MMC Women Return Seven

August 29, 2018

Bryce Ladwig - Yankton P&D

A fresh start. That is what Mount Marty College is hoping for regarding both its men’s and women’s soccer programs.

Coming off a disappointing 3-13 season a year ago, the women team has undergone a few changes, and will have a new look not only in its roster, but its coaching staff.

Neil Mancktelow will be at the helm for his first season as a collegiate head coach and has a very young roster to mold in his vision.

Out of the 16-player roster, only seven are returning from last season, and only one of those returning is a senior. There are nine new faces to the team this season, including seven freshmen.

“We have a very young team this season,” Mancktelow said. “Whenever there is a new coaching staff, that will happen. Players are unsure of where they will stand with a new staff and seek opportunities elsewhere. This line of thought is completely understandable, and those who have stayed know that they are not only a big part of this team but will be leaned on to lead by example for the younger girls on this team.”

Mancktelow keeps a positive mindset as far as his roster is concerned.

“I try to stay positive, I figure a positive attribute to having such a youthful team is that they can be molded and build chemistry with each other for years down the road,” he said. “So, in a way, it is a perfect situation to be in as a coach.”

The freshman coming in are Isabella Diaz Short (Midfield), Megan Smith (Forward), Brittni Watkins (Midfield), Karla Montano (Midfield), and Vermillion recruits Kara Mulheron (Defense) and Madyson Gilbertson (Goalkeeper).

Gilbertson will begin the season as the everyday goalkeeper for the Lancers. Mancktelow has faith in his young goalie but knows that she will need to further develop.

“Getting her to come here, I knew she was going to be a big player for us. She will be our goalkeeper, and I have faith that she will do just fine. She is a very talented athlete, but there will be growing pains when you ask such a young athlete to handle such a pivotal position,” Mancktelow said.

The lack of upperclassmen proves to be a problem on paper as far as leadership duties are concerned, but Manktelow believes the leadership he does have will be plenty for the young Lancers.

“We may only have one returning senior in Hillary Thege (Midfield/Forward), but we have some returning juniors as well such as Katrina Ilkow (Defense), Graciela Michel (Defense), and Consuelo Michel (Goalkeeper),” Mancktelow said.

“Consuelo is a perfect example of our leadership. She was the team’s goalkeeper last season, and even though she will not be starting in that position, she has been very positive about contributing to the team in other ways. She will still be an option at goalie obviously, but having that selfless attitude is what a coach looks for.”

Mancktelow may be a first-year head coach at the collegiate level, but he is not new to coaching the game he loves.

Originally from Maidstone, Kent, England, Mancktelow has travelled a unique path to the position he currently holds.

After graduating the Southampton Solent University football studies program, Manktelow would go on to play soccer at both the NAIA and NCAA levels — first, with Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., and then at SUNY Canton in New York. He would earn a bachelor’s degree in business from the latter. Mancktelow moved to North Carolina and began working with Premiere UK Soccer as well as with the Sampson County Soccer Club, where he was academy director as well as director of coaching.

Mancktelow then moved to University of South Dakota to earn his master’s degree in sports management, where he also served as a graduate assistant coach until 2017. Mancktelow would stay on as an assistant this past season, until he took the Mount Marty head coaching position.

So, while his roster may not have an abundance of experienced players, Manktelow hopes it does have an abundance of positive attitudes.

“I am really looking forward to building the team within the community and getting our name out there. Like the high school, Mount Marty looks to have an impact on the community. I will look for my team to not only give it their full effort on the field, but as people, and try their best to leave a good impression throughout Yankton. We are trying to rebuild this program, and to do that, we need the community’s support, so it is a two-way street that we will continue to try and improve,” he said.

The women’s and men’s team both open their seasons at Crane-Youngworth Field on Friday versus Bethany College. The women’s game starts at 11 a.m.

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2018 Season Schedule

Aug. 31 vs. Bethany 11 a.m.

Sept. 12 at York 1 p.m.

Sept. 15 vs. Neb. Christian 3 p.m.

Sept. 19 vs. Briar Cliff 5 p.m.

Sept. 22 vs. Morningside 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 vs. Northwestern 5 p.m.

Sept. 29 at Hastings 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 at Dordt 1 p.m.

Oct. 10 at Dak. Wesleyan 5 p.m.

Oct. 13 vs. Midland 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. Concordia* 3 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Jamestown 3 p.m.

Oct. 20 at Coll. of Saint Mary 1 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Presentation 1 p.m.

Oct. 27 at Doane 5 p.m.

Oct. 31 GPAC Quarterfinals

Nov. 3 GPAC Semifinals

Nov. 8 GPAC Championship

Home Games at Crane-Youngworth Field, unless marked (*-Easton Field)