Northwestern State soccer coach Ian Brophy announced the promotion of Jessica Nei to associate head coach Tuesday.
Nei is in her first season with NSU after coming over from North Dakota, bringing over 15 years of coaching experience. She has helped mentor NSU goalkeeper Libe Banuelos into one of the top keepers in the conference.
“Jessica has proven what an incredible person and coach she is in her time here,” Brophy said. “She is involved in every decision making aspect of the program and is a major reason we have transitioned so seamlessly. This one was one of the easiest decisions I have had to make as a coach.”
Banuelos has recorded four shutouts and the Lady Demons as a whole have kept five teams off the scoreboard. She also etched her name in the record books with her 14-save performance at Lamar, which is tied for the fifth-most in program history.
The NSU goalkeepers have kept up the strong tradition of NSU goalkeepers, as the program has had its keeper make one of the Southland Conference All-Conference teams in each of the past three seasons.
Overall, the Lady Demons have won two contests in a row to clinch a spot in the SLC Tournament for a sixth consecutive season. They can earn as high as a No. 4 seed with a victory in the regular season finale and Southeastern Louisiana loss to conference regular season champion Lamar.
“I’m honored to step into the associate head coach role and to continue to work with Coach Brophy as he leads the Northwestern State University women’s soccer program,” Nei said. “I am so grateful to Coach Brophy for his trust in me in this role.
“I am appreciative to Coach Brophy, the administration, support staff, and most importantly the soccer student-athletes of this program. I am excited to continue to assist & contribute to developing our student-athletes so they can achieve success on and off the field. Go Demons!”
Nei and NSU aim to wrap up the regular season on a three-match winning streak when it heads to Nicholls. A victory guarantees itself of no worse than a five seed in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament.
CUTLINE: Jessica Nei has helped the Northwestern State goalkeepers becoming one of the best pairings in the Southland Conference and has aided NSU into becoming a top-half team in the league this season.
CREDIT: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services