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Soccer adjusts to new head coach

Posted on 09.30.2015

With a loss and a draw at Key Stadium, the University of Indianapolis women’s soccer team is continuing to adjust to its new program, bringing its current record to 1-5-2.

Following head coach Kiley Cirillo’s resignation after four seasons, the team was introduced to its new Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Holly Cox, in February. Cox was an assistant coach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for three seasons before coming to Indianapolis.

Cox said that the transition from SIUE to UIndy has been smooth and that taking the title of  head coach has not been as stressful as one might imagine.

“I was lucky enough at SIUE to have [had] a lot of responsibility, not only in the office but on the field as well. So the adjustment from being an assistant to a head coach hasn’t been that drastic. I take wins and losses maybe a little bit more personal[ly] now,  with it being my program,”  Cox said. “I’ve had a really great support staff here. I’ve worked closely with [Head Men’s Soccer Coach] John Higgins. I’ve been in his office a lot asking him questions. I have a few coaches that I have kept in contact with throughout my playing experience and at SIUE that I can always [get] in contact with if  I have any questions or concerns.”

Photo by Cassie Reverman

Photo by Cassie Reverman

Senior forward Lindsey Adams said that the change to a new coach has had a positive impact on the program and came at the right time.

“The change is really good for us, because for my last three years, it’s been the same thing over and over,” Adams said. “There was no change, and it was always just a losing season. So something had to come in and make a difference.  I think Holly [Cox] and Sam [Graduate Assistant Samantha Jones] are doing that, with coming in and making us run different drills in practice.  And they have us look at different motivations and they have changed our attitudes. I think we’re going to be a lot better this season.”

On Sept. 27, the Greyhounds competed against Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent Quincy University which ended in a 2-2 draw.

The first goal was scored by the Hawks at the 18th minute mark. Quincy’s goal was the lone goal of the first half. Five minutes into the start of the second half, Quincy was on the board again with a header.

The Greyhounds responded in the next minute and a half with a goal of its own. Junior forward/midfielder Elizabeth Behrends put UIndy on the board, making that her second this season.

The final goal of the second half came from UIndy’s freshman midfielder/forward Stephanie Burdsall.

UIndy faced Truman State University on Sept. 25 but fell just short, losing 1-0 to the Bulldogs. Truman’s first shot on goal turned out to be the winning goal.

In the first minute of the second half, junior back/midfielder Hannah Mangus had a chance to even the score but was stopped by the crossbar. Mangus finished with two shots, and a shot on goal.

The previous week while on the road, UIndy faced the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Sept. 20 with the game ending in a draw.

After three consecutive scoreless games, UIndy put itself on the board.

Junior forward Jocelyn Evans quickly scored in the 10th minute of the match to end the scoreless streak. It was not until the 68th minute that UMSL answered back with its own goal. Neither team could grab another to clench the win, concluding the game with a 1-1 draw.

The Tritons’ had 34 shots compared to the Greyhounds’  seven. Crenshaw had a standout performance with a career-high 14 saves, one of  which was a penalty kick.

On Friday Sept. 18, UIndy fell to the Maryville University Saints 0-1.

Both teams stayed scoreless for the majority of the match, with the first and only goal from the Saints’  senior midfielder/forward Hana McGinis in the 83rd minute. The Greyhounds did not have a single shot in the first half, but had six shots, with four of them on goal, during the second half. Junior forward Jocelyn Evans made the first attempt at the goal in the 60th minute.

Cox said the team is working on smoothing out the details on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball in every practice.

“The team has been working very hard. We’re focusing a lot on both aspects of the game. We worked a lot defensively. We need to be a little bit more solid and more compact, so we’re not giving away what we would say are cheap goals. On the other end, we have got to put the ball in the back of the net,” Cox said. “We’re creating opportunities but nothing clear cut at the moment, hence why we did stuff this week in practice to try and tie up those loose ends so we can get on the same page in the attack.”

Adams said that after almost every practice the team takes time to work on its shots, focusing on placement and finishing the shot. After six games, Adams has 11 shots on goal, but no goal yet. She said that as a senior, she realizes this is her last chance to help the Greyhounds achieve victory.

“It’s weird. I don’t feel like a senior right now, but playing these past couple of weekends has made it hit me a little bit more as time goes on,” Adams said. “It’s like, ‘Wow. I don’t have spring or another year to get on it and to win.’ So it really is like a reality check when you think about it. I’m just focusing on doing my absolute best, working harder and making the difference.”

The Greyhounds will travel to Evansville for their next matchup against the University of  Southern Indiana on Friday, Oct. 2. The game is set to start at 6 p.m.

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