Expectations were high for the Grand Valley women’s soccer team for the 2022 season. But every successful program expects pressure alongside trophies and accolades.
The 2021 and 2019 NCAA Division II national champions — there was not a 2020 national tournament due to the pandemic — returned a stable of top performers from last year’s team.
The national consensus of the team confirmed the expectations. The United Soccer Coaches selected Grand Valley as its preseason No. 1 pick.
“There’s always going to be a target on our backs,” goalkeeper Kendall Robertson said. “We love it. We know that our preparations will keep us steady and in the direction we want to go. It’s about relying on the girl next to you.”
Robertson is one of the returning stars the team relies on to guide its newcomers and set the level of expectations that she and the rest of the Lakers are accustomed to. First-year head coach Katie Hultin said the squad has nine first-year students and three transfers.