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New season starts for semi-pro soccer

New season starts for semi-pro soccer

Photo by- Jake Szetela – Riparea Videography  
The Great Lakes Wanderers, two men’s and women’s soccer teams, have started a new season. Photo by Jake Szetela, Riparea Videography

When most are packing away their soccer gear for the winter, The Great Lakes Wanderers Arena soccer teams are focused on the start of their seasons.  The Great Lakes Wanderers, founded in 2017 by Pedro Sanchez and Joe Brefczynski, enter their second full season of play with high expectations and notable additions.

The men will be competing for their second year in the PASL (Premier Arena Soccer League) the nation’s largest amateur/ semi pro arena soccer league. Looking to improve on last years 1-7 season, the men will be led by area veteran coach Mike Boogarrt and assisted by Grace Christian University Asst. Coach Josh Armstrong.  The men have spent more time preparing for the season competing early in exhibitions against local teams, the Chicago PD Soccer club and a pre-season tournament in Chicago. 

The newly added GLW women’s team will start their history as Michigan’s first women’s arena team playing exhibition games and a provisional schedule in the PASL’s newly formed women’s division. At the helm of the women, Joe Brefczynski and Art Dorsey of the West MI Storm soccer club will share the head coaching responsibilities. They are aided by another Grace Christian Assistant Sean Wilson.  After a couple local exhibitions, the women’s first test was the Dec 7 match vs. the women’s team from the Chicago PD. 

The women’s team kicked off the season for the Wanderers with authority. The team, featuring high school, college and post graduate women from all over west Michigan, scored and scored often in their first contest against the Chicago PD women’s SC.  Eight different goal scorers would combine for the 13-4 win over the CPD. Leading the way was former Jenison standout Lindsay Furness, with a hat trick and multiple goals from several other players including Cedar Springs HS defender Maggie Prins with 2. The goal was firmly protected by Cornerstone University’s Mikayla Johnson, with many multiples save efforts. Madison Fett of Fruitport and West MI Storm came into goal and closed out the night with 11 saves of her own. The decisive victory sets the tone for what looks to be a strong inaugural season for the Wanderers Women. 

The Tradition of the Heroes night battle between the Wanderers Men and Chicago PD men’s team entered its second year with GLW looking to avenge last year’s reserve team loss to the CPD. Led by last year’s returning captain and SCOR soccer club staff coach Jesse Salazar, the Wanderers dominated a physical battle for the ball and bragging rights. Former GRFC and BIH standout Anes Suhonic controlled the middle of the field and directed traffic up and down the field. Former Sparta HS goalkeeper Levi Pant came up huge multiple times keeping the score line tight and led the team to the first home win in GLW history.

Both the Men’s and Women’s Great Lakes Wanderers Arena teams will return home after the holiday on January 4. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. at the Cedar Rock Sports plex for fast paced, hard hitting, end to end excitement! 

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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