A new season, a new field and a new coach.
The girls soccer team will be the first team to utilize the new turf playing surface at Pacific. The Lady Indians will have a new head coach when they do — Dana Kelm.
“I am very excited in the new direction we are taking the program,” Kelm said. “This season we will work hard on individual skills, while focusing on how to play as one team. We will strive to continuously improve over the season, using every game to prepare for districts. Our varsity team consists of veteran senior players and strong freshman, who are the future of the program.”
Kelm comes to the Lady Indians with previous experience coaching club and recreational teams for eight years.
“I am an USYSA certified coach since 2013,” Kelm said. “I began playing soccer at age 4 and I continue to play as an adult. Besides being a soccer player and coach, I have also (refereed) for the last four years for various soccer associations throughout St. Louis. I am a Liverpool supporter and I love their mantra of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’”
Assisting Kelm will be Coaches Danny Missey and Chris Fuchs.
A total of 33 players came out for Pacific teams this spring, 17 of which will play for the varsity and 16 for the JV.
While those who accounted for many of Pacific’s goals during last spring’s 9-13 record have been lost to graduation, Pacific does return a pair of senior starters in Maddie King (four goals, six assists in 2018) and Corynn Boyer (one goal, six assists).
Of the returning players, junior Abby Layton had the most scoring success last season with six goals and six assists.
Among the new faces stepping into varsity roles right away will be freshman goalkeeper Emmaline Steel and a trio of freshman midfielders — Caitlyn Snider, Hailey Folta and Mallory Steele.
“We are using a different formation that many of the girls have never used so we are spending a lot of time developing this,” Kelm said. “Our depth lies in the midfield and our back line is partially strong, with senior Corynn Boyer and freshman Emmaline Steel commanding the players from the net. The various midfielders will need more focused development, but again this is an evolving process throughout the season.”
With the new turf field in place, Pacific will host the Class 3 District 9 Tournament against Union, Washington and St. Francis Borgia Regional.
“Union, they have a strong team and we want to improve our record with them,” Kelm said. “The last few years we have struggled against them. Washington and Borgia are also teams that we have a rivalry with who are in our (district). It is all about getting better as the season progresses and not losing games because of blowouts.”
Pacific will kick off the season Monday at home against Owensville in Four Rivers Conference play at 5 p.m.