UMPI Owls Women’s Soccer: New Coach, Fresh Style, and Determination for Success

Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - UMPI Owls Women’s soccer, guided by Head Coach Colby Phillips, embraces a new season with determination for success amid a smaller team and revamped coaching style.

Alexis Ireland, UMPI Senior- Striker:” I feel pretty strongly. Obviously, things are a little different this year and we’ve had to adjust to each other and to coach coming in but I feel pretty strong, i feel like we’re going to shock some people with our style and I’m looking forward to it”.

Alexis Rodriguez, UMPI Senior- Forward:” We really want to not be the underdog like we have been in the past seasons, we want to be able to have other teams be like Holy UMPI’s a competitor, not just someone we can overpower”.

The Lady Owls return, aiming to capitalize on last season’s success—finishing above .500 with the conference’s lowest goals against average. Guided by new Head Coach Colby Phillips, boasting 12 years of coaching experience from Alabama, the team gains fresh perspectives and game insights, as noted by players.

Amelia Ivey, UMPI Senior- Defender:” He’s from out of state, so he definitely brings a different perspective. and he’s incredibly smart, has been doing a lot of work on our statistics and kind of telling us how good we are and what we need to improve on”.

Coach Phillips envisions an aggressive high-press approach, akin to basketball, to limit opponents’ ball movement. This tactic emphasizes conditioning and fitness.

Colby Phillips, Head Coach Women’s Soccer:” We do a lot of back and forth from running, getting our fitness, getting our recovery, that’s a real big thing. Can you sprint, and then can you do it again , and then can you do it again, and then can you do it again; which is tough but the girls have all come out and i think some of them have surprised themselves with their fitness levels and how well they’ve been doing, they definitely hit my targets for them and even exceeded it. This is a new system for them, its a new way of thinking about the game just in general, and they’ve done a great job of really buying into it and helping me kind of coach it to the rest of them”.

A central team strength emphasized by all members is their strong bond.

Alexis Rodriguez:” we want to improve more as a team rather then be like a star player. We definitely want to help others improve as well so I think that’s a really strong asset we have

Amelia Ivey:” I really think just how connected we are , its a small school, everyone knows everyone so outside of even sports we do literally everything together”.

Colby Phillips:” you can’t, I can’t like oversell that enough, that’s huge in any sport, a workplace, a family environment, anything, you have a group that’s bonded together, that has the same goals, their going to work and their going to work for each other and their going to be selfless in their running, their going to run for each other. So matter what i did, what i do, what we do as a team, they have that and that is fantastic”.

Coach Phillips emphasizes senior leadership’s crucial role. He aims to nurture bonds, sustain success, and recruit players who share the team’s commitment. Additionally, the Owls benefit from 6 out of their initial 10 games being home matches.

Jonathon Eigenmann, newssource sports