By Jordan Klein
Change is in the air for the Illinois State soccer team as the program said goodbye to five graduating seniors and the coaching staff from a team that finished 16-6, 8-0 MVC and advanced to the NCAA Second Round last season.
The Redbirds have added an extra piece to the puzzle with the transfer of junior college transfer Brianne Richards, announced May 26 by new head coach Eric Golz. A native of Papillion, Neb., Richards comes to ISU from Iowa Western Community College and will be eligible immediately in the 2015 season.
“We are incredibly excited about the addition of Bri. She will contribute to our culture and our on-field performance as she is an accomplished young woman, student and player,” Golz said.
Richards has proven to be a workhorse on and off the field. A communication major, she has also been recognized for her work in the classroom. Richards earned National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America Academic (NSCAA) All-America Second Team honors in 2014.
“She will provide us with another experienced goal scorer, which we will need with some of the players we lost at graduation. She has competed for championships and scored a number of goals at Iowa Western and we are hoping that she will do the same here at ISU.”
Richards comes to ISU looking to carry over her momentum. Richards totaled 53 points in 2013 and 59 points in 2014. As a freshman, Richards was named to the NSCAA All-America First Team and was named an Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore.
“She is a forward that can play centrally or out wide, and will provide us with some versatility as we look to build our attacking tactics and personnel.”