New year means new division and new coach for the Lady Flames
The Lady Flames soccer team will make its 2015 season debut as a new NCAA Division II member, as well as with a new leader in Head Coach Chris Hennessey.
The Lady Flames went all the way in 2014, winning the National Christian College Athletic Association championship through a shootout resulting in a 5-4 win against Grace College.
This year, the team must move from the NCCAA division and into the NCAA.
Freshman Lady Flame Mia Hollingsworth said she is not intimidated by the move to the NCAA.
"Many people that I've talked to on campus have mentioned how the women's soccer team is expected to carry Lee in its first year of division two,' Hollingswoth said. 'That could be intimidating, but I think it's nice to have a school and students behind us that really believe we can make a big impact in division two.'
Along with the change in division, the Lady Flames are also adjusting to a change in leadership.
After serving as an assistant coach to Former Head Coach Matt Yelton, for the past three seasons, Hennessey will begin the season as head coach of the Lady Flames.
Players such as Team Captain Kinsey Cichowitz are taking the coaching change in stride.
'Chris and Luigi [the assistant coach] are amazing coaches. They know the game very well and are helping every individual improve," Cichowitz said. "[The coaches] also care about our development as people and students. We are very thankful to have them this year."
With only three upperclassmen on the team, Hennessey is aware of the team's youth, but is not concerned that it will hold them back in the upcoming season.
'Although there isn't a lot of upperclassmen experience, the freshman and the sophomores have an experienced mentality to some degree,' Hennessey said. 'They are good players that are adjusting to everything quickly."