Prior to the 2019 season, the University of Indianapolis Women’s Soccer team was predicted to finish 10th in the GLVC, according to UIndy Athletics. Now, after six straight wins to end the regular season, the team is ranked second in the GLVC and 25th in all of Division II.
Head Coach Holly Cox said that she wasn’t surprised by their low ranking in the preseason poll.
“I typically understand the preseason poll ranking. Last year we finished ninth in season. I’m not expecting us to be picked first or second [in the GLVC],” Cox said. “But the nice thing is, you know the ability of the team coming back, you know the ability of team in preparation through preseason. And the nice thing about this season is that they’ve shown their ability in games.”
This is the first year that the team has made it into the national rankings with Cox as head coach for her first head coaching job. She took over as head coach in 2015.
Cox said that the team has worked extremely hard and deserves to be where they are. Senior midfielder and back Alyse Dutcher said that it feels like there is a target on the team’s back now.
“It’s incredible,” Dutcher said. “It’s honestly something we’ve worked for so long and it just kind of puts us at, almost like a target on our back because we finally have gotten ranked and we’re finally getting the exposure that we worked for all season.”
Last season, the team finished the year 9-7-2 and just missed the playoffs. Now heading into the playoffs the team is 13-3-1. Cox said the biggest change has been the chemistry of the team.
“[The biggest change has been] team chemistry and team culture, it’s always been moving in the right direction, but this year all the pieces kind of fell together, [the] culture within the team [and] the players,” Cox said. “I have a really awesome coaching staff as well who have really come in and made an impact right away.”
Senior midfielder Amanda Meyer said that the team has felt more like a family this season and that everyone works well together. Meyer, who is one of the team captains along with Dutcher and junior back Dana Youssef, said that the team is unlike any she has played on because of the culture.
Cox said the leadership from the captains and the seniors has really helped the culture of the team.
“They have really stepped up this season, as captains and really led this team. It’s been very impressive,” Cox said. “…it’s nice that we hold our ladies accountable, but it’s nice when they hold each other accountable when they are sending the same message.”
Cox said that this group of seniors has a special place in her heart due to them being her first recruiting class as a Greyhound.
Dutcher said that this year, everyone on the team is really connected and bonds well.
“I think a lot to do has with just the culture of the team and how different, definitely the leadership and different coaching staff,” Dutcher said. “And I just think that everyone just is more of a family this year and we’re really connected and we just kind of bond and connect better than last year.”