If there is one thing a coach wants from her midfielders, it’s hard work.
Michigan women’s soccer coach Debbie Rademacher found just that in sophomore Jamie Artsis.
“I just like the fact that she can run all day,” Rademacher said. “She’s not the biggest kid, but she can out-jump people. She’s just got a feisty streak in her. That’s kind of her trademark.”
Rademacher expects a lot out of the sophomore this season. Artis has to be all over the field, playing on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. She needs to win balls in the middle of the field and set up the forwards for good looks on goal.
“My goal every game is to distribute the ball to the forwards and to shoot,” Artsis said. “(I want to play) with as much intensity as possible – (to) play every game like we’re playing the best team in the nation.”
Artsis came to Michigan having experienced a lot of success on goal. The Chatsworth, Calif., native was named offensive player of the year and was the leading scorer for the Mission League in her senior year at Harvard-Westlake School. She scored three goals on 31 shots last season for the Wolverines, recording all three in a hat trick against Iowa on Sept. 26. And she put away her first of this year against Indiana on Friday.
Throughout the season, Rademacher has seen a lot of improvement in Artsis, who has been battling back from an injury she suffered early this summer.
“I think her attacking game is becoming more established and getting her comfortable taking shots and maybe (help her in) becoming more of a goal scorer for us,” Rademacher said.
Artsis has been working to improve her shot and put more power behind it, but she’s not worried about her personal goal tally.
“Of course everyone wants to score, but scoring isn’t really the issue with me,” Artsis said. “Scoring doesn’t show how you do in a game. It starts from the goalie, it goes all the way to the forwards – the whole team contributes for a goal. I just want to be there for my teammates, support them when they have the ball – feed the forwards.”
It’s that attitude that has impressed Rademacher and makes her certain that Artsis will continue to improve.
“(Artsis) has high expectations for herself,” Rademacher said. “So she’s definitely very hard on herself. That’s what keeps her going and makes her better.”
Artsis hasn’t left herself a whole lot of room for improvement. She started 21 of the Wolverines’ 22 games last season and was named to the All-Big Ten second team. But she’s still working to better herself in any way she can.
“My touch has gotten better,” Artsis said. “I have a more powerful shot. I think I can jump higher now in the air.”
As she continues to get healthier this season, Rademacher believes she will continue to be a solid anchor in the middle of the field and hopes she will gain confidence after notching that always tough first goal.
“She’s just becoming better and better,” Rademacher said. “And now she’s getting looks at the goal, and she finally put her first goal in. She’s becoming a presence out on the field. That’s what she did freshman year, and she’s just doing that more and more now.”