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Munch closes rewarding inaugural season with women’s soccer team
Jennifer Kardell
Antelope Staff

Mike Munch, head coach of the Loper women’s soccer team, had an experience that can’t be taken away this year. As the coach of the first soccer team at UNK, his first season will always be a part of UNK’s history, along with the record-breaking NCAA Division II women’s soccer crowd against Wayne State College at the first home game.

In that first game, the Lopers also defeated the Wildcats with a score of 2-1. Munch says the 1-18-1 record does not show the heart his team had throughout the season. The team played hard from start to finish.

Munch has years of experience that helped the team have a positive mentality about their season. There has always been a love for the game of soccer for Munch. He started playing soccer when he was only eight years old. He continued to play until he was in his 30s. Part of his 10-year soccer career was spent on a high-level club team. Not only did Munch enjoy playing the game, he got involved by coaching at 16. He also spent 13 years as a coach at the collegiate level. To say Munch is qualified to be the head coach is an understatement. His experience as a coach and many years as a player help him provide great leadership to his team.

When offered the job of head coach, Munch grabbed the opportunity. “The opportunity to coach at the Division II level again, the ability to start a new program, UNK's size, location, historical success in athletics and the support of the campus and community” all made it hard to turn the job down, Munch said.

As the head coach of a Division II soccer team, there isn’t much free time available, but when given the chance, soccer is still not far from his mind. “Soccer is my job and my avocation.  I am involved in soccer 365 days a year in some form or fashion.  I do like all sports though, particularly football,” Munch said.

Looking back at his first season, he finds himself appreciative of his team’s hard work and the immense support the fans have given to him and the team. However, he can’t quite pick a favorite moment of the season. “Everyone would expect it to be the first game: the record crowd and the end-of-game goal to win that game.  That was great, but I was happier for the players, fans and administration.  I have really enjoyed working with this team and seeing them grow and compete and become a team. Taking the field for our first practice scrimmage was very memorable for me.” Munch said.

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