GREENSBORO, N.C. - Less than two years removed from helping lead UNCG women's soccer to an appearance in the NCAA tournament, Spartan alum Regan Lehman was adding more hardware to her trophy case in Belfast this September. The former UNCG defender was in the starting 11 for North Ireland Women's Premiership club Glentoran FC on Sunday, September 22nd, as the side won its second straight Women's Irish Cup at Windsor Park.
Lehman has been a regular on Glentoran's back four since joining the side a little over a month ago, despite arriving in Belfast in the middle of the club's season.
"To be honest, the reason I ended up over in Northern Ireland was all because of a text I got from [UNCG Head Women's Soccer Coach] Michael Coll this August," says Lehman. "A former player of his was playing for Glentoran and reached out to him stating they needed a center back to finish off the rest of the season and asked if he had anyone in mind. He said he had thought of me and if I was interested to give him a call. Without hesitation I called him and the next thing I knew I was in contact with the manager of Glentoran and he was booking me a flight to Northern Ireland for me to arrive within the next week. It was a roller coaster of emotions all at once, but I will always be grateful for that text from Michael!"
Lehman has adjusted well to her new organization, earning regular appearances in the starting 11 and playing a key role in Glentoran tallying back-to-back clean sheets in both the finals and semifinals of this year's Irish Cup. The club clinched a second straight domestic cup title thanks to a 1-0 win over league rivals Linfield, as the two sides continue to compete for club supremacy in Northern Ireland.
"Coming in halfway through the season and not truly understanding what was at stake was hard, but once I saw the passion and grit that every player showed it made it very clear how important it was to bring that trophy back home," said Lehman. "I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the team that did."
Experiencing success so quickly after joining the pro ranks has a habit of getting to young players' heads, but Lehman commends that she's staying grounded and not overthinking her future overseas.
"Honestly, my goal when it comes to soccer is to just have fun with it," says Lehman. "I have no idea what’s going to happen after this, but three months ago I hadn’t played or even trained for soccer in over a year and a half and I am now playing with one of the best teams in Northern Ireland! So, I guess we will find out. But no matter where I am in the world or what level it may be, as long as I am out on the field having the time of my life and giving it my all, I will have reached my goal."
-- UNCG –