Updated May 2, 2004 20:14:49
Q & A with New Louisiana Tech Head Coach Jennifer Soileau
Question and Answer With Louisiana Tech Head Coach Jennifer Soileau
Q: How did it feel when you received the call telling you that you would be Louisiana Tech's first women's soccer head coach?
A: When I received the call I was very excited about the job. I have been trying to get into college soccer for a few years now so I was excited to finally reach that goal. I know that starting a program is a lot of work, but I think I am up to the challenges that lie ahead and I am trying to keep everything into perspective.
Q: How do you think your soccer background will help you in starting a new program on the college level?
A: I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not play soccer. I feel like God put me in certain situations throughout my life to prepare me for a chance like this. When I attended Ole Miss it was a relatively new program that I was and am very proud to be a part of. I played in the first year of the WUSA again a new league and program. I feel like the experiences I have had and the contacts I have throughout the country will benefit me as I start this program.
Q: What will you be looking for in a recruit?
A: Soccer is just like any other sport when it comes to recruiting. There are many different positions that require different personalities. I am looking for great athletes, players that are technically sound, players that will be very aggressive and have a no fear attitude. I am looking for smart players that know what to do when they get the ball and have good vision all over the field. I am looking for pure goal scorers. I am looking for leaders.
Q: Do you think it will be easier to try to start a program or try to take a program over that has already been in existence. Explain.
A: Starting a program has advantages and disadvantages. I like the fact that I can start the program with players that I recruit and not have to worry about how a previous coach did things. It would be nice to have a core of players that have been through a season or two to help ease the process of having so many new faces, but I think it will all work out in the end. I think it is important to set goals for this first year and really focus on achieving them as a team.
Q: What type of goals do you have for the Louisiana Tech soccer program in its first year?
A: I want to field a good team and build a foundation to recruit from. I want to instill some pride in the program and set some standards for future classes to live up to. I want to make the players feel like they are appreciated, and help them understand what it means to play division one soccer. I hope we can come together and do some positive things on the field, but we will have to come together as a team first.
Q: You were an all-SEC performer at Ole Miss and played professionally in the Women's United Soccer Association. You've also coached at the high school and college level in Louisiana and grew up in south Louisiana. Do you think the contacts you've made at all of these places will help in building this program and how?
A: I definitely think that these contacts and experiences will help me build the program. I have many close friends that work closely with high school kids that would love to see their players go to a school like Tech. I am going to rely heavily on these contacts as I start to build the program.
Q: Obviously, soccer continues to grow in the United States. What would you tell a Louisiana Tech fan who has never seen a soccer match to get them to attend one?
A: Most people who do not like soccer or watch it say its because no one ever scores or its boring. I can tell you the last thing these games will be is boring. These female athletes have a passion for the sport and that will show in their play. The game is very physical and unpredictable which in my opinion keeps it exciting. The lack of goals makes the one scored that much more exciting. I guess I would tell someone to go out and try to play and see how hard the sport actually is, then go and watch these girls and realize how talented they are. I would also tell them to attend the game with someone who knows what is going on so they can explain it to you.
Q: What "style" of play will Louisiana Tech fans see from the Lady Techsters?
A: I like to play a possession style of soccer. I want the girls to keep the ball and work if forward under control. Eventually that is what I want to see our team play. The first year or two might be a little different depending on what type of player's come out. If we need to play more direct early in the program that will definitely be an option.