Another season of WU Soccer is upon us, and this time around the Ichabods are missing recently graduated seniors Kate Combs, Lexi Barton, Michelle Keleher, Sophia Sabala and Cadence Bourne from the roster.
These seniors were a crucial part to the team last season, but there are now new faces on the roster ready to take the field. In fact, there are nine signees from former head coach Jamie Hutchison that are prepared to play under the watch of new head coach Davy Phillips.
After achieving a record exactly at .500 last season at 9-9-1 and exiting the first round of the MIAA conference tournament, the Ichabods are looking to improve by a wide margin with hopeful new head coach Davy Phillips. Phillips has an impressive resume to back up his first season with the Ichabods.
Phillips holds a record of 44-14-6 over the course of three seasons with various teams, and was the NSCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2016, per wusports.com.
In his most recent season with the Baker University Wildcats, Phillips achieved a record of 17-4-3 and lead the Wildcats to their second ever appearance in the NAIA national semifinal. This added on to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the 2015 season for the Wildcats.
Phillips now brings his impressive coaching skills to Washburn University, coaching newcomers and returning players alike. The nine signees by former head coach Jamie Hutchinson are Whitney Bockover, Paige Ledesma, Tera Lynch, Jasmine Palmer, Saige Peebler, Haley Schroeder, Kati Sneegas, Maddie Stringer and Jenna Shortridge.
“This is a fantastic group and it is pretty well balanced,” said Phillips. “We have only been training for four days now, so it is relatively early in the process, but Mackenzie Heiman has been doing a great job, Presley Wiggins has been fantastic, Morgan El-Attrache is good, as well as Paige Swanson, Olivia Grasso and Emily Stauffer.”
It can be challenging at times for returning players to adapt to a new head coach in the midst of their athletic careers, but Phillips says it has been a smooth transition in with the team.
“They have done a really good job of approaching training camp with an open mind and working really hard, and just setting an example for some of the younger players, including some freshman that look to make a difference,” Phillips said.
Now, WU Soccer gets ready to begin its season at home against Upper Iowa University on Aug. 31 at 5:45 p.m. Last season, the Ichabods faced the Peacocks in Marshall, Minnesota for the SMSU Mustang Classic in their season opener and recorded a loss in a 2-1 game.
Looking for revenge, the Ichabods should have new life with new improvements all across the team.
“Hopefully it’s an exciting brand of soccer,” Phillips stated.
WU Soccer fans are also encouraged to attend their scrimmage on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. in Rolla, Missouri, which will kick off their season. The team will face the Missouri S&T Miners.