prescott Field on the GCU campus against Northern Arizona University (11 am) and Benedictine University (1 pm). Admission is FREE.
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