Justin Vorster leads a training session for his AIB Eagles women's team. Photo credit: Matthew DeWitt/AIB Athletics
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 – The Des Moines Menace women’s soccer team has a new leader.
Justin Vorster has accepted the position as the team’s head coach, announced this morning by Menace general manager Matt Homonoff.
As head coach of the AIB College women’s program, Vorster has orchestrated a turnaround. After the Eagles finished their inaugural 2012 season with a 1-14 mark, Vorster took over in 2013, guiding the Eagles to a 9-8 finish. This fall, the AIB women made history by winning the Midwest Collegiate Conference’s regular-season and tournament championships. The Eagles went 12-7-2 and made their first appearance in the NAIA Tournament.
“I am extremely delighted with the opportunity to coach the Menace women's team,” said Vorster, a native of Durban, South Africa. “I am looking forward to developing the women's soccer team and leading them to the highest level.”
Vorster inherits a Menace program whose first seasons have been marked by success. Des Moines won the 2012 Women’s League Soccer championship in dominant fashion, qualified for the 2013 Women’s Premier Soccer League playoffs and finished second last season in the WPSL Midwest-Central Division.
In the program’s first three seasons, head coach Kevin Schalk compiled a 20-10-0 record, before pursuing coaching opportunities this fall in his home state, New York. Vorster set himself apart in the search for a new head of the program.
“Justin distinguished himself during our selection process with not only his experience and knowledge of the women’s game, but his passion for player development and commitment to engaging the community,” Homonoff said. “As we enter the Women’s World Cup summer, Justin’s ability to supplement local and regional talent with select international players will be key to putting a together a team that our fans will be proud of.”
The Menace’s new WPSL head coach brings a mix of international and local experiences. He played one professional season and 10 semi-professional seasons in South Africa, where he also coached a couple years. He coaches for West Des Moines Soccer Club and serves as a director for the Iowa Olympic Development Program (ODP). Vorster was an assistant coach for the Drake men, during their run to the Elite Eight of the 2009 NCAA Division-I Tournament.
Vorster, the 2014 MCC Coach of the Year, holds a United States Soccer Federation ‘A’ coaching license, a National Youth license and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Director of Coaching diploma.
He brings optimism and high aspirations into his first season on the Menace sideline.
“I love a challenge and the Menace has a core group of players with the potential and ability to achieve success,” Vorster said. “Although we are in a tough conference, our first goal is to come out on top.”
The Menace’s 2015 season kicks off in May. The organization hosts open tryouts for its men’s and women’s teams on Saturday, April 25 at Valley Stadium.
Born: May 4, 1971 in Calcutta, India (moved to Kenya at 1 ½ years old, moved to South Africa at age 2, moved to Malawi at age 8 and back to South Africa at age 18)
Fiancé: Anne Birdsell
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace women compete in the 70-team Women’s Premier Soccer League. In its 22nd season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace teams play their home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The organization promotes a healthy lifestyle through its popular youth programs, including the Menace Academy (select soccer for ages 9-19), camps, clinics, Junior Menace program and tournaments.
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