By Joseph Phelan, @JPhelan13
Sometimes a team needs a change.
In February the St. Bonaventure University women’s soccer team announced the hiring of Steve Brdarski as head coach.
Brdarski desired to create team chemistry, and he also strived to diffuse confidence in his players.
The Bonnies traveled to Europe in the summer, and after they returned Brdarski noticed something different.
“I think the turning point for us was when we actually went to Europe,” he said. “We came back from Europe, we had some experiences that most people don’t get to experience and that rolled right into preseason.”
As for confidence, Brdarski brings a positive attitude.
“You are trying to provide an environment or situation where they are growing in confidence, but if you are always beating them down it is very hard, in my opinion, to grow in confidence,” said Brdarski.
Brdarski believes in praising players who make great plays during practice, and he has an interesting way of doing so.
“When someone does something great at practice we just stop right away and we ask that person to put their hands on their head and we start clapping for them,” he said.
Whenever a coach implements a new approach it usually takes some time for the results to pay off, since Brdarski has been around these girls for an offseason he has seen first hand how they have handled his coaching style.
“I think the girls, for the most part, have benefited from it—I think we have gotten more out of them,” said Brdarski. “I’m proud of the whole team.”
The Bonnies lost to Kent State last week before defeating Canisius on Wednesday night.
After four games (two exhibition and two regular season) Brdarski is not sold on a goalkeeper, but only since both have been exceptional.
Senior Megan Junker starts, and as Brdarski puts it, sophomore Christina Sarokon is the closer.
Brdarski understands how difficult of a situation a goalkeeper by committee can be, but he likes the maturity of his goalkeepers.
“I don’t think it is an easy situation,” said Brdarski. “It takes special people to be able to do that. I think we have two special goalkeepers who respect each other individually.”
With two capable goalkeepers, the Bonnies should be competitive in many games this year.
Brdarski feels confident in the rest of his team, especially since the Bonnies have escaped the injury bug (aside from an injury to Courtney Hoenicke) thus far.
“We are still 20 players strong, waiting for our star senior (Hoenicke) to come back,” said Brdarski. “If we get 21 players all throughout the season I think that as a staff we have done our job protecting their bodies and making sure, you know, we are doing the right things: pushing the gas when we can and hitting the breaks when we have to.”
The Bonnies will take on the University at Buffalo this afternoon in their home opener, and there is reason for optimism if you are a Bona’s fan, and it all began with a change.