Greenville University women’s soccer program dedicates a special night to show appreciation to their seniors.
Defender, Caitlin McLoughlin, from San Antonio, Texas, is currently sitting out of her final season due to a torn ACL. McLouglin expressed, “This season was very hard for me because I was truly planning on this senior season, I had come in for and was feeling really good about everything.” McLoughlin found her new role on the Greenville soccer team through her teammates love and joy. She has been a role model to those struggling with injuries and a great example of Christ by loving every one of her teammates unconditionally. “I strongly believe that there is no gain if there isn’t pain, so I can’t wait to see how this season is going to end. Hopefully with all of us rushing out onto the field, well me waddling out, claiming our championship title,” McLoughlin said.
Returning senior, Natilyn-Hepburn Beaty, from Jonesboro, Illinois, has torn her third ACL throughout her Greenville soccer career. Hepburn redshirted during her 2018 season, which allowed her to stay a fifth year at Greenville to play one last time. Being a fifth-year senior, her advice to any incoming athlete would be, “Soak it in. Being a college athlete is special. Life isn’t all about soccer, but soccer at GU can teach you all about life.”
Defender, Michelle Grotefendt, from Marine, Illinois, transferred from SWIC 3 years ago. Grotefendt adapted to the Greenville way quickly and made her mark on the team. Her first season at Greenville was a little rough. Grotefendt thought that she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She had another biopsy done after her lungs collapsed and discovered that she had Histoplasmosis, which is a fungal infection. This lead to her sitting out of soccer for a whole year. Grotefendt expressed, “It sucked sitting out for a year. This was my first time not playing soccer in 15 years.” In the result of this, Grotefendt redshirted in order to play the next two seasons. With a setback like that, Grotefendt worked hard throughout the summer to come back bigger, faster, and stronger. “I will miss being a part of a family and knowing that I have sisters to go to for anything”, Grotefendt said.
Defender, Brooklyn Haro, from Bremerton, Washington, graduated high school with 60 college credits, which made her a junior when coming into Greenville. She is the age of a sophomore, but her credits set her ahead. Even though she is 20 years old and graduating from college, she has impacted the team with her leadership skills and ability to work hard on and off the field. Haro said, “I’m going to miss working and improving alongside my teammates and competing on the field.”
The midfielder, Breanna Thomas, from Carbondale, Illinois, has played an immense role on the Greenville women’s soccer team since the beginning. Thomas has started every match since her freshman year, has scored 34 career goals, and assisted her teammates 40 times. Last season, Thomas was ranked 3rd in the NCAA nation for assists. As a freshman, she was rewarded “Newcomer of the Year.” Currently, Thomas has scored 6 goals and obtained 4 assists. Her work on the Greenville University soccer team is not yet finished. However, playing soccer is not the only thing she will miss after graduating. Thomas exclaimed, “I will miss being on a team with 20 other girls and being a part of something bigger than myself.”
The midfielder, Ellie Cummins, from Bethalto, Illinois, came to Greenville looking to build her relationship with Christ. From freshman to senior year, her teammates have explained how amazed they are of how God has worked in her life. She has worked hard to get to where she is now in her relationship with God, her teammates, and on the field. Her teammates have shown appreciation for Cummins’ diligent and confident leadership skills. Cummins explained, “I learned how to love people, even when they’re crapheads and how those crapheads love so differently.”
Team manager and ex-player, Courtney Blaser, from Moline, Illinois, decided to take on a different role besides being a teammate on the soccer team. She made the decision to not entirely leave the soccer program, but to become a manager in order to stay connected with her sisters. Blaser currently plays on the Greenville women’s tennis team and has been successful in her past seasons.
Goalkeeper, Marjory Coates, from Decatur, Illinois, came to Greenville expecting to play the field. She had personally volunteered to become the goalkeeper. Coates handled her new position well and exceeded at it in every statistical manner. She has made 244 overall career saves, completed 14 shutouts, and has started 47 games. As a chemistry major with a minor in psychology, she stays busy in the classroom but finds time to dedicate to her sisters on the field.
Media by Ellie Cummins