Soccer Captain Mia Lemkuil: Team Goal Is to Win State

Emma Zankoul, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“Soccer has taught me that success does not come without hard work and dedication, and that there is always room for improvement,” said Mia Lemkuil, captain of the NDA Girls Soccer Team.

Lemkuil started playing soccer at three years old for Allouez Stampede since the sport was big in her family, and she thought it was a good way to “release some of my energy as an active kid.” 

She later joined FC Green Bay for several years and then WI United FC. She currently also plays for NDA’s team and is now the captain for two years in a row.

“I am very grateful for having this role,” said the senior. “As the captain, I am a role model for the players. I am responsible for setting the energy, encouraging them, coaching them, and, most importantly, being someone they can always come talk to.”

Lemkuil describes the team as a family who always talk and support each other. She says they have a great bond that is very unique and communicate very well.

“One thing I have learned over the past 14 years is that soccer is not an individual sport,” she added. “The best soccer teams always work as a team, so working together is super important and is something we are always working on.”

The girls practice everyday after school for one and a half to two hours. “It is definitely time consuming, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” said the senior.

Although the team is a bit smaller than usual since they lost many seniors from last year, there are many young people with serious potential, including four freshmen on the varsity team.

And despite having fewer players, the team has had a lot of success in the beginning of their season, which Lemkuil credits to Nick Browne, their “very dedicated” coach.

“Our success also comes from the hard work of every member of the team. We are serious about improving ourselves at practice while having fun at the same time,” she said.

Their goal for this season is to win state like last year. It doesn’t come easily, but it is something the girls strive to reach everyday.

“We want it more than any other talented team out there,” said Lemkuil. And even though they are a very hard working team, the sport often goes unnoticed.

“It is disheartening to see the empty stands, but I strongly encourage others to get out and attend games because we are a group of very talented girls,” she added.

The senior is looking forward to getting the gold ball for her last year playing for the team, but she also said that soccer isn’t always about the wins but the experience with lessons that come with it.

“I have faced injuries, losses, and even the devastation of losing in two state championships, but that is what constantly pushes me to improve,” said Lemkuil, who plans to attend UW-Madison in the fall.