Glory end home schedule in style
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Glory women’s soccer team finished out its 2019 home schedule in style.
Behind a quick scoring barrage in the first half, the Glory defeated Indy FC 4-0 in a Premier Soccer League game on the campus of UW-Green Bay.
Green Bay still has two remaining road games June 30 and July 6.
“It was a great way to end our home schedule for the year,” said Green Bay head coach Chad Johnson. “The girls played a great game overall in front of our loyal fans. For them to brave the weather as they did, it shows what type of following we have. I heard there were like 50 people waiting at the gate to get into the stadium, all while it was raining.”
Jaci Mielke (Michigan Tech) scored the first Glory goal in the 18th minute, and that was followed up by Monica Majeski’s (St. Cloud State) tally shortly thereafter in the 19th minute.
Mielke scored her second goal of the first half seconds later to put Green Bay up 3-0 in a 90-second span.
“We have a large roster in this league,” Johnson said. “We struggled a little bit early in the game, but then we put three new players in at the midfield and a fourth on the outside with Grace Taylor. Grace hasn’t dressed in a lot of games for us this year, but in a situation like this when she was given the opportunity, she capitalized. She showed her speed.”
Taylor, a recent Green Bay Preble graduate who is committed to playing at UWGB, had two assists on the evening.
“We have a Facebook group chat with our team, and that was blowing up at 5 a.m. [Thursday] morning,” Mielke laughed. “We were so hyped and ready to go. We wanted to play for our fans – they’ve been amazing. We knew this was the last time they could see us this season.”
Caitlin Hawley (Cardinal Stritch) ended the scoring for the Glory in the 80th minute.
Morgan Reinhard and Shannon Becker also had assists on the night for Green Bay, while goalies Sara Klimish and Ashley LeCount combined for the shutout.
The Glory outshot the Saints 11-4.
Even more important than the dominating win for the Glory, was the progress it made throughout the year and the impact it made on the community.
“It was much deeper than soccer,” Johnson said. “We tried to be active in the community, so it was a beautiful thing to be a part of the Glory this season.”
Johnson said the girls met with a 100-year-old former goalkeeper in one instance.
“They put a goalie jersey on him, gave him goalie gloves and then bought him a soccer ball that floated on the floor and played soccer with him for a while,” he said. “We also worked with the youth a lot. We did a lot of fun things and tried to give back to the community.”
Johnson also gave credit to the fan base that showed up all season.
“I can tell you, every time we went on the road this year, there wasn’t another team that provided us the atmosphere we have here to play in,” he said. “Our stands were full every game. We got compliments all the time from visiting teams on what a nice facility we get to play in. UWGB bent over backward to let us use their facility. I wrote out 85 thank you cards to our sponsors as well. The support was tremendous.”
From a player’s perspective, it couldn’t have gone much better in the Glory’s inaugural season.
“We had a decent first year,” Mielke added. “It’s a baseline for next year – now we know what we have to do to keep moving this team forward. It was unreal that the team happened to begin with. I remember when I moved back to Green Bay after college, I figured I was done playing soccer, and then, boom, there it was.”
Even though the season went well, Johnson feels there can always be improvements.
“We need to focus on where the Glory is now,” he said. “That’s why the team has been so successful – we can’t look 12 months from now. The first year is about building a family, and the second year you can add to that family a little bit. As a coaching staff, I think we will be more aggressive in terms of fitness next season, knowing the players right away and what they are capable of instead of learning as the season goes on. You have to win your home games and then go on the road and get results.”