Learning from the Best

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BISMARCK, N.D. - She played for our country as a goal keeper for the Olympic and U.S. National team's, plus she has played soccer professionally.

This week Jillian Loyden is in Bismarck helping instruct the goalie's at the University of Mary.

Loyden met Sarah and Dave Cook at a convention and that conversation led to Jillian's trip to Bismarck.

Toward the end of her playing days, she founded the Keeper Institute so this is a golden opportunity for the Marauders goalies.

"They called me and said we got something different for you and I was like cool and I'm super excited about this and they wanted me to mentor the goal keepers all summer and come to North Dakota and work with them in the pre-season and I was like I'm all about this. I've been really excited to work with them and it's an honor because they're amazing coaching to be around," said Loyden.

U-Mary Head Men's Coach Dave Cook said: "She's a pretty special person. She's an incredible coach. Obviously she was a very good player but not every really good player is a good coach but she's in my mind and in Sarah's mind she's one of the best soccer minds in the country right now so it have that is pretty special."

Dave Cook said Jillian shared her personal story and her personal journey with the Marauders which Cook feels is just as important as what she's teaching the players on the field.

U-Mary Head Women's Coach Sarah Cook said: "A different level of expectation when she is around so the information may not be significantly different but she is just holding us to a higher standard and that's great and time right now during pre-season is where we want the foundation for our year so it's an important time of the year for her to come right now."

"Being a former national team player definitely earns you a little bit of respect or a little more respect when you first meet someone but I think as soon as players meet me they're more excited about my passion for the game and how much that I want to help them and how much they can see progress in their own game," said Loyden. It get's you a little bit of a foot in the door but it's more about what you bring to them after that."

Loyden is working with seven goal keepers at U-Mary. Four on the men's side and three on the women's team.