When Wendy Ellis was named head women’s soccer coach at St. Michael’s College in April, she didn’t meet three-year starter Jordyn Mallett right away. Mallett, a Winslow High School graduate, was studying abroad in New Zealand.
New coach and player finally met when Mallett returned to Vermont in the summer, and the moment was worth the wait.
“I was definitely impressed when I first met (Mallett),” Ellis said. “I had a great first impression.”
A senior, Mallett is one of the Purple Knights’ captains. Playing a new position this year, she hopes to provide leadership on a young team (Mallett is one of just three seniors on the roster) as it plays in the challenging Northeast-10 Conference.
The Purple Knights are 0-3-0 heading into today’s home opener against Stonehill.
“We’re just starting with a new coach. We’re passing better than we ever have before,” Mallett said. “We’re all still confident.”
Previous head coach Marcel Choquette did not have captains, Mallett said. When Ellis brought up the idea of captains at a team meeting and asked for input, Mallett and Katie Butler, one of her closest friends, spoke up. Mallett and Butler were quickly named captains by their peers.
“It was kind of a unanimous decision,” Ellis said.
Added Mallett: “For the first time since I’ve been here, we have captains. It’s good to have a line to (Ellis).”
Mallett has played in every St. Michael’s game since she joined the team, and didn’t miss a start in the last two seasons. This season, Mallett made a position change, moving from center midfield to center back. From her new position, Mallett can control the Purple Knights defense and work the ball into the offensive zone to the forwards.
“She’s the quarterback of the soccer team,” Ellis said. “She leads the defense. She keeps them connected. She provides composure to the team. She holds the back together.”
Mallett said she’s adjusting quickly to her new role.
“I mentor the younger players,” she said. “We’re connecting with our forwards more… You adapt to what the coaches want.”
“I feel like we’ve played good defensively. She’s one of our hardest-working players,” Ellis said.
An Engineering major, Mallett has been named to the Northeast-10 Commissioner’s honor roll numerous times. Mallett is enrolled in a five-year program St. Michael’s College runs jointly with the University of Vermont. Mallett will graduate with degrees from both schools, and is technically enrolled at UVM full-time this semester.
“She’s definitely a great leader, a great mentor,” Ellis said. “She wants to make it her best year. Jordyn just has a great head on her shoulders. She’s really taking ownership of the team and asserting her goals.”
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242