ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson University women’s soccer head coach Samar Azem announced the hiring of Ally Bales as the program’s assistant coach and former Trojan standout Jessica Kleinberg as the team’s volunteer assistant, which will round out the coaching staff for the 2013 season.
Bales joins the coaching staff after a year under Alex Van der Sluijs at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio where she helped guide the team to a 9-6-4 overall record. At Defiance, she wore two hats, one as the assistant women’s soccer coach and the other and the Learning Commons Assistant for Structured Study Programs where she assisted the school’s peer mentors and helped student-athletes away from the field and in the classroom.
As a player, Bales was a standout at Dallas Baptist University where she was named to the Heartland all-conference team in her first three seasons. Bales was also listed on the Daktrontics all-south central region team in 2010, while also earning spots on the NCCAA all-region team and All-American teams after the 2008 and 2010 seasons. The New Berlin, Wisc. native also excelled in the classroom, as she earned a spot on the Dean’s List in 2010 and made the Honor Roll in 2009. Bales graduated from Dallas Baptist with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and minored in Spanish. She is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, a Spanish Honor Society.
“We are excited to have Ally join our staff and our family,” Azem said. “She comes from a very strong playing career at Dallas Baptist and was incredibly successful as an athlete in the Heartland Conference. She understands what it takes to establish a perennially successful NCAA Division II program and is eager to help us build towards that. She’s very passionate about the game and a very hard worker. She will be involved in the various aspects of the program from the onset.”
In addition to the hiring of Bales, Azem has named her former forward, Kleinberg, as a volunteer assistant coach. At Anderson, Kleinberg made 67 appearances and scored 24 goals and dished out nine assists in her four year career, becoming one of the most decorated players in school history. In her freshman season in 2009, Kleinberg led the team with 12 goals, while playing with her twin sister, Ashley. The Hamilton, Ohio native was named all-conference twice in her career and earned conference player of the week honors twice.
“It’s always great to have alumni come back and want to be a part of the program, especially since Jessica had a successful career as a student-athlete here,” Azem said. “Jess played for me the last two years and adapted very well to the cultural change I introduced. She’s going to be a huge asset for us as we reintroduce our team’s identity and culture to our young team.”
The Trojans begin the season with a pair of scrimmages before the regular season opener against Rollins at Trojan Stadium. Kickoff is set for Sept. 7 at 3 p.m.