Tag Archives: Arena

Great Lakes Wanderers Take Two in Doubleheader with Chicago Police Soccer Club

December 7, 2019
Great Lakes Wanderers vs. Chicago Police Department SC Women and Men
CedarRock Sportsplex, Cedar Springs, MI
For Immediate Release 

When most are packing away their soccer gear for the winter, The Great Lakes Wanderers Arena soccer teams are focused on the start of their seasons.  The Great Lakes Wanderers founded in 2017 by Pedro Sanchez and Joe Brefczynski enter their second full season of play with high expectations and notable additions.

The men will be competing for their second year in the PASL (Premier Arena Soccer League) the nation’s largest amateur/ semi pro arena soccer league. Looking to improve on last years 1-7 season the Men will be led by area veteran coach Mike Boogarrt and assisted by Grace Christian University Ast. Coach Josh Armstrong.  The men have spent more time preparing for the season competing early in exhibitions against local teams, the Chicago PD Soccer club and a pre-season tournament in Chicago. 

The newly added GLW Women’s team will start their history as Michigan’s first women’s arena team playing exhibition games and a provisional schedule in the PASL’s newly formed women’s division. At the helm of women, Joe Brefczynski and Art Dorsey of the West MI Storm soccer club will share the head coaching responsibilities. They are aided by another Grace Christian Assistant Sean Wilson.  After a couple local exhibitions, the women’s first test was the Dec 7th match vs. the Women’s team from the Chicago PD. 

The Women’s team kicked off the season for the Wanderers with authority. The team featuring HS, College and post graduate women from all over west Michigan scored and scored often in their first contest against the Chicago PD women’s SC.  8 different goal scorers would combine for the 13-4 win over the CPD. Leading the way was former Jenison Standout Lindsay Furness with a hat trick and multiple goal games from several other players including Cedar Springs HS defender Maggie Prins with 2. The goal was firmly protected by Cornerstone University’s Mikayla Johnson with many multiples save efforts. Madison Fett of Fruitport and West MI Storm came into goal and closed out the night with 11 saves of her own. The decisive victory sets the tone for what looks to be a strong inaugural season for the Wanderers Women. 

The Tradition of the Heroes night battle between the Wanderers Men and Chicago PD men’s team entered it’s second year with GLW looking to avenge last years reserve team loss to the CPD. Lead by last years returning captain and SCOR soccer club staff coach Jesse Salazar, the Wanderers would dominate a physical battle for the ball and bragging rights. Former GRFC and BIH standout Anes Suhonic controlled the middle of the field and directed traffic up and down the field. Former Sparta HS goalkeeper Levi Pant came up huge multiple times keeping the score line tight and lead the team to the first home win in GLW history.

Both the Men’s and Women’s Great Lakes Wanderers Arena teams will return home after the holiday on January 4th. Gates will open at 5:30pm at the Cedar Rock Sports plex for fast paced, hard hitting, end to end excitement! 

For more information regarding the Great Lakes Wanderers Contact: 

Joe Brefczynski ( co-founder/coach) 
616-802-0401  BrefczynskiJ@gmail.com                             
Pedro Sanchez ( co-founder/President) 
616-204-4580 Pedro@greatlakesWFC.com

Great Lakes Wanderers Add Women’s Soccer Club Heading into 2019 Season

It was 2015 and the small town of Cedar Springs, MI was rocked, as local family, Brian and Kim Ricker, discovered that their son, Brison, had been diagnosed with cancer. Brison, 15 at the time, was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and given an estimated 9 months to live. Just 11 months into their journey with Brison, the Rickers were dealt another blow as their youngest son, Preston, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The family created Team Rickerstrong on Facebook to request prayer and share information with the community of over 16,000 followers that rallied to support them in various ways.

Medical costs and other financial stresses were piling up and community members looked for ways that they could help shoulder some of that burden. Brison and the Rickers, known as avid soccer fan in the Cedar Springs community, were approached about putting on charity soccer matches at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex to help raise money in support of their fight and the first annual charity soccer match took place in the spring of 2017.

The event included an evening full of excellent soccer on the indoor pitch and even provided fun halftime entertainment in a successful effort that brought community members together in support of their neighbors.

Later that year, Brison Ricker ended his nearly 2 year battle with cancer just before Christmas on December 23, 2017.

As Preston’s recovery from his diagnosis continued, so too did the community spirit to help the Rickers and others like them in their battles with cancer and follow-up charity matches have continued in spring 2018 & 2019.

In late 2018, the idea was had to create a full time team in the Cedar Springs community, known as the Great Lakes Wanderers, that would play home games at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex and participate in the Premier Arena Soccer League.

The team would be comprised of players from across the talent-rich West Michigan landscape. The PASL was eager to add the Wanderers to their roster of talented indoor teams and put them on an accelerated schedule, which provided them to participate long before ownership had ever thought possible.

The Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL), part of the American Association of Soccer 567 (5 player, 6 player and 7 player), gave the Wanderers established clubs to test themselves against and the opportunity to earn a bid in the post-season for a chance to play for a national championship in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Wanderers play with 5 fielders and a goalie with rules, speed of play and contact that mimic hockey, a fitting choice as the team play on a field that matches the standard hockey rink size.

The annual charity game is still at the heart of the team and the Wanderers concluded their third annual charity matches this past spring.

From the outset, the plan had always been to partner the men’s team with a women’s club, but the accelerated schedule before the ’18-19 season required them to put that on hold. However, ownership was hard at work and the ’19-20 season will mark the inaugural outing for the women’s team.

Both clubs plays their season from December to March and have recently been undergoing competitive tryout processes for the upcoming indoor schedule.

The Wanderers have also displayed their eagerness to support soccer development in the area by establishing youth programs under the Wanderer shield and helping to prepare a local men’s team to compete towards qualifying in the upcoming US Open Cup in the US Arena League this September.

The second day of tryouts take place this evening at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex from 6pm to 9pm for those interested in earning a spot on this year’s squads.

For ticket, tryout or other information, contact the club at their Website or Facebook. The team can also be followed on Instagram.