New coach setting team standards high

by Morgan Fleener

A new coach and an emphasis on team growth have led Simpson’s men’s soccer team to set its goals and standards high.

Before conference matches begin the Storm sits at 2-2. The team’s focus is transitioning and adjusting to a new coach and new methods of training and communicating.

Head Coach Rick Isaacson joined Simpson College this fall after coaching at Ankeny High School for the last six years. During his time there, he led Ankeny to a 2007 state title and an overall record of 110-25.

Isaacson feels that even though his time at Simpson has been short the season has already kicked off to a great start.

“Simpson is a wonderful place to come to work each day,” Isaacson said. “My family and I feel very blessed to be a part of the Simpson community. The adjustment from teaching (and) coaching at the high school level to returning to the college game has seemingly been effortless. Simpson has proven to be a welcoming place and has long been an attractive destination for both students and coaches.”

There are 31 players on the team this year. Isaacson hopes to have an optimal number of 35-36 for next season, and growth is a large concern of his.

Despite not having as many players as he might hope, Isaacson said he has been fortunate to inherit a team with the motivation and drive to get things done this season.

“Our team has done a tremendous job of accepting a new coach and making me comfortable as a part of this team. The coaching transition has gone about as smooth as can be expected and the boys seem receptive to the instruction they are receiving,” Isaacson said. “We try to keep an open line of communication with our players. The expectations are clear and that has certainly helped the boys adjust to my style.”

Sophomore Ryan Chabal is excited to play under the new changes Isaacson is implementing.

“The season is going great,” Chabal said. “Everyone has gotten so much better and it shows when we play on the field. We have a close team this year and that will be important as it gets deeper in the season with tougher competition and having to rely on each other more.”

Sophomore Nathan May said that Isaacson has been a great fit for continuing the Storm’s success.

“I think he (Isaacson) is very well liked throughout the team,” May said. “He has done a good job committing to and believing in the team. He has helped us understand what kind of team we can be as a whole now.”

Simpson next takes the field at home against Northwestern (Iowa) on Saturday, Sept. 17.