By: Justin Grones
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay women's soccer team has added Lauren Sesselmann to its staff as an assistant coach, head coach Trevor Warren announced on Monday. Sesselmann, a Green Bay native, won a bronze medal while playing defense for the Canadian national team in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
"She's going to be a great role model for our players, and it will definitely help our profile as a program," Warren said of Sesselmann's hiring.
After starring locally at Notre Dame Academy, Sesselmann went to play collegiately at Purdue University, where she graduated in 2005. She was named First-Team All-Big Ten in both 2003 and 2005 and set six records during her time as a Boilermaker.
Sesselmann, a former forward who now plays defense, will join second-year assistant coach Niki Brooks, a goalkeeping and strength and conditioning specialist, under Warren.
"Trevor called me and asked if I'd like to come be an assistant coach, and I jumped at the opportunity," Sesselmann said. I love being around the game and I love being in Green Bay.
Sesselmann grew up playing forward, but switched to defender in 2010 while playing for the Atlanta Beat. She acquired Canadian citizenship that same year through her father, and began playing for the Canadian national team in 2011.
"I grew up watching the U.S. and Canadian national teams because I liked their styles of play," Sesselmann said. "I fit better in Canada's system, so when I got the call to go to camp I was excited."
Sesselmann started in all six of Canada's Olympic matches, and recorded an assist in Canda's 3-0 win over the Republic of South Africa. She also recorded a crucial goal-line save in the second half of a 2-1 loss to Japan.
Now back in the United States, Sesselmann comes to a Green Bay team that features four Canadian players - senior Chanel Aries (Calgary, Alberta), junior Renee Therrien (Winnipeg, Manitoba), and freshmen Justy Linton (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Karina Fredette (Gatineau, Quebec) on its roster. According to Warren, they're very big fans of hers.
"It's really awesome to be coached by someone who won an Olympic medal for Canada, and having her here reminds me of being at home," said Aries.
Green Bay has posted two of its best defensive seasons in program history under Warren, who hopes the addition of a coach who plays at an elite level will only make the Phoenix defense stronger.
"I stress pushing each other day in and day out, because it helps you be on top of your game and play great," Sesselmann said. "But I also stress having fun-when you have fun, you play well."
Although it's still too early to tell if she'll be back for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Sesselmann plans to use her experience at Green Bay to coach as well as recover from injuries suffered during the Olympics to prepare for future contests.
"We have a few tournaments this spring, but the first major goal before the Olympics is the World Cup in 2015," Sesselmann said. "It's being played in Canada, and it would be an honor to play for that country while it hosts the World Cup."
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