UK Women's Soccer Spring Update

April 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY – With change in any program you can expect highs and lows and bumps in the road. However, things are looking up for the UK women's soccer program just a few months into the Jon Lipsitz era.

“Everything we're asking of these young players has been totally embraced and they're having a lot of fun doing it,” said assistant coach Michelle Rayner. “They're treating each other with respect and know we're one big family and we're in this together.”

Transition of any kind can be difficult; however, the new coaching staff hit the ground running.

“Throughout the past couple of months in our spring season the players are learning very quickly the expectations required of them along with the changes we're implementing,” said Rayner. “We feel they're learning more about the game than ever before,” said Rayner.

“It's not just about running drills/exercises, etc… within training, it's a lot more attention to small details that win games-details that make the necessary difference. It's about the players understanding why we ask them to do something – so it makes sense to them.”

The coaching staff feels this is the biggest challenge they're implementing and give all the credit to the team who is eager to learn, asking questions and taking advantage of the new learning environment.

“With the few spring games we've played to this date, you can see them taking what we teach them in training and attempting to implement this in the games we've played,” said Rayner. “Organization is a critical component within our style of play and this is one area on the defensive side of the game that we've seen a lot of improvement and understanding. Admittedly so far this spring we've really focused our attention to defending, both individually and how we do so within the system that we will play.”

The Wildcats are learning everyday and most importantly, absorbing and understanding what's required of them on a daily basis.

“They come to work every day (24/7),” said Rayner. “But they continue to have positive attitudes and have fun both in the weight room and on the field. The work rate they're giving each day is full credit to them.”

The Wildcats have two games left in their spring season beginning with a Sunday match in Dayton against the Flyers. UK closes out the spring season at home against Miami (OH) on Saturday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m. at the UK Soccer Complex.