How Local Investment and Indiana Soccer Culture Propelled Lady Victory FC to the Top of the Standings
Published Jun 22, 2021
Photo Credits:   Joe Gilbert


On June 20, Lady Victory FC – member of the 2021 WPSL expansion class, entered the 89’ minute tied 1-1 with fellow Midwestern Conference competitors, the Columbus Eagles. Just one month earlier, Lady Victory beat the Eagles 6-0 at home in their season opener but now as the visiting team, it looked like they would head back to Indianapolis with a draw. Fortunately for Lady Victory, forward Monica Dolinsky , sister of Lady Victory head coach, Paul Dolinsky, had different plans as the final minutes ticked by. Dolinsky received a quick pass off a Lady Victory interception and lobbed a shot over the head of Eagles goalkeeper, Hannah Sargent, to win 2-1. This would be one of their five victories in Lady Victory’s inaugural season with the WPSL.


Being successful is great, because everything feeds off that,Jimmy Carson, Lady Victory assistant head coach, said. “We’ve been blessed on the scoreboard, and we learned a little bit about what happens when you play two games in a weekend.”


Carson is also the chief executive officer of Sogility – a training and performance company out of Westfield, Indiana. For Carson, Paul Dolinsky, and Sogility, traces back to the staff's previous experience with the league as he coached the former WPSL side, Indiana Saints FC. That relationship, plus a personal relationship with Dolinsky’s sister, Monica, playing in the league in past seasons, made joining an easy decision.


“It’s a league we’re familiar with and they have very high standards,” Carson said. “A place for our college kids to come home and play.”


That group of college kids runs deep as Lady Victory’s roster carries up to 40 players who are prepared to rotate week in and week out. The United States is full of soccer hotbeds, and Indiana is high on that list. Lady Victory’s player pool has talent from Indiana-based colleges like Butler, Purdue, Indiana University and three-time NCAA Division I champion, Notre Dame.


Like other WPSL teams, Lady Victory also carries several high school and former collegiate players including game-winning goal scorer against the Eagles, Dolinsky, who played at the professional level in Europe for five years and currently sits on multiple career leaders list from her alma mater, Kansas University. Dolinsky is second on assists (30), seventh in goals (23) and seventh in game-winning goals (7) for the Jayhawks. That’s an accomplishment from a college program that produced other former WPSL alumnae who now sit on rosters within then National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) professionals like Racing Louisville FC’s Addisyn Merrick (FC Wichita) and Katie McClure (FC Wichita).


There’s a healthy mix of veterans, college players looking to stay fresh in the offseason and high school players learning from more experienced teammates that add another level of excitement to playing in the WPSL for the Lady Victory coaching staff.


To have that cool mix and see them mature and grow together is another unique facet in how the leagues panned out,” Carson said.


Lady Victory isn’t just an example of excelling because of an existing soccer culture – it’s about investment. Sogility’s technology-driven training methods include working at a complex that includes 31 fields – three of which are full-sized, and an indoor training facility. Lady Victory also receives support from local businesses, which is something that Carson attributes to their early success.


We found a couple great local sponsors,” Carson said. “They were wonderful to jump right in and give us some funds for equipment, uniforms and things that made it professional really quickly. It’s an easy sell when you have good people and good players.”


Businesses, however, aren’t the only ones working alongside Lady Victory but also the local men’s professional soccer team, Indy Eleven of the United Soccer League (USL). Indy Eleven’s presences in the city contributed to the team’s decision to go with the name Lady Victory FC.




Sitting atop the iconic Indianapolis Soldiers & Sailors Monument is a sword-wielding, torch holding, statue named Lady Victory. The statute is part of the Indy Eleven team crest, and that spurred on conversations within Lady Victory FC.



We talked about it, and we thought ‘let’s embrace what Indy Eleven and the culture and vibe they’ve created,” Carson said. “The Brickyard Battalion [Indy Eleven’s supporters’ group] come to support us as well. Once they found out we existed we’ve begun to mature and grow together. It’s about Indy vibe and culture.


That culture of support, both on and off the field, propelled Lady Victory FC to the top of the Midwestern Conference standings. In six matches, Lady Victory has five wins and one loss. Dolinsky’s side has 15 points and a goal differential of 18, which is six more than second place Cincinnati Sirens FC.


Lady Victory FC next test comes Sunday, June 27, in a battle between first and second place in the conference, as Cincinnati travels to Lady Victory FC’s home field at Guerin Catholic High School.

The match will be streamed on Eleven Sports, the official streaming partner of the WPSL.



    Author:   Thomas Costello,  @1thomascostello (twitter)
   WPSL Contributor - Central Region