HENRY POWERS, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
Kate Luers, Sarah Campbell and Joy Smith were all honored as Division III All-Americans on Saturday, Jan. 22 at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City, MO.
Luers, a fourth-year journalism and communications major from Middletown, IA, who played forward and midfielder this past season for the Knights, was named a third team All-American as well as third team scholar All-American. This is Luers’ second time receiving each award.
The reigning offensive MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the American Rivers Conference acknowledged how hard it is to balance academics and athletics but is proud of how she has managed that throughout her time in the program.
Luers was also very unselfish when asked to reflect on the two awards.
“I have realized how amazing my teammates are and how important the team aspect is of the game,” she said. “I am most proud of continuing to help get the team to the NCAA tournament and still being involved on campus.”
At home when the news broke, Luers immediately notified her roommates and parents.
When asked what the awards meant to her personally, she struggled coming up with much to say.
“It feels incredible to receive this honor,” she said. “There aren’t really words to describe the feeling.”
Luers compiled nine goals this season, including 19 shots on goal in her 19 games played.
Campbell, a fourth-year elementary education major from Waverly, IA, was dubbed with third team scholar All-American along with Luers.
Soccer was a sport Campbell started playing at an early age and credits her parents for being there for her and pushing her to the best of her ability.
For her, not only is soccer a break from school, but she realizes it’s a sport where her teammates are all in.
“We are one big family that goes through everything together. We push each other hard, but love each other harder,” she said. “We know how to work hard but have fun at the same time.”
When asked about receiving the award, Campbell credited her own hard work on and off the field but was also quick to acknowledge her teammates and coaching staff.
“I wouldn’t have been able to receive this honor if it weren’t for the coaching staff. They are the ones that are pushing me nonstop to be my best self,” she said. “My teammates are also written all over this award. They are the ones that train with me every single day and challenge me to be better.”
As outside midfielder and defender for the orange and black this past season, Campbell tallied five goals and four assists. She also was second on the team with 27 shots on goal.
Smith, a senior elementary education major from Polk City, IA, was presented with third team All-American honors. This was her first All-American honor.
As someone who played club and recreational soccer growing up, Smith has seen her game advance to the next level at Wartburg.
“My ability to read and understand the game has improved,” she said. “Being able to know when to pass, shoot or dribble is continually improving.”
Much like Campbell, Smith credits the hard work of her players and aid of her coaches in helping her obtain this honor. She also said her success with academics is what she’s most proud of in her time at Wartburg.
The senior, who has played in 48 career games in her tenure as a Knight, led the team with 12 goals this past season.
The three senior leaders and their accolades led the team to a 15-4-1 record this past season including their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance.