As the season progresses for the Forester soccer program, two individuals–sophomore Ryan Pickup and freshman Paige Coolman– have stepped up in pacing their respective teams.
Pickup has been a key contributor to the offensive flank on the men’s team. With multiple scoring opportunities in the close 2-1 loss to Siena Heights University Sept. 13, persistence paid off as he finally found his rhythm, scoring twice in the final minutes against Manchester University Sept. 17 to help his team claim the win.
Captain Tyson Kalischuk praised Pickup’s hustle in recent games.
“He’s been working really hard,” Kalischuk said. “He runs everywhere, and he really brought some momentum. He put a lot of effort in.”
Pickup plays a critical role in head coach Russ Lawson’s redesigned offensive line as a forward. Lawson has been pleased with the results of this shuffling.
“With the guys coming into the lineup, they’ve been showing well and definitely earned their minutes,” Lawson said. “I thought they performed well. We were versatile in our attack so we weren’t just one-dimensional.”
Meanwhile, newcomer Coolman has made her presence known as she leads the Lady Foresters in goal. In an overtime thriller against Indiana Tech, Coolman registered twelve saves. Coolman currently leads the Crossroads League with an average of seven saves per game while totaling 49 saves for the season thus far.
Women’s head coach Chris Tillett praised Coolman’s abilities and contribution to the team.
“It’s tough for any goalkeeper, regardless of her [age], and she’s getting some lessons as we go,” he said. “She’s done a good job. She’s a good player.”
Coolman credits the team for their support, especially the other goalkeepers on the team who push her while competing for the starting position.
“It’s hard when it’s a lot of goalkeepers competing for one spot,” she said. “We all push each other. It’s great. I love this team and I’m so glad that I chose to be on this team. It’s amazing. Everyone supports each other and loves each other on and off the field.”