MOUNT VERNON – Cornell College Director of Athletics John Cochrane has announced Leslie Oskey as the Rams' new head women's soccer coach.
Oskey, of Howards Grove, Wis., carries 10 years of soccer coaching experience, including the past two seasons as an assistant at NCAA Division III Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.
Oskey inherits a talented, young Cornell team that finished 9-8-1 last fall, marking the program's first winning season since 2002. She replaces Kirsten Russell, who stepped down after three seasons at the helm.
"I am excited about this opportunity at Cornell College and look forward to working with the talent on the team," said Oskey, a three-year soccer letterwinner at Lakeland (Sheboygan, Wis.) College. "This team is in the building stages and on the path to success. My job is to help push them forward and reach their goals. I know the girls are dedicated to getting better."
Oskey served as goalkeeper coach at Mount Holyoke. She helped the Lyons to a 6-12 record in 2013, which doubled the team's record from the previous season.
Oskey, a 2006 graduate of Howards Grove High School, went on to play three seasons as a goalkeeper and defensive back at Lakeland. She was a two-year team captain, and in 2008 was recipient of the NCAA Academic Scholar Award.
Oskey played club soccer for one semester in Argentina as part of Lakeland's study abroad program. She was also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for three years. Oskey received a bachelor's degree in sport studies and Spanish from Lakeland in 2010.
In addition to her academic and athletic commitments, Oskey served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves for 3 1/2 years before being medically released. Following her service, she enrolled in a graduate program at Smith (Northampton, Mass.) College and earned a master's in exercise science and sport studies with an emphasis on coaching practicum and pedagogy in 2014.
Oskey takes over a Ram squad that started seven underclassmen in the 2013 finale.
"I have a competitive drive and a strong desire to teach the finer components of the game," Oskey said. "My short-term goals are to create a positive team culture and establish more distinguished roles. We will be a high-energy disciplined team. I want us to be a class act on and off the field."
The Rams open the 2014 campaign Aug. 29 at Rockford University.