For the first time since 2008, the CSU-Pueblo women’s soccer team qualified for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs. With a 5-7-2 record, they were placed in the 6th spot in their conference and went on to compete in playoff rounds.
The women’s soccer program has gone through extensive changes in the last few years. Changes from coaching staff and playing formations to attitude adjustments and recruitment have just been a few challenges the team has had to overcome in the last year.
When former CSU-Pueblo soccer players Paul Regrutto and Erik Anderson took over the head coach and assistant coach positions, the team’s success started to gain momentum.
Before both coaches became part of the women’s program, players said the soccer team was filled with talent but drowning with negativity.
“Losing a lot of games, the lack of confidence derived from the coaching staff and team drama had taken over our team in the most negative way possible,” said Kailyn Provin, a senior women’s soccer player.
In prior years, the women’s program had a limited amount of motivation, which was only engrained in a select few players, all of whom were recruited. Regrutto and former assistant coach Amanda Deml made an effort to find focused and driven soccer players.
This year’s team is a combination of 19 new players and 15 returning players. Out of those 15 returners only 8 players saw playing action the season before, which meant team experience was at an ultimate low.
When a team is young, it is generally up to the returners to lead by action. This year’s returners had a fresh coaching staff, mindset and squad to steer the team in the direction they needed to be successful.
Regrutto also implemented a new playing formation that was focused on attacking and defensively strong. The team’s practices and fitness requirements were much more extensive than they were in prior years, making the team much stronger.
“This year’s goals were to make something of the program, to create a better soccer environment and to bring back the joy of playing soccer,” said team captain Laikyn Koss.
“And that’s exactly what we did.”