DCTC welcomes a new assistant head coach
Matt VanOekel is starting this fall as the new assistant head coach for the Blue Knights men and women’s soccer teams. “Matt brings great experience and knowledge to the team and will instantly make all of our players better,” said Cam Stoltz, athletics coordinator and head soccer coach.
VanOekel currently plays professional soccer for the Minnesota Stars and helps boost their team with impressive saves as their goalkeeper.
He transferred to Rugters University after one year of college soccer at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. As a NCAA Division I player at Rutgers, he won 20 out of 47 games.
VanOekel joined the Minnesota Thunder in 2008 and made his professional debut in 2009 against the Montreal Impact. In 2010, he signed with the Stars and has been a prominent goalkeeper in Minnesota ever since.
During the 2011 season, VanOekel made two saves with a 2.00 GAA (Goals Against Average) in 90 minutes of game time, an achievement only top goal keepers reach. He was named the Week 9 National American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week after making seven saves in a 0–0 draw at San Antonio.
Last year, VanOekel brought the Stars to the NASL championship where they defeated seven teams to take home the Soccer Bowl trophy.
VanOekel resides in Apple Valley and coaches for Dakota REV Soccer Club. He has also coached in the NCAA as well as at numerous camps and clinics throughout his career.
“We welcome Matt as he continues his coaching career to help take our teams to the next level,” said Stoltz. “Our team and program will greatly benefit.”
Chris Yang, academic advisor for men’s soccer, will also serve as volunteer assistant coach. Amy Eppen will continue to serve as the academic advisor for the women’s soccer team. Nicole Meulemans will continue in her 10th season as assistant coach for women’s soccer.
Cam Stoltz will continue to serve as head coach for both the men and women’s soccer teams at DCTC. The Blue Knights women’s soccer team is entering their 10th season and this is the ninth season for the Blue Knights men’s soccer team. The 2012–2013 season marks 300 students who have worn a Blue Knights soccer jersey!