The era of Australians finding college success at Wyoming appears to have reached its conclusion as star midfielder Indianna Asimus announced her transfer to Illinois State. The Dubbo product was the last of 13 Aussies to have come through the program over the last decade, but with head coach Pete Cuadrado’s recent departure for Tarleton State and Asimus’ transfer, that pipeline appears to have finally dried up.
An integral part of the Cowgirls’ lineup, Asimus made 46 appearances in three campaigns at Laramie, including 35 starts. Of those 35 starts, the last 31 came consecutively, dating back to the final five games of the 2018 campaign before the midfielder cemented herself in the starting eleven for the entirety of the 2019 and Spring 2021 seasons. 2019 also saw Asimus pick up a number of College Matildas awards, grabbing the Sophomore of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year awards, whilst sharing the Midfielder of the Year award and scoring six goals to take home the Top Goalscorer award just for good measure.
Asimus followed up that six-goal season with another two in the shortened seven-game campaign for the Cowgirls in the Spring 2021 season, but those would be the last goals in the brown and gold for the former Hunter Sports High School star. Going forward, it will be the Redbirds of Illinois State who hope to benefit from the midfielder’s scoring prowess. Despite finishing 4-7-1 in the Spring 2021 season, Illinois State were able to advance to the Missouri Valley Conference tournament semi-finals, in which they ran #1 seed Loyola Chicago close in a 2-1 overtime defeat. The Redbirds were kept scoreless only three times in 12 games last season, but only managed 1.33 goals per game, a number that is by no means terrible, but could be improved upon if they want to make a leap up the conference standings in the coming fall season. The addition of Asimus, a versatile midfielder with plenty of ability to generate offence, looks on paper as though it could be a masterstroke from Redbirds coach Brad Silvey as he aims to return his side to the form of 2019, in which they finished 14-6 and reached the conference championship game before falling to the same Loyola Chicago team that ended their campaign just a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, one of Wyoming’s most successful pipelines appears to be no more. A program that has seen Amy Sarandopoulos, Loren Sellers, Liz O’Reilly, Lucie McDowell, Georgia Rowntree, Alisha Bass, Candace Sciberras, Jessie Gentle, Annika Clayton, Jemma House, Caitlin Pickett, and Asimus all come through its doors now finds itself without an Australian on the roster for the first time in over a decade. Whether the Cowgirls’ new coach continues to recruit Australians remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that a lot of the team’s success over recent seasons can be traced back to Australia, and any continuation of this pattern appears unlikely at this stage.