Eric Golz takes reign of the Illinois State soccer program with 12 years of coaching experience under his belt. Most recently, he was the asssistant coach for three seasons at Maryland. A native of Wadsworth, Ohio, Golz played goalkeeper at Grove City College and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2002.

What is your stance on taking the lead role of the ISU socccer program?

It’s a big responsibility. It’s a program with a long, lustrous history. Ten MVC Championships. We’re a program with a high expectation to compete for championships. I see it as my job to not just maintain but to build towards national success.

Along with working under Coach Jonathan Morgan at Maryland, who can you credit for your success?

I’ve been really fortunate to work for some fantastic head coaches and programs. Coach Morgan at Maryland, not just a great head coach but also a really good friend. I learned a lot from him, he’s a great developer of talent. I’ve learned a lot from successes and a lot from failures. All these situations have allowed me to grow. I am a product of my experiences. I’ve had some great experiences working for great mentors. Where I’m at now as a coach would not be possible without them.

Pre-season polls came out and ISU is second behind Evansville. Following four consecutive MVC Championships, was seeing that motivation for the team?

We all read it. We all saw it. It is what it is. At this point, we’re more focused on what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis and our character development. We know if we’re doing the right things on a consistent basis then the results will take care of themselves. What we invest in is what will lead us to success.

Class by class, talk about key players to watch for starting with the Freshmen.

The freshmen have all come in confident and have fit well. In our program we don’t necessarily make class distinctions. I don’t care if you’re a freshman or a senior, there are standards and expectations and they have to hold them. It’s dangerous sometimes when freshmen come in with the mindset, ‘We’re freshmen.” We’re going to need them to mature at a much quicker rate. I expect them to build good playing relationships and get adjusted to the speed of the game.

Sophomores

Both Kelli Zickert and Emily Dickman are coming off outstanding freshman campaigns. The biggest expectation for them in their second year is to continue to contribute on the field. I also see them contributing off the field, I see them taking bigger leadership roles as well. They’ve done a great job with self-awareness and mapping out where we need be to succeed.

Juniors

The returning juniors were all huge contributors. Sara Stankoskey was a rock in the back. Brooke definitely held down the fort in the midfield. Although Lauren had some injuries last year, she’s battled through a great summer.

Shed some light on junior transfer Brianne Richards.

Bri comes from a strong program at Iowa Western. She scored a lot of goals and she won a national championship while she was there. Both of those are things we need here. Win championships and score goals.

Seniors:

They’ve played a lot of matches in their careers. They're great players but now we're asking them to be more than a great player. We expect them to be good communicators and excellent teammates.

Josh Tolentino is a senior journalism major and sports editor at The Vidette. He can be reached at jtolent@ilstu.edu and found on Twitter @JCTSports

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