Mark Olson is now the official head coach of the McPherson College women’s soccer team after being Doug Quint’s top assistant.
Quint is now concentrating solely on the men’s team, which allows Olson to put his own personal stamp on the program.
The Bulldogs mixed in their players with some alumni on Saturday for a scrimmage, giving him his first real look under what could be considered game conditions.
“It was fun to see the players who have worked so hard this last week finally get a chance to get on the field and play,” Olson said. “I thought we played well defensively as that was our focus this last week in training.”
The Bulldogs are picked to finish fifth in the 12-member KCAC.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Olson said. “This time of year, with only a few weeks of training, we are rushed to implement a style of play with so many new players. Defensively we are solid. We need to put in some work on the attacking side of the ball this week.”
There are a number of players who stepped up and established their presence.
“I have been very impressed with the play of Danielle Kakebeen, who returns to us for her senior year,” Olson said. “Ana Guerrero has also stepped up in a leadership role for the team as she returns for her senior year. I'm very excited about our goalkeeper Christie Silber, who is a freshman this year.”
The team is coming together in a hurry.
“I thought the first week went well,” Olson said. “All of the players came in ready to compete. The chemistry between the returners and incoming players blended well.”
Mac opens its season playing two games in Denver, taking on St. Thomas University of Florida on Aug. 26 and then Johnson and Wales on Aug. 28. The home opener is Sept. 2 against Avila.