Former Bluejay standout defender Ivonne Valentin is back for her ninth season on the Creighton bench following an all-conference playing career with the Bluejays from 2002-05. The 2014 season marks Valentin’s first year as volunteer director of soccer operations. She was an assistant coach over the last three seasons (2011-13) and previously served as both a student assistant (2006) and volunteer assistant coach (2007-10).Valentin has been responsible for the majority of the administrative tasks such as travel arrangements and camp registration throughout her tenure.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in communication studies in the spring of 2007, Valentin took on the volunteer assistant role. This new challenge showcased her ability to motivate players on the field and allowed Valentin to develop her coaching skills, coordinating the student managers and breaking down film. Valentin has worked at Bluejay soccer camps since 2002 and has worked with the Nebraska State Soccer Association and club teams in the Omaha area since concluding her playing career. In 2008, she began coaching with the Omaha Futbol Club, a group she still works with.
As a player, Valentin helped lead one of the most successful four-year spans in school history from 2002-05 (44-28-10, .598), including three NCAA Tournament appearances. She played in 75 games in her career, collecting 10 goals and one assist as a defender. Five of her goals were of the game-winning variety, including three during the 2004 season.
As a freshman in 2002, Valentin was named to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) All-Freshman Team as the Bluejays captured their first MVC regular-season and tournament championships, sending Creighton to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
The Bluejays also secured MVC tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA postseason in 2004 and 2005, as Valentin earned All-MVC First Team (2004) and All-MVC Second Team (2005).
In her junior season, Valentin earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Central Region Second Team honors and was tabbed all-region third team as a senior captain, making her one of only two players in school history to twice earn all-region accolades (the other was Lulu Quigley). She also earned MVC All-Tournament honors in 2004 and 2005.
Following her collegiate career, Valentin competed with the Puerto Rican National Team in the winter of 2007, playing in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification competition. The defender helped Puerto Rico pick up a 1-0 shutout victory over Haiti on Oct. 26, 2007 to claim the top spot in the First Round Group D and advance to the Caribbean Second Round. Valentin and the Puerto Rican team eventually split two games with Trinidad and Tobago and missed the Olympics by one goal. She also played for the Puerto Rican National Team in March and May of 2010.