Norse hopeful to get back to winning in 2023
Bob Sheehan is a legendary head coach within Kentucky college soccer, having been the only head coach in the history of the NKU Women’s Soccer program, building the program from scratch in 1997. In his 25 years, the Norse have been a mid-major powerhouse, complying with a career record of 333-116-31 with 22 winning seasons. Sheehan was inducted into the Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Hall of Fame in March for his legendary career achievements.
However, 2022 was Sheehan’s worst season at NKU, winning only 2 games all season. Hopefully, the legendary coach can straighten the ship and return to winning way in 2023. On paper, it does look promising with a demanding non-conference schedule. Sheehan said, “We always challenge ourselves in our non-conference competition to help prepare for Horizon League play…This year is no different, with high-level opponents throughout the non-conference segment. We are coming off of a strong Spring season, and together with the addition of our newcomers, we are looking forward to a productive campaign.” when asked about the 2023 schedule back in late June.
Entering 2023, Sheehan is returning with 17 out of 24 players from last year’s shaky season. The Norse are likely looking to go on a Horizon League revenge tour with that many returning. Additionally, this many returners show how confident Sheehan is about his squad and his recruiting. He could be like Fabiano in the UK and completely overhaul the roster. Still, instead, the hall-of-fame coach is putting faith in his returners that they have what it takes to get back to winning ways. 3 of Sheehan’s 17 returns returners featured for Kings Hammer FC in the USL W-League this past summer as well – senior keeper Mickayla Kowalski, junior defender Lilly Yordy, and sophomore forward Shannon Crogan.
The main thing the Norse will need to improve in 2023 is their offense, scoring just 8 goals across 15 games last season, with only Emilie Doersching and Lydia Self scoring more than 1 goal on the year – both lead the team with 2 goals a piece. Additionally, they will need to ensure their goalkeeping. As noted above, Kowalski is entering her senior year, coming off a junior year that saw her accumulate a GAA of 1.21 with a save percentage of 76%; it would be interesting to see who may earn the starting spot between the posts and to see if the W-League experience paid off for Kowalski.
Sheehan has had step-back seasons before, but if anyone can right the ship of the Norse, a coach has been in the position for 25 years. Will his gamble of sticking with a team that, on paper, did not perform well last year pay off, or are the Norse in for another rebuilding year? We will have to wait and see; you can now watch all Norse soccer games for free this season.
Lilly Yordy (D) – Junior transfer from the University of Louisville
Donna Bundy (GK) – Freshman from Cincinnati
Erykah Cornett (F) – Freshman from Cincinnati
Home opener vs. W. Michigan – Thursday, August 17th at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST
At Bellarmine – Sunday, August 20th at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST
At Louisville – Sunday, August 27th at 7:30 pm EST/6:30 pm CST
At EKU – Thursday, September 7th at 4 pm EST/3 pm CST
Vs. Morehead State – Sunday, September 10th at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST
Final home game vs. Detroit Mercy – Sunday, October 21st at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST
Final game at Wright State – Wednesday, October 25th at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST
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