Nathan Steele

Nathan Steele is the new head coach for the Jordan girls soccer team, a program that won 10 games this past fall.

The Jordan girls soccer team will be under new leadership next fall.

Nathan Steele will take over the program from Dennis Yunke. Steele was the Jaguars’ interim head coach for the final six games this past fall after Yunke stepped away.

Jordan finished with a program-best 10 wins (10-7-1 overall), including a 2-4-1 mark in the Wright County East Conference.

This past season was only the seventh year of the Jordan program, which is a co-operative with Belle Plaine. The 10 wins are the most for the team since the Jaguars finished 9-6-1 in 2018.

The Jaguars had eight seniors this past fall, so Steele will have be looking for new talent to emerge next year.

“It was a privilege to be chosen as the interim coach for our final six games of this season, and I am honored to be the head coach moving forward,” Steele said. “I look forward to getting to work with a full season in 2022.”

Steele has been an assistant coach for the Hubmen boys soccer team for three years. He’s also the junior varsity coach for the Jordan golf teams.

One of Steele’s goals for the Jaguars is to increase the program’s volume. He wants to grow soccer in the community and build a competitive team on the field.

“The ultimate goal is to build a tradition that Jordan girls want to be a part of when they enter high school,” Steele said. “This program has made great strides since 2015 and, while some may see us entering a development phase, we want to remain competitive.

“On the field, I want to help develop well-conditioned, strong, and technically sound players,” he added. “We want to play a style that is fast-paced but isn’t sporadic. Passing and possession is going to be a key focus moving forward.”

Steele also wants each player that leaves the program to not only be a better player on the field, but also a better person off it.

“The beautiful thing about high school sports in a small community is that some players will enter this program as seventh-grade students and will depart six years later as adults,” he said. “Our goal is through that time, each player will have matured into an adult prepared to enter a world outside of high school.”

This past season, Jordan lost 4-0 to second-seeded Mankato West in the Section 2AA semifinals, snapping the team’s six-game winning streak.

The Jaguars had a strong offense this fall. They scored three or more goals in 10 games and had six games with five or more goals.

The Minnesota State High School League reclassified sections for all sports last spring. Soccer went to three classes this past fall. Jordan moved up to Class 2A, so they faced some tougher competition in the playoffs as well as in the WCC.

“Bottom line, no matter our age or experience, we are going to hold ourselves to high standards on and off the field,” he said. “It’s no secret there is talent departing this program. Eight seniors will leave this program, and for some, they have been a part of Jaguar soccer since its establishment.

“I can’t say enough about how thankful we are for their work and dedication,” he added. “They played a pivotal role in our 10-win season, No. 3 seed in Section 2AA, and our first playoff win in Section 2AA.”

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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