The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Golden Eagles find familial connection in offseason

Senior forward Alexa Maletis was one of five Marquette women’s soccer players to play for FC Milwaukee Torrent. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

The Marquette women’s soccer program calls Valley Fields home during the season, but if you drive 10 minutes east from Milwaukee to Wauwatosa, you’ll find Hart Park, home to a few Golden Eagles in the summer.

At the park plays FC Milwaukee Torrent, a club founded in 2015 where both men and women compete and stay fit during the offseason, and the team whose badge five Marquette players wore this past summer.

Although it started out with just a men’s team in 2016, it was always a part of Torrent club owner and women’s head coach Andreas Davi’s plan to add a women’s team to the mix. 

“At the beginning, I started with the men’s team because it must draw revenue,” Davi said. “There is unfortunately, right now in women’s soccer, not much revenue. It was always in my mind, but I needed to have a financial background. It was always for sure that we were going to have a women’s team.” 

Senior forward Elsi Twombly was one of the first players to be a part of the women’s team created in 2018.  

“I met Davi at a (Milwaukee) Wave game when I was in high school,” Twombly said. “I just randomly sat next to him, and he talked to me about it before it was even made.” 

In accordance with NCAA rules, only five Marquette players are allowed to play with the club each summer. 

Senior goalkeeper Mikki Easter, senior forward Alexa Maletis, junior defender Mia Haertle, sophomore midfielder Adrianna Alberts and Twombly were the five Golden Eagles that represented the team this year.

Easter, who has played with the Torrent for the past two seasons, said that the club has given her a valuable opportunity to hone her skills as a netminder.

“Personally, as a goalkeeper, you can really only get game fitness by playing games,” Easter said. “We do a lot of scrimmaging and practices. I get a lot of game reps, which is really hard to duplicate in practice. It really kept me game fit by just the amount of games we were able to play.” 

The club competes in the Women’s Premier Soccer League that boasts more than 100 teams nationwide, making it the largest women’s soccer league in the world.

Within its conference, the Golden Eagle players have faced numerous types of competition, even some of their own teammates.

“Personally, I feel like it’s more competitive,” Alberts said. “Especially because I was guarding (sophomore forward) Josie (Bieda), and Josie and I are roommates.”

In each of the two summers she has played on the team, Easter has earned a spot on the conference’s best eleven team. As for Twombly, she was named Offensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons.

“They (the Marquette players) obviously have a big impact,” Davi said. “Every year so far, if you look, you have Mikki Easter in goal, clearly the number one in goal and everybody knows that when she comes in. We don’t need to talk about Elsi. Alexa, now two years in a row, a starter. Mia hardly played last year in the fall and spring for Marquette, but she always plays for us.

“Other than Dre (Adrianna), all four are starters and there’s a reason why they’re starters. We know they’re skilled and they have a huge impact.”

After the summer season is over, Davi said he continues to follow each player in their collegiate season, as he makes an effort to be at every single Marquette home game. 

“For me, being not from here and not having much time, this for me is like family,” Davi said. “They know I’m there for them through the whole year. They know that ‘Davi is not just using us for the Torrent.’ I genuinely care for those girls and they’re going to tell you the same.”

Originally from Culpeper, Virginia, Easter said that Davi’s year-round support is something that she does not take for granted. 

“It’s been awesome, especially with that I am so far away (and) I don’t have family at the games too often,” Easter said. “To be able to have someone who comes to support gives a family aspect to Torrent, especially in the summer.” 

Above everything, Davi said that his main priority is ultimately the players and their wellbeing on and off the field.

“The girls know that I take care of them. Without those girls, I could not live my dream,” Davi said. “They know that when we travel, we travel in five-star buses. They know they get food, they get practice equipment, they get gear. They know that they go into an environment that is basically the same as their college environment.

“The girls know (that) with me, they’re allowed to make mistakes on the field. Every goal is somewhat preventable, but if you don’t give your players the freedom to make mistakes, you’re going to have a problem. I have such a bond with all those players, not only the Marquette players.”

This story was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @KaylynnWrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Kaylynn Wright
Kaylynn Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylynn Wright is a sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin studying journalism, and she is an Assistant Sports Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading and watching baseball, specifically the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. She is excited to meet new people and continue to create high-quality sports content for the Wire.

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