BYU-Hawaii Soccer Gets No. 1 Ranking
Wednesday - October 20, 2010
At 26, she’s the youngest head soccer coach in the PacWest. But Carolyn Theurer is already one of the most successful.
Theurer coaches the BYU-Hawaii women’s soccer team, and earlier this month she led her Seasiders to a No. 1 ranking in the NCAA Division II west region and a top 10 ranking nationally - both firsts for BYU-H women’s soccer and for the conference.
“I’m shocked,” she says, when I told her the news.
But her team’s performance is anything but shocking. Since she joined the BYU-Hawaii soccer staff three years ago, the Seasiders have finished first in the PacWest title chase (in 2008 when she was an assistant to Justin Wagar), a close runner-up second (in 2009, in her first year as head coach), and are currently first in the conference standings just past the season’s mid-point.
Along the way, they have recorded several shutouts; including a key 0-0 double overtime tie against national powerhouse Seattle Pacific in the first week of the season.
“Our freshman goalie, Megan McCain, has stepped up big time,” Theurer says. But she also quickly gives credit to others - including defender Natasha Aiono, forwards Emily Mearns and Kim Micheletti, and center-back Cami Strait.
“The team chemistry is amazing - we’re so close,” she says. “It’s like no other team I’ve ever been associated with.”
And Theurer has been with some outstanding teams over the years. As a high school and club player in Colorado, her teams were consistently ranked No. 1 or they won the state title. In four years as a forward and centerback for Thunderidge High (in Littleton), her teams lost only two games. She was all-conference the first two years and both all-conference and all-state her last two years. She played collegiately for Utah Valley State.
“I had a passion for the game,” she says. “I got into it when I was only 5 because I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps and I did everything he did. Then, it became fun, because we were always winning - and I loved winning. But I also loved my teammates and the team atmosphere.”
Theurer stresses that team atmosphere with the Seasiders, and because of that her team plays better when they’re all on the field together.
“They love doing everything together,” she says, “going to the beach and going hiking, or whatever. They love to go on hikes. During the pre-season, they hiked up to the waterfall at Maunawili. On a recent road trip to play Dixie State, the team spent an off day hiking Snow Canyon near St. George.
Theurer says she learned a lot during her first year as a head coach when the Seasiders missed the conference title due to a key loss against eventual PacWest champion Dixie State. “Last year, I thought about Dixie all year long and this year, we’re just taking it one game at a time. That’s been important for us.”
She’s also let her players relax. “(On the road), I let them sleep a lot. I know from first-hand experience how tough it is,” she says. “Then, they have lots of family time, and then they have a lot of time with their team family. The team needs all of this.”
And if her Seasiders keep winning, BYU-Hawaii could end up as the host for the upcoming NCAA II West Regionals - a historic first for the PacWest. “That’s crazy,” she says. “I never would have dreamed that. But I try not to think that far ahead.”
Pretty wise old words from such a young coach.
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