We sat down and spoke with Women’s Head Soccer Coach Mike Regan, who is returning over 77 percent of his scoring production from last season.
Who should we be looking out for this year? Who do you expect the standout players on the squad to be?
We’ve got a lot of players. I’m curious to see how we we do this year. We’ve worked extremely hard since January on and off the field in terms of how we want this program to look and feel. Going back to the personnel, I think we’ve got three very strong goalkeepers with different levels of experience. We’ve got the 25-person roster and 20 returners. There’s a lot good leadership. I’m really excited to get our two captains, Paige Goaley and Dani Stuber, back. Their leadership is great. Payton Jo Armijo, Kelsey Kallio, Elana Webber, Lavin Douglass, I could go on and on— there are a lot of returning players that we’re excited about and a lot of players that have got some good experience under their belt now.
You said that over the offseason you’ve been working really hard off the field and on the field about developing the program. I have to imagine there are some new things that you’re trying out and working on.
On the field, we put in a new system and a new formation. That gave us a great opportunity to break everything down and work on how we want everything to look. Whenever you can do that with so many returning players and you get to this time of the year, it’s just about reviewing and sharpening and moving on. That’s been exciting.
Also in the offseason, we had a foreign tour. We went to England over spring break. That was such a great experience that we’re very blessed to have. It allowed us to bond as a team and take care of each other in another country. We played games over there as well. It was just a fantastic, you know, time.
Culturally I feel very good about where we’re at. I feel like we have 25 young ladies, heading down the same lane which is important. It has been a great offseason. The girls worked really hard in the summer to come back ready.
What were some of the highlights from that foreign trip for you and the girls?
We were there for a week and everything from the experience of being together as a group in another country to playing different opponents to going to professional games to sightseeing and having families with this there as well. It’s the first one I’ve done as a coach anywhere and it just it brought a smile to me now just because of everything we did and how cool it was. I think this will end up being a big thing for us culturally and moving forward.
Can you tell our readers about this year’s freshman class?
We’ve got four freshman and one transfer, Madalyn Grate who’s a Minnesota kid that transferred from Memphis. So we’ve got five newcomers. Unfortunately one of the kids, Izzy Smith, has picked up a knee injury and we will not see her this fall.
Another one of the recruits is Payton Mulberry who’s a goalkeeper and a very talented kid out of Colorado. Then there’s Devon Kavanagh who is going to be a nice player for us out of Vancouver, Canada. Then we have Cadence Kline out of Colorado as well.
It’s been a smaller class than what we’ve had in the past but based on our numbers returning, we didn’t need big numbers moving forward. Payton is a talented goalkeeper and she’s definitely going to push to play this season. Cadence has had a very good preseason so far. She’s a very coachable kid and is very committed. Devon is more of an attacking player that will offer us something a little bit different. Every freshman takes some time just to come into it, but we’ve been pleased with what we’ve seen so far.
How are you hoping the team grows coming off of last season? What are you looking at?
I’d be the first to tell anyone that last fall was very disappointing for everyone and very disappointing in a lot of ways, not just the number of wins on the field, but just the manner in which we lost games and so forth. As one of the leaders of the program, it was important to, flip things and when we feel like culturally we’ve done that. Time will tell where that leaves us on the field with results. But I just feel good about the group I have and I feel excited about the progress we’ve made and how we are evolving. That’s all we can ask for and hopefully that hard work and resiliency will help us win games and put us in positions to compete.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
We really appreciate Bison Nation’s support. I think as a nonrevenue sport, I definitely feel and appreciate everything that goes into being a bison fan. We’re working hard to put a product on the field that they can be proud of.
Come out and watch us play. The games are free. We appreciate the pride and everything that Bison Nation does to support us.