Soccer begins season with new assistant coach, Leibforth


Contributed by: Darrell Harmon

The soccer team huddled at the University of Nebraska – Kearney game, where they won 3-0.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, Sports Editor

A good coach will make their players see what they can be rather than what they are, which is showing obvious for Warrior Soccer so far.  

Soccer has started their season with two weeks of non-conference games so far, on a surprisingly good note after finishing last season 4-12.  

Part of this is thanks to the new assistant coach, Jill Leibforth, who comes from Division III Loras College where she also played.  

“The biggest thing that Jill brought in was that we’re not here to lose,” Ashley Hewitt said. “And so, kind of looking at that mentality, that’s our goal is to go big.” 

Hewitt was named NSIC player of the week after two goals in one game during the 4-2 win against East Central University.  

Against University of Wisconsin – Parkside on Sunday, Winona State had the advantage in a lot of areas including shots (19-9), corner kicks (7-1) and possession. Unfortunately, the Rangers were able to snag a goal during the first half that ultimately led to a 1-0 game.  

Goalkeeper Alyson Jumper gained three saves during her first start of the year while freshman Grace Seim and Sarah Strating each had a few shots on the goal which were ultimately blocked by Parkside’s Kelsey Gross.  

Unfortunately, this game marks the third consecutive victory for Parkside against the Warriors since the 2018 season.  

“We’ve been shifting the culture, the last two years has been if you don’t play, then own your role on the bench and be the best you can be at that role,” Hewitt commented.  

The culture, which Hewitt said ultimately affects the result of their games more than anything, is the most important aspect to success in D2 soccer. 

Fourth-year Jaida Wiege was one of three players who found the back of the net in the Warriors’ opening game. (Contributed by: Darrell Harmon)

The team sits 2-1 currently before playing at University of Sioux Falls on Friday and Southwest Minnesota State on Sunday, with this weekend marking the beginning of conference games. 

In the 2021 season the Warriors fell 2-0 against Sioux Falls and snagged a win of 2-1 against Southwest.  

“We had a meeting earlier this year and we wrote down team goals on a whiteboard. We had different groups and we all like we’re talking about team goals. And almost every group said something involving the top four, top three, top two, conference champion,” Hewitt said about the team’s goals this season. 

Winona State’s first home game on Maxwell Field is Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. against the Minot State Beavers who they lost against 1-0 in the 2021 season.