Women’s soccer enters new era

Photo by Jordan Brodner.

Franklin hires new head coach, replaces former coach Justin Sullivan

With a new season comes a new perspective for the women’s soccer team.

After two seasons with 16 wins and back-to-back losses in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships, the Grizzlies decided to hire first-year Head Coach Cristin Allen.

Allen previously served as an assistant coach at a variety of colleges, including DePauw University, Vanderbilt University and Goucher College. She said the biggest difference between her previous jobs and her current job is that she is now making the decisions instead of just advising on them.

“There will be more pressure, but I have a great staff behind me to help make decisions,” Allen said.

Allen has already thought about her plan to win games against Franklin’s HCAC competitors like Hanover College and to win the conference title.

“Instead of focusing on the wins and the losses, we want to focus on building chemistry, and the results will come,” Allen said.

Senior Bret Roberts runs a drill down the field during the team’s 5 a.m. practice. The forward will be a key leader on this year’s team. Photo by Jordan Brodner.

Assistant Coach Kendall Paris, who has worked with the team prior to Allen’s arrival, said Allen has transitioned well into her new role.

Allen is not alone in transitioning into her new role. The players, old and new, are also working through the transition process of playing for a new head coach.

Junior forward Maddie Fleet, who led the National Collegiate Athletic Association with 67 goals, says that transitioning to a new coach has its challenges but is an exciting time for the team.

Freshman players are also facing an additional transition process because they are coming into a game that is much different than what they are used to.

Freshman midfielder Baylee Giesting agreed, saying she has had to adjust her game from the high school level.

“Getting used to the whole team and the general atmosphere of college sports was a big adjustment,” Giesting said.

The Grizzlies are currently 1-1 this season with Fleet leading the season with five points.

Sophomore forward Taylor McDaniel has two points and senior midfielders Kelsey Brunsman and Jillian Lawrence each have one point.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lexi Short has a .882 save percentage in two games with one shutout last Sunday against Thomas More College.

Allen and the Grizzlies will be back in action Tuesday at home against DePauw University at 7 p.m.

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About Brandon Barger 3 Articles
Brandon Barger is a sports writer for The Franklin majoring in multimedia journalism. He enjoys playing video games, reading, and watching sporting events His dream is to work at NBC Sports and become a broadcaster at the Olympics, preferably the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games, and at the Super Bowl, hopefully at one the Colts are playing in. This is Brandon's first year on The Franklin staff.

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