Rainey Maloy knows what it means to work hard.
When she played soccer in high school for the Orioles, the school didn’t have a girls program until her senior year, but she had no problem playing on the boys’ squad. Now, Maloy is coaching the girls team at her alma mater.
“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” Maloy said. “So the opportunity presented itself, and I figured I know enough about soccer, and I like soccer, so I wanted to jump up at the chance.”
Her biggest goal as a first-year coach is simply to reverse a mentality that has slowed down the program for some time now.
“Just to get the girls who come out to understand that they have to work hard, and it’s not just a fluff smart,” Maloy said. “I want to turn that mentality around. We’re coming out here to be competitive.”
She still wants the team to have fun, but not at the expense of success. She remembers what it was like from her playing days, and now she’s bringing that into her new role.
“I just know how hard you have to work. You can’t take plays off, especially in certain positions,” Maloy said. “I can tell when they’re taking a play off of they’re not making the correct read because they’re lazy.”
Maloy will rely on the team’s few seniors to help lead the change of culture. Senior Alexis Bowen, who played defense her first three years, is leading by example as she is switching to midfield.
“Maybe I’ll score this year,” Bowen said with a smile. “I’m also captain this year, so I feel I have to be positive and upbeat no matter what the game situation is. Definitely have to show leadership. I can’t get down on myself.”
She knows her position requires a lot more running, so she’s prepared to help on defense when needed, but also push the ball on offense. She’s okay with getting an extra substitution here and there throughout the season.
Kylee Guilliams, another senior, is ready to be a leader for the younger group of players.
“A lot of the younger kids did play on the Raptors team, which helps a lot. I can tell they know what they need to do. We just need to make it happen,” Guilliams said. “Communication is really big right now, because we aren’t doing that right now. It’s a lot of miscommunication because none of us have played together before.”
Three surgeries later, Guilliams is pretty much fully recovered from her