WAYNE – With the fall sports season of no games for Wayne State College women’s soccer in the books, the coaching staff looks forward to what could happen in the spring and their next recruiting class.
Joe Cleary was promoted to head coach of the Wildcat women’s soccer program on March 7, 2017, becoming the ninth head coach in program history. Coach Cleary said the team took part in a 45-day period during their non-championship season of practices.
“So, we were able to practice mostly as normal throughout that 45 days,” said Cleary. “Which is really good, because we’re a pretty young team. So, having this opportunity for us to be able teach our players and give them something to do other than school has been good.”
The 2019 Wayne State women’s soccer team qualified for the NSIC Tournament for the first time since 2006, posting records of 6-9-4 overall and 6-7-2 in the NSIC.
On October 22, the WSC women’s soccer team took part in a 9 v 9 scrimmage. Team Gold defeated Team Pink, 4-1.
Coach Cleary added the staff has seen a lot of good things.
“I think the thing we have seen the most that has been a change from last year is our attack has looked better this fall than it maybe did last fall,” Cleary added. “Just in the number of players stepping up and the amount of goals we’re scoring in practice has been good.”
The Wayne State College women’s soccer pogrom also hosted a pair of camps this past fall. The August camp brought in 45 players from all over the country while a smaller camp was also held.
Coach Cleary mentioned the next step and hope for the team is that something comes together in the spring.
“As long as it comes together safety,” Cleary mentioned. “We don’t know what that’s going to look like. At the end of the day, we just want to continue to be able to go to class in person. But if we get to play some games this spring that would obviously be awesome.”
Earlier this fall, the Wayne State College women’s soccer team collected their sixth straight United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award and 10th time in program history. The award was announced in late September by the coaches’ association office in Kansas City, Missouri for the 2019-20 academic year.
The Wildcats recorded a cumulative grade point average of 3.69 during the 2019-20 academic year, ranking 12th overall in NCAA Division II and second-best in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
To qualify for the award, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year.
Of the three seniors on the WSC women’s soccer program, only one has chosen to return so far using the extra year of eligibility due to no season being played in the fall. With the incoming recruiting class, Wayne State women’s soccer could reach their max roster of 28.
Coach Cleary was also the lead for a recent fundraiser in support of Breast Cancer Awareness where nearly 400 t-shirts were sold.
“Then with the extra donations we’ve raised around $3,000 for the June E Nylen (Cancer) Center in Sioux City,” said Cleary. “Which is just awesome. So, really appreciate the help of the community and our athletic department and student-athletes really coming together for a really good cause.”
This was six-times the amount of money the women’s soccer team was able to raise last year.