NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s soccer team is welcoming a fresh face to the coaching staff for the 2014 season.
Alyssa Telang, a native of Shelby Township, Michigan, is a former soccer player herself competing at the University of Kentucky where she was a four-year starter.
Telang was offered the position after attending a mission trip with the team and coaching staff.
“Alyssa came on a trip to El Salvador with our team in the spring, and I had not met her before,” O’Brien said. “I had not ever seen her play soccer before nor had I talked tactics or strategy with her. After the time we spent there together I knew she’d be an unbelievable fit. The girls were just immediately drawn to her.
“She’s just got a lovely disposition and that’s what you want. They have to be a fit not only with soccer knowledge and expertise as a player, but they have to fit within the culture of what we are trying to do here.”
During her soccer career at Kentucky, Telang led her team to its first ever NCAA tournament win in school history. Moreover, she is ranked sixth all time logging more than 6,100 minutes of playing time.
“She had a pretty remarkable college career,” O’Brien said. “For me that’s her immediate impact is the ability to demonstrate what we want our players to do. Off the field she’s a mentor. She’s been through it, she knows what it takes.”
Telang served as undergraduate coach for the women’s soccer team at her alma mater during the fall 2013 season where the team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.
Telang is eager to begin her coaching career at Lipscomb knowing the impact O’Brien has already had on the developing program.
"This coaching staff I get to join is one of a kind,” Telang said. “Coach O’Brien has had so much success as a soccer coach, so I couldn't be more thrilled to be learning from him. The leadership, vision, and goals of this coaching staff are really special and unique.
“I want nothing more than to jump on board with them. They've done a great job here the past couple of years, and I want to be a part of their success. Coaching here gives me the opportunity to learn and grow as a soccer coach as well as being pushed to be the best woman I can be off the field."
O’Brien is confident adding Telang to the bench personnel will increase the chances for another successful season.
“The team is going to be better,” O’Brien said. “We just started preseason. We’re fitter. The soccer IQ of the group is better than it’s ever been.
“I believe the A-Sun women’s soccer coaches are getting better and more competitive. We’re going to go out and work hard each and every day. We’re going to do our best and let the chips fall where they may. We’ve got to build the knowledge into them and let them execute.”
Telang believes her past experience as a competitive student athlete will leave a positive imprint on the girls she will be coaching.
"I'm very competitive, and I love to win,” Telang said. “I want these girls to thrive on the field and in life. I'm going to do whatever I can to help them become the best players on the field, but more importantly I want to pour my life into them.
“I've been where they've been. I've experienced what a lot of them are going to experience as a student athlete in college. I hope to invest in their lives, get to know them and help prepare them for the future. I'm excited to watch these girls succeed in all aspects of life."