Green Bay Glory has seen strong support in its inaugural WPSL season. [Green Bay Glory]
With the WPSL playoffs beginning next week, a small minority of elite teams are preparing for postseason play, the others are getting ready for the offseason.
For many programs, competing for a playoff spot serves as a litmus test for a successful campaign.
In Green Bay, the Glory have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention due to an undefeated season from Midwest Conference perennial power Chicago Red Stars Reserves. Yet for anyone who has followed the Glory, it would be impossible not to deem their debut a success.
The Glory played its final home game June 27 in front of a raucous crowd at Aldo Santaga Stadium. The team put on an inspired display, dominating the visiting Indy Saints FC en route to a lopsided 4-0 win.
Predictably enough, the Glory’s star offensive threat Jacqueline Mielke led the way leading off the scoring spree in the 17th minute. After Monica Majeski scored a header goal off a strong cross from Morgan Reinhard, Mielke tallied again in the 21st minute, to put the Glory ahead by three goals in just over four minutes.
In her debut WPSL season, Mielke has been a revelation for the Glory, notching four goals with a match remaining at Milwaukee Torrent on Saturday. Mielke was previously a star forward for the Michigan Tech University Huskies, consistently leading the team in points, goals, and game winning goals.
Despite her achievements, Mielke has been just one small part of a program that has completely turned around after struggling out of the gate. The Glory began the season by limping to a 1-3 record but have since won three of its past five as it sits with 12 points entering the season finale.
The turnaround can be attributed to a number of adjustments made by the players, with the help of coach Chad Johnson. Most notably, the team has ramped up its defensive intensity. During the past five games, the team has only conceded five goals.
The team has been led by a pair of fantastic goalkeepers. Sarah Klimisch leads the team in goals against average, while Ashley LeCount has made a number of game-saving saves throughout the season.
Fittingly, the Glory will match up against instate rivals Milwaukee Torrent in their final match of the year Saturday.
Despite not playing in the postseason, the Glory have built a lasting culture founded on character and community. Executive director Kerry Geocaris has led the team through a number of off-field events showcasing the importance of giving back to the community that supports them.
It is safe to say the Glory have found a home in Green Bay.