James McClendon, Assistant News Editor
In the fall of 2015, the Utica College women’s soccer team completed its first season under head coach Eileen Coyle.
The Pioneers finished the season with a record of 3-13-2 overall and 1-7-0 in conference play.
For the Pioneers, the offseason mindset has been, “the next season starts today.”
In her first offseason as the Pioneers’ head coach, Coyle is dedicated to improvement. She is using her experience as an assistant at Endicott College and St. Lawrence University to put her team through a structured offseason workout regimen.
“We are only allowed to go for five weeks,” Coyle said. “But the expectation is that they are not just working out the three days a week that we get together.”
Coyle also added that she relies on all of her players during the offseason and that she expects all of her players to use this time for individual growth. She really wants to get a good look at how each player has developed their game.
Before Coyle was named head coach, things were difficult for the players because they were never certain who would be leading them into the season.
Junior Keri Berkowitz has seen many changes in the program under Coyle.
“The team has come together since the coaching change,” Berkowitz said. “And it has had an incredible work ethic that has been reinforced by coach’s coaching style.”
Another important aspect of the offseason has been getting on the road and finding incoming freshman to add depth for the fall roster.
Coyle and her assistant, Elana Dauphinais, have traveled up and down the east coast in search of recruits for the fall season.
“At the end of the day we are looking for strong, athletic and competitive players who are really dedicated to soccer,” Coyle said. “We are looking for people who are going to be good teammates, students and positive contributors to our community.”
With the amount of time and energy being put into improving by both players and coaches, next season should be very rewarding.
“We’re working hard on our end of things and it’s exciting that the players are also working hard on their end of things so that next year we’re in the right direction moving forward,” Coye said.
Sophomore Jenna Mazza is very optimistic that the team’s hard work and bonding will translate to victory on the field come next fall.
“As long as we continue to work together and push ourselves, I think we are only setting ourselves up for success,” she said.
With the experience of an entire season and offseason, Coyle will look to lead her team into next season with high levels of confidence.
Featured image; Head coach Eileen Coyle is coming off her first season for the Pioneers. The team finished last year with a 3-13-2 overall record. Photo taken by Jeff Pexton.