Coach’s Candor


Editor’s note: Lang Wedemeyer enters his 11th season as SDSU head soccer coach in 2011. We caught up with him to discuss the offseason, the Jacks’ schedule and the outlook for the year.

Q. How has the offseason training gone for your team in preparation for the 2011 season?

A. The spring season is going very well. The girls have worked extremely hard and they’ve lifting and running and doing all kinds of agility work with our strength and conditioning coaches. We’ve been training for a long period of time this winter, four or five mornings a week, before classes start and have had some good results in scrimmages so far.

Q. Talk about your 2011 recruiting class. It’s a small one but what do you foresee those players bringing to the team?

A. We’ve got a good mix of personality and we’ve got some kids who are really versatile and can play in a lot of positions. We’re hopeful that we’ll have a couple more recruits to announce here, as soon as we get the paperwork done. We’re excited about the people we anticipate adding to the recruiting class, as well.

Q. Your team brings back Cori Bonte, Kayla Braffet, Kelsey Ferguson, Steph Peterson on defense. How do you assess your talent and what do you see as the strengths of this team?

A. That core of players that you mentioned, they made up a good portion of a freshman class in 2008, when we made the NCAAs, won the Summit League, won the Summit League tournament, so they’ve got a taste of what it takes to get us back to that level and win some championships. I think they are very driven right now and we have some good senior leadership from Kelli Herman and Dani Neuhalfen as well. I think our leadership right now is very good and things are going very positive.

Q. Offensively, your team had a standout season in 2010. Do you think your team is capable of that again and what will it take to match that?

A. Yes, I think we definitely have some firepower. We’ll miss Danni Healy up front for sure, we’ll miss Kaitlin Justice and Tory Schiltgen and our other attackers. I feel that we’ve got some of our freshman that are coming up and moving along very well and I think some of our upperclassmen are starting to shine, players like Abby Jurgens and Brittany Sipp, so I’m very pleased with how we are improving across the board. I think that we’re going to continue to be a very exciting attacking team.

Q. SDSU has always been able schedule some local teams of interest.What does the 2011 schedule look like at this point?

A. It’s going to be as tough as ever. We have a home exhibition match against the University of Nebraska in August, which will be great and will be the first time they will come up here. We start with a home game against Creighton a week later and we will go to Minnesota on the Sunday of the first full weekend of the season, so we’re going to start off with three very good teams and three very good challenges and different teams in the way that they play. We’ve got Kansas again this year, Drake, Iowa State all on the schedule and that comprises a good portion of our non-conference schedule.

Q. Looking at the conference, what will this team have to do get over the hump and win the Summit League?

A. One of the things that happened this past season is that we were either very good defensively or very good offensively in any given game and we didn’t have either consistently enough during the year. There were some games where we were tremendous offensively and gave up a number of goals and then there were some games where we would be very solid but we wouldn’t score enough to put a team away. So my hope is that we’re able put the two together on a consistent basis, game in and game out and then I think the results will take care of themselves.