By: Collin Frazier
Lady Oilers looking to surpass historic season under new coach
After a historic 2019 season, the women’s soccer team was primed and ready for the next season ahead of them. Unfortunately, that came with a few bumps. Along with other sports around Oiler Nation being halted due to COVID-19, the Lady Oilers also had to part ways with Head Coach Jimmy Walker, who returned to BGSU to coach their women’s soccer team. The space Walker left was filled by Trip Rogers, who previously served as an assistant coach for Morehead State University from 2015 to 2020. New assistant head coach Kayla Walker is pleased with how quickly Rogers has adjusted to the team.
“I believe Coach Rogers has done an exceptional job stepping into the Head Coach role. His outgoing, light hearted, and generous personality has allowed him to build a great foundation of relationships with upperclassmen, newcomers, and their families,” Walker said via email. “He has really grown to love Findlay and you can tell by his daily interactions with players, staff and all that surround him how excited he is for the season to get started and to continue growing the program and working with this great group of girls!”
The Lady Oilers will not be participating in an NCAA tournament this season as they did the previous season. Nevertheless, Walker is confident that the athletes will be able to show their worth.
“We hope to again reach this goal [a successful season] and then surpass it,” Walker explained. “This spring, we unfortunately don’t have the opportunity to compete in the NCAA tournament, but we are very much looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the spring conference season! The standard of excellence has been set by our upperclassmen and the newcomers are right on board. Our players want to be successful, love to compete, and know the work that has to be put in to achieve these goals!”
Despite the last few months being uncharted territory, Walker has been amazed with the underclassmen getting ready for this season.
“The underclassmen were thrown into college in a weird year for sure. They have been extremely coachable, engaged, and all very eager to help this team and program continue to elevate its success! They love to compete and they elevate the level. I’m excited to watch them truly step into their roles more so this spring!”
Of course, as with many, the world we live in now has provided people with a chance to step up in leadership roles. The upperclassmen for the team is no exception.
“The upperclassmen have definitely stepped up and been a huge extension of us as a new staff,” Walker commented. “We are still navigating our ways so they have done a great job of ensuring the accountability aspect that comes with being a student athlete. They have shown vocal leadership but I think more than anything they are some of the hardest working players I’ve had the opportunity to coach so continuing to come and put in that day in and day out work and leading by example for the newcomers has been one of their exceptional ways of leading!”
“Personally, I am so excited! I love our team, I’m learning more and more about everyone as the weeks go on and for me that is the most important! I’m excited for us to continue pushing the standards but I’m even more excited for these young ladies to continue growing as people! I can’t wait for this conference season to get started and I’m so fortunate that I have the opportunity to be a part of something so special,” Walker said.
The Lady Oilers kick off their 2021 season March 13 at home against Malone. Game time begins at 12 p.m.
Featured photo credit: University of Findlay Women’s Soccer Facebook page.