FORT WAYNE – Femi Hollinger-Janzen’s position on the Indiana soccer team hasn’t been established for the fall season.
Hollinger-Janzen is being used up top during the spring season, which continues Saturday when IU plays Notre Dame as part of the Shindigz National Soccer Festival in a matchup of the last two NCAA champions at Fort Wayne Sport Club. He could move into the midfield in the fall.
The one thing that is known is the sophomore will be counted on more in his junior season.
Femi is going to have a prime role, IU coach Todd Yeagley said. We will experiment a little bit here in the spring. Regardless, he’s going to have a prime role with our team. This is the year. We really need that with so many key seniors leaving last year and (forward) Tommy Thompson going pro. He’s going to have to take a bigger leadership role as well as his play as well.
Hollinger-Janzen tied for the team lead in goals with five last season and is the only one of IU’s top five points leaders to return next season.
Thompson signed a hometown deal with the San Jose Earthquake of the MLS after his freshman season when he had 13 points on five goals and three assists. IU also lost midfielders Nikita Kotlov and A.J. Corrado, who both also had 13 points on five goals and three assists; Jacob Bushue, who had nine points on three goals and three assists; and Harrison Petts, who had six points on two goals and two assists, to graduation.
Hollinger-Janzen said he thinks the Hoosiers will still have a strong offense, even with the losses, and he is ready to fill his role.
(Yeagley) wants me to be the guy up top, hold the ball for the team, so guys can play off of me, Hollinger-Janzen said. I think our offense can be very strong this year. We have a great attacking team. I’m very excited for the attacking aspect of our team this year.
Yeagley is excited to see Hollinger-Janzen handle an expanded role.
I think it is the right time, Yeagley said. The team loves Femi, and they want him to be that guy too. It’s just the right time. He’s learned behind some other dominant personalities in our attack. This is now his time to be that go-to player and one that not only leads by example but leads vocally and is able to get other players into the game regardless of how the flow of the game is.