As a captain, Lily Jilk ’16 led the Macalester Women’s Soccer team to a third place conference finish last season. This year, she returned to the team as an assistant coach, hoping to stay involved with soccer and with the team. “My favorite part about coaching is seeing the women on the team grow and learn from their mistakes. It’s a part of the game that you miss as a player and don’t really get to appreciate until you’re on the other side,” Jilk said of her role change. After coaching a youth team last year, she knew that she wanted to continue coaching, and when head coach Michele Cornish asked her to help, Jilk couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Besides coaching at Mac, Jilk is also a University of Minnesota graduate student pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy, and she just completed her first marathon last weekend. “I try to play soccer as much as possible on various adult teams, but I have bad knees so I’m trying to find new ways to be active.”
Jilk credits her time at Macalester with how her life has played out recently. One of the reasons she was so excited to come back and coach the team was because of the positive experiences she had with them. “The girls showed me how to be more selfless, how to think about the world in a more meaningful way, how to prioritize learning and, most importantly, how to be a good person and friend. It continues to amaze me how serious the team can be about soccer while also doing so many other cool things in school and with their lives.” Now, Jilk hopes to impart those same values to this year’s team.