Iowa Lakes Hires New Soccer Coaches

Mon 2-10-2014

Iowa Lakes Community College has announced the hiring of two new Soccer coaches.

Troy Larson, Director of Athletics, says that Sheena Van Roekel will serve as the Head Women’s Soccer coach and Ben MacRae, pending board approval, will take the helm as Head Men’s Soccer coach at Iowa Lakes.


For the past two years, Van Roekel has served as the Assistant Soccer Coach for both the Men and Women’s teams at Iowa Lakes. Van Roekel is a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, where she was a starter in the defensive line for the Red Raider Women’s Soccer Team and also served as a team captain.  While there, she was an All-Conference Honorable Mention nominee as well as Defensive Player of the Year for the Raiders for two seasons.

Van Roekel’s coaching career began as the Assistant Girls’ Soccer Coach at Unity Christian High School in Orange City.  Before joining the Lakers coaching staff, she also served as an Assistant Coach, as well as, a Head Coach at Northwestern College.  After teaching English for two years at Estherville Lincoln Central, she was hired at Iowa Lakes.

As a United States Soccer Federation Nationally Licensed coach, Van Roekel will continue the program’s widely recognized progress to be National Contenders for years to come.  In the past season, the Laker Women were ranked in the top 20 for five weeks.

"I am thankful to have the opportunity to continue working with a wonderful group of young women, who have seen success both on and off the pitch, and the people here at Iowa Lakes," Van Roekel said. "My hope for the program is that every student-athlete develops a stronger passion for the game, with experiences that will help shape them for their lifelong journey."

Van Roekel is currently a full-time employee at Iowa Lakes where she serves as an Assistant Instructor in the Student Success Center.

"We have had a very successful women’s soccer program at Iowa Lakes over the last two years in which Sheena had a lot to do with," Athletic Director Troy Larson said.  "Sheena cares about the student athlete and is a hard worker with good soccer knowledge.  I am looking forward to Sheena continuing with the women’s program and seeing her improve the program."


MacRae comes into the college job with a great deal of coaching and playing experience.

"Ben has a great soccer mind and has a passion for teaching student athletes the sport," Larson said.  "He is heavily connected within the soccer world, both within the state of Iowa as well as throughout the country and world which will help tremendously in recruiting.  We are thrilled to have Ben coaching at Iowa Lakes and I look forward to seeing our men’s program improve under his direction."

Starting as a participant, MacRae played for South of England School and Ardingly College in Sussex, England where he competed in four National Cup Finals in three continents and 12 countries.

MacRae’s coaching career has been full of accomplishments thus far.

He has a current record of 166-53-1 at the helm of Spencer High School Soccer where the Tiger boys won the state title in 2009, finished third in 2008 and went undefeated in the regular season (15-0) last year.

MacRae has helped over 20 high school athletes earn scholarships at the collegiate level in the past three years.  He was named IHSAA Soccer Coach and NSCAA Small School Coach of the year in 2009; in 2010 he was one of eight up for National High School Coach of the year.

"I’m absolutely delighted to be appointed the new Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Iowa Lakes.  There is no doubt that it is going to be a huge challenge, but everything from the administration to the pitch has been set-up for success," MacRae said.

And, he has an ambitious vision for the team.

"My goal is to elevate the program to the championship level, both on the field and in the classroom.  We want to be proud of the student-athletes we produce and help them achieve their goals."