GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota soccer team recently completed its spring schedule and first-year head coach Matt Kellogg got his first opportunities to see his new squad on the field playing opponents instead of teammates. He was overall pleased with what he saw.
“It’s been a crazy couple months, getting on the road recruiting right away while evaluating our players and just getting used to finding my office every day,” Kellogg said. “Once we settled in and got a routine going with the players it was a lot of evaluation and a lot of positive things came from the spring season. The players got used to me and I got used to them and we really took some big steps towards creating a new culture and a new environment for the UND women’s program.”
One of the first steps Kellogg sees as being the most important into building the UND soccer program into a Big Sky Conference championship contender is rebuilding the culture around the program.
“Part of the transition has been just letting the players know what the new standard is and what work rate it will take to achieve those goals,” Kellogg said. “The other part of it is I am a firm believer in team chemistry and about the last third of our spring season we were not actually one the field, we were in the classroom talking to each other about what it means to be a good teammate, what it means to a good leader and holding each other accountable.”
UND went 1-2 during its three spring games defeating Minnesota, Crookston 1-0 while dropping 1-0 and 2-1 decisions to Bemidji State and Minot State, respectively. UND’s scheduled game at North Dakota State was canceled due to inclement weather.
Now that the spring season has concluded and team sessions are over until August it is now onto individual training to prepare for the upcoming season.
“We got up at 6 a.m. in the morning a lot of times (this spring) and now we want to make sure we don’t take a step back,” Kellogg said. “We really did a lot of work on and off the field in the weight room, classroom and video. We want to make sure they realize how much work they put in so that over the summer we continue that work and players realize they are starting to create something here that can be pretty special.”