Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

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Women’s soccer: New head coach on the horizon

The+Altra+Federal+Credit+Union+Stadium%2C+home+of+the+Warriors
Hayley Niewohner
The Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium, home of the Warriors

Winona State University’s athletics department announced a change in the women’s head soccer coach on Jan 8,.2024, and has begun an ongoing search for someone to take the vacant position.

“I’m looking forward to a new coach in hopes that we will have somebody who is as committed to the team as we are and help us compete at the higher standard that we have set for not only ourselves but our entire team,” Lexie Lyden, a first-year forward/defense player said.

Lyden also expressed that sitting at an overall 3-7-7, Lyden felt her first season at Winona State was cut short.

“I think our previous coach cared about our mental and physical health a lot which helped us on and off the field,” Lyden said.

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Winona State Women’s soccer team ended last season with a win against Wayne State College using the help of previous head soccer coach Jill Leibforth.

Leibforth was named the women’s soccer coach at Winona State in January of 2023 after having been a part of the university’s staff since 2022.

With one season as head coach accomplished at Winona State, Leibforth has stepped down from the position, accepting a new position at Kalamazoo College. This left the position open for the Warriors for next season.

Eric Schoh, the director of athletics at Winona State answered some questions regarding the process of hiring a new coach and the expectations that the university has for a new hire.

“We will conduct a national search to find Jill’s replacement,” Schoh said. “We will do so within the requirements/guidelines of WSU and the MinnState system.” He went on to say that they are realistically looking at March for a start date for a new head coach.

With the role of assistant coach, Joe Davis has taken over the role while the search is being conducted. He is to conduct the typical daily workouts and training sessions that the team is used to.

Davis has been working with the women’s soccer team as of August 2022 and was assigned a full-time assistant coach in June of 2023.

The team reflects fondly on the assistant coach’s hard work, noting how diligent he is in ensuring that the girls are always doing their best work both on and off the field and improving with every practice.

Reflecting on last season, Lyden hopes a new head coach will bring together the team’s dynamic.

“I feel that our team had such a high work ethic that was unbeatable, and we let our teammates compete individually and not as a team,” Lyden said.

With the 2023 season being Lyden’s first season at Winona State she feels committed and determined for her upcoming seasons.

With a change in coaching, the Warriors have a fresh start for the upcoming season. They will have the opportunity to gain a new perspective from a new leader and work on their overall dynamic as a team. Fans can expect more news regarding the coaching shift soon.

“I hope that our upcoming seasons are filled with a positive and supportive atmosphere. This aspect will build our team’s confidence.” Lyden .

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About the Contributors
Riley Beckman, Sports writer and Photographer

Riley Beckman, (she/her/hers) is a second year student at Winona State. She did classes at Anoka Ramsey before transferring here in the fall of 2022. Her major is Creative Digital Media, and my minor is Film.

Outside of school, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and photography. She also loves going on long walks and listening to music. She enjoys making playlists for her family and friends, it's her love language.

Hayley Niewohner, Sports Photographer
Hayley Niewohner (She/her/hers) is a Sports Photographer for the Winonan and started in the fall of 2023. Niewohner is a first year at Winona State University majoring in Nursing. This is Niewohner's first year in anything for publication, but she has many years of experience taking pictures during sporting events in high school.
In addition to working for the Winonan, Niewohner is a Desk Assistant in Sheehan hall.
Outside of the Winonan, Niewohner loves spending time with friends outdoors, lifting in the gym, trying out local coffee shops, going to concerts, and watching sporting events. She also enjoys cooking, making chocolate, and doodling.

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