The women’s soccer season will come complete with a new coach.
Kacey Bingham is taking the reins and designing a success plan for the Dixie State University team after former head coach Linda Huddleston stepped down from the position.
Huddleston said that after a decade of coaching, she decided to retire.
“She had been coaching for a long time,” said forward Berkley Bundy, a freshman general education major from St. George. “[She] decided it was her time to step down.”
Bingham is originally from Phoenix and attended Paradise Community College. She played soccer there and coached for nine years: two years as an assistant and seven years as head coach.
In the seven years of being head coach for Paradise Community College, her team was ranked in the top 15 in the nation. Her team also made three national appearances and won two national championships.
“Since I have gotten here, what we pretty much have focused on is how the team can play,” Bingham said. “We have talked a lot about team shape and team formation, goals and objectives for each game.”
She said she thinks her style is a little bit different from what the women have done in the past. She has changed up some positions on the field and has added more cardio.
Bingham said she has incorporated the team’s everyday training because she thought it was needed.
“I think we play a lot faster now,” said forward Kenzie Hawes, a freshman general education major from St. George. “We play the ball faster—like one, two, touch. Once you get [the ball], get it off your feet to the next person and work up the field. And go wide with the ball instead of trying to go down the middle.”
So far, the women are responding well to the adjustment.
“I like her style of play and how we are working together and finding ways to score essentially,” Bundy said.
Bingham said she has been trying to get the women more organized and on the same page.
Hawes said she likes how Bingham can relate to the game personally instead of from what she sees.
“I really like how she just has a feel for the game,” Hawes said. “She played herself and knows she can put herself in all of our situations on the field.”
Being a new coach comes with the pressure to live up to the community’s expectations.
Bingham said she wants the women to be confident that the team can compete and win every game.
“Obviously our goal is to have a winning season, but we would love to compete to win our conference and make an appearance at the national tournament,” Bingham said.
She said the team has been amazing to work with. She said it is a positive and hard working group.
“They are just really great women to work with,” Bingham said. “So far I couldn’t ask for a better team to come into and how receptive they have been to everything so far. So it’s been a really good environment.”