New Head Coach Prepares Womens Soccer to Dominate the MIAC

Devin Schelske, sports editor

Photo of Augsburg Womens Soccer team celebrating at Edor Nelson field, taken by Joe Eichele

The Augsburg Womens Soccer team has a new and energetic head coach ready to help the team back to contending for MIAC titles. Before the 2022 season (not including the shortened 2020 season), the Augsburg Womens Soccer team had not finished with a losing record since 2010. The team ended their 2022 season with an unfamiliar 6-10-2 record with only one win at Edor Nelson Field.

Coach Clara Webby, now the seventh head coach in Augsburg Womens Soccer history, was an all-conference and all-region player at Macalester College. She was also the assistant coach of the 2021 St. Catherine Womens Soccer team that won the school’s first ever MIAC playoff championship. It’s fair to say she knows how to win! In her first ever head coaching position Coach Webby is ready to turn some heads. Senior and team co-captain Megan Hensel said, “Coach Webby is extremely driven and passionate. From the minute she took over the program you can see she had an idea of where she wanted to take the team and it’s been implemented in our preseason and practices. She’s so soccer smart, I thought I knew a lot about the game but listening to her talk has taught me things I thought I’d never learn.”

Beyond a promising new coach, this year’s Auggie roster is stacked with talent and experience with some players to watch. A good one to start with would be the team’s only returning starter with MIAC all-conference honors, senior Jayla Ponce. The forward and team co-captain scored six goals and had eight assists in the 2022 campaign. One outstanding newcomer to keep an eye on is first year McKenna Nachreiner. The first year forward already has four goals through her first two games as an Auggie. Nachreiner and Ponce are looking to terrorize goalkeepers all year. One underrated player this season is sophomore midfielder Hannah Hatfield. “She’s someone I’m in awe of. The way she sees the field and her composure on the ball is something I love to see. She plays with experience beyond her years, you wouldn’t guess she’s only a sophomore,” said Hensel when asked about players who might be overlooked on the team.   

Photo of Augsburg Womens Soccer team celebrating during Sept. 2 game against Crown College at Edor Nelson field, taken by Joe Eichele

The Augsburg Womens Soccer team has easily won their first two games of the season. However, last season the team started off with a three game win streak before falling apart later in the season. Auggie fans are wondering, should they believe the hype around the program? “Always believe the hype,” Hensel said, “this is a team that refuses to quit, that refuses to give up. We’re a no excuses, no nonsense type of team.” 

With a confident coach and team leaders, the women’s soccer team looks to be back on the right track. The most challenging games for the Auggies will come during conference play. MIAC teams such as Carleton, St. Benedict and Gustavus Adolphus gave the Auggies problems in the 2022 campaign. This year, Augsburg Womens Soccer looks to dominate the competition.