It’s funny how things work out sometimes.
When Joy Lane arrived at Greenwood Christian Academy, she was supposed to be working in a supporting role, assisting Chris Dibble with the girls soccer program.
As practice got underway earlier this month, Dibble opted to step down — and just like that, Lane was being handed the reins.
The abrupt change might have scared off some other coaches, but Lane was ready to take over.
“I’m very excited to do it,” she said. “I feel like it’s fitting for me and my personality and my leadership style, so I’m looking forward to the season.”
The Cougars’ new coach has plenty of soccer background, having played collegiately at Lincoln Christian University in central Illinois. She and her husband, Troy — who works and coaches at Greenwood Christian — settled in the area after both graduated from Lincoln Christian in 2010.
While working at Indian Creek Christian Church in Indianapolis, Joy Lane started helping out with the soccer program across the street at Franklin Central High School.
While she was there, she got to know LeDania Carmichael, who is now at GCA as the assistant athletics director with her husband, Dan, the school’s athletics director.
Because of that connection, the transition was relatively seamless off the field. On the field, Joy Lane acknowledges she’s working with a less experienced group than she had at Franklin Central, where many of the girls played on club soccer teams all year long.
“The main difference probably is that I’m doing a little bit more teaching and a little bit more explanation of things,” she said.
Despite all of that, Lane and the Cougars are setting high goals for this season. The girls are hoping to score at least 40 goals and finish with a winning record, and the coach thinks both are in reach.
With the program still in its early stages, though, Lane is more focused on getting girls to come out and then stick with the sport. Building continuity, she believes, will lead to more sustainable success.
“Overall, I want them to enjoy soccer and love the sport and have fun,” Lane said. “(But) we’d love to win a lot of games, too.”