MVNU’s new women’s soccer coach brings a “blue-collar mentality” to the game.
Sarah Maracani, the head coach at Olivet nazarene University last season, shared her excitement, expectations and goals for the team this year. Overall, Maracani said, she expects to see hard work, positive attitudes and competitive play in her first season with the Lady Cougars.
“I am excited to get to know the girls, not just on the soccer level, but also on a personal level,” Maracani said.
Members of the coaching staff said they are looking forward to investing into a new community and expressed high hopes for this coming season.
“I know that the team has been competitive in the Crossroads League Conference, and I want to continue that. In the past they have slowly made their way into the top 25, so hopefully we can continue towards that, and make an opening round bid,” she said.
Maracani said the team’s mentality, culture and past experience will lead to future success.
She has a blue-collar mentality and expects her team to have the same mindset.
“My players are not afraid to get dirty, not afraid of hard work,” Maracani said.
“Another thing is culture. Culture is a huge thing because you are competing together, working together, for each other, for God, and everything else falls into place,” she said.
The team will strive to build off previous successes but will also focus on moving forward into a new era.
“With every coach, it’s going to be a little bit different with their style and what they are looking for,” she said.
Maracani’s own experience as a goalkeeper will add to the team’s dynamic and knowledge of the game. Maracani was a four-year starting goalkeeper at Spring Arbor University.
She was a two-time Second Team NAIA All-American. Her senior season, she was an instrumental part of the Cougars’ NAIA championship run. That year, she was named the National Tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
After her collegiate success, Maracani furthered her career, playing in the National Premier Soccer League for Lansing United.
“Being a goalkeeper, you see what works, what doesn’t work from a different perspective than any of the other players,” she said.
“Coaching the future goalkeeper, I know the light that the forwards are working in and what th goalkeeper and others are thinking, so it is definitely going to be an advantage for our team,” Maracani said.
Coach Sarah Maracani’s husband and assistant coach, James Maracani, will take the managerial role for the team. He said the culture created will carry a team through the season.
“I hope that together, coaching staff and team, we can build a culture in the direction of a new era. We are going to amp everything up, we are going to work hard