Kristen Walker – formerly known as Kristen Eible – recently completed her third season as the Grand Valley State women’s soccer assistant coach.
In her third season as an assistant coach for the Lakers, Walker helped the Lakers to a fourth straight NCAA Division II title game, as well as the program's eighth straight Midwest Region Championship, a 12th straight GLIAC Regular Season championship and a tenth straight GLIAC Tournament title. GVSU put up some impressive statistics under Walker's guidance, leading Division II in total goals (102), assists (91) and points (295), while also ranking first in points per game (11.38) and assists per game (3.54).The Lakers finished the season 23-2-1, and had three players named NSCAA All-Americans and six selected as D2CAA All-Americans, incuding 2016 Player of the Year Gabriella Mencotti.
Walker's efforts to help her athletes in the classroom also paid dividends, as two Lakers were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, three were named NSCAA Scholar All-Americans, and Mencotti was tabbed as the NSCAA Scholar Player of the Year. As a team, the Lakers posted a 3.41 team GPA for the season.
As the assistant coach for the Lakers during the 2015 season, Walker helped the program clinch their third consecutive--and fifth overall—Division II National Championship, as well as their 11th straight GLIAC regular season title and a ninth straight GLIAC Tournament Championship. Under Walker’s guidance, GVSU compiled a 21 game win streak and finished the season with a 23-1-1 record. Additionally, the Lakers led the nation in total goals, points, assists and assists per game while shattering previous program records in those categories. As recognition for the efforts of Walker and the GVSU coaching staff, two Lakers were named NSCAA All-Americans, seven received D2CCA All-American honors and seven were recognized on GLIAC All-Conference teams, including Marti Corby and Clare Carlson, named the GLIAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.
In her first season with the Lakers, Walker guided them to a second consecutive NCAA Championship, a share of their 10th straight GLIAC regular season title and their eighth GLIAC Tournament crown in as many years. GVSU posted a 22-2-2 overall record, tying the 2008, 2009 and 2010 teams for the second-most wins in program history. The club ranked fourth or higher nationally in points, goals and assists per game. GVSU's back line also ranked seventh nationally in goals against average (0.453). By season's end, two Lakers earned NSCAA All-America honors, four were Daktronics All-Americans, two were Capital One Academic All-Americans and seven were named to the All-GLIAC Teams, including Juane Odendaal, the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Prior to her return to Allendale, Walker spent the two seasons in the NAIA ranks at Davenport University as an assistant to head coach Chris Allen. During her time with the Panthers, they went 36-6-2 overall and were 16-1-0 in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference matches. Davenport also won back-to-back WHAC Tournament and regular season titles, which it had never won prior to the 2012 season.
The Panthers made a pair of NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship appearances during Walker’s two years on staff. In 2012, Davenport was eliminated in the opening round. One year later, the Panthers defeated No. 19 Saint Ambrose (4-2) and No. 9 Cumberland (3-2, 2OT) to advance to the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinals. Fifth-ranked Westmont (Calif.) eliminated Davenport 1-0 in overtime of the quarterfinal match.
In addition to her duties with the Panthers, Walker was the head varsity girl's soccer coach at East Grand Rapids High School in 2012 and 2013. She has also been a staff coach for the Michigan Fire Juniors the past three seasons. The Grand Valley State alum was the assistant director of coaching for the girls side of the club.
The DeWitt, Michigan native is entering her second season as an assistant coach with the Michigan Olympic Development Program. She holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "C" License.
Following the conclusion of her four-year career as a player for the Lakers, Walker worked under former head coach Dave DiIanni as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2011 season. GVSU reached its third consecutive NCAA Championship match, but fell to Saint Rose.
Before the start of her coaching career, Walker was a four-time All-GLIAC First Team midfielder at Grand Valley State from 2007 through 2010.
She captained the Lakers to back-to-back NCAA Division II national titles in 2009 and 2010, helped them win four GLIAC Tournament and regular season titles and compile an 87-7-3 overall record. In the GVSU record books, Walker ranks second in games started (93), seventh in games played (96) and tied for 10th in game-winning goals (9).
Walker was an NSCAA All-Midwest Region honoree and Scholar All-America Third Team selection in 2010. As a junior, she earned All-NCAA Tournament and Offensive Most Outstanding Player honors during the Lakers’ national title run in 2009. She was voted GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2007 as well.
Walker graduated with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 2011. In 2015, she earned an MBA in strategic management from Davenport University.
Annette Stromberg recently completed her first season as an assistant coach for the Grand Valley State women's soccer team after having previously coached two seasons as a graduate assistant coach. Stromberg retained her primary duties in coaching the GVSU goalkeepers in 2016, a season in which the Lakers would post some noteworthy numbers on defense. As a unit, the goalkeepers allowed just nine goals all season and posted a save percentage of .900, recording 20 shutouts in 26 contests.
The Lakers allowed just one goal in conference play all season and posted a goals-against-average of .344, the third-best mark in Division II, all while posting a shutout percentage of .769, the second-best mark in Division II. Jennifer Steinaway posted a 23-2-1 record in goal for the Lakers, compiling 15 clean sheets under Stromberg's tutelage.
GVSU advanced to a fourth straight NCAA Division II National Championship game, won their eighth straight Midwest Regional Championship, a 12th straight GLIAC Regular season title and a 10th straight GLIAC Tournament title.
Continuing her work with the GVSU goalkeepers in the 2015 season, Stromberg guided freshman Emily Maresh to a stellar first season, posting a 19-1-1 record with 13 solo shutouts. Maresh finished the season ranked eighth national in goals against average (.476) and 10th in save percentage (.873). Maresh was named to the D2CAA All-Region First Team as well as the NSCAA Midwest Region Third Team, and earned a spot on the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team for her dominant effort in the semifinal and championship game, with the latter being a shutout. Under Stromberg’s tutelage, Maresh led all GLIAC goalkeepers in goals against average (.52), was second in save percentage (.857) and tied for second in goals allowed, with just 11 in 21 games.
Stromberg worked primarily with the GVSU goalkeepers in 2014, helping Andrea Strauss rank eighth nationally in goals against average (0.423). Strauss also etched her name into the Laker career record books, recording the fourth-lowest goals against average (0.41), fourth-highest save percentage (.883), tying for the fourth-most solo shutouts (16), posting the fifth-most wins (22) and eighth-most saves (83) in program history. Stromberg's efforts helped Strauss earn Daktronics All-Midwest Region Second Team, Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the NCAA Tournament, All-NCAA Tournament Team, All-GLIAC Honorable Mention and Capital One Academic All-American honors as well.
Prior to her arrival in Allendale, Stromberg was an assistant coach at Alma College under current Grand Valley State head coach Jeff Hosler for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Since the conclusion of her playing career, Stromberg earned a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Level 2 Goalkeeping License, United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "D" License and a USYSA National Youth License.
The North Muskegon High School product was also a staff coach with the TNT Dynamite Soccer Club and an evaluator for Michigan's ODP. In 2012-13, she helped the '99 girls club team reach the State Cup Final.
Prior to the start of her coaching career, she was a four-year varsity midfielder at Alma. During her time with the Scots, Stromberg played in 82 games and tallied 30 points.
As a sophomore in 2010, Stromberg helped Alma capture its first-ever Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular season title. The following season, she guided the Scots to the 2011 MIAA Tournament crown and the program's only NCAA Tournament berth.
Stromberg earned a bachelor's degree in integrative physiology and health science with a minor in chemistry.
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