Women’s soccer team welcomes familiar face as new coach

Curtis Michaud

Contributing writer


To kick off the new fall season, the women’s soccer team has welcomed a new head coach, Olaf Henke.

This year, the women’s soccer team has great expectations after coming off of a Regional Final appearance last season.

“We have a great group of young women with a lot of potential this year again. However, we also know that the competition in our region is strong and expect a pretty tight race,” said Henke.

Henke, who used to work as the Assistant Coach for BC’s women’s soccer team, is a former German soccer player who sustained an unexpected injury, resulting in him leaving the game he loved. However, he didn’t have to say goodbye completely.

Over the last 20 years, Henke has coached almost every level in the Unites States from youth to collegiate soccer. He quickly fell in love with coaching. There he found he can give guidance, not just on the soccer field but for life lessons as well.

“There is no better feeling than successfully and positively influencing a group of players and helping them grow on and off the field,” Henke said.

The newly hired head coach spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach. Now, Henke has replaced former coach Michael Goodrich, who now works as the Athletics Director for BC.

Goodrich played a vital role in establishing prolific players whom have great success academically and athletically. Henke plans on continuing this trend for the women’s soccer team.

Goodrich was looking for distinctive characteristics which he believed Henke holds dear to his heart.

“He shares the same philosophy as I do. I wanted somebody that was holistic in their approach, someone who wasn’t just about winning; somebody who held the total package of academics, socialization on campus, and the athletic part of it,” said Goodrich.

Henke knew the difference in responsibilities from being an assistant coach to head coach. However, Henke believes winning is not everything in life. He has a strong belief that losing can teach an athlete more about themselves as an individual than winning.

“Losing is part of the game and more so part of development and growth. You can’t and you won’t always win in life, but you can strive to give it your best and get back up if you fall down,” said Henke.

Recruiting is a big component in collegiate sports. To maintain a competitive program, a head coach must show strides in recruiting talented players.

This is an area Henke can’t wait to show his ability in. Persuading players the advantages his program can provide, not just athletically but academically as well is something that Henke is passionate about.

“I believe it is important that we continue to find players who are a great fit to the program but also to the school,” said Henke.

This year, the women’s soccer team has an immense amount of talent from top to bottom with their stout defensive unit and high powered offense.

They will have eight returning sophomore players who were on their Regional Final appearance team the season prior to this one.

Henke expects sophomore players Ellie Berbesi, Kathy McCormick and Katelyn Brito to step up and have a major impact in the team’s success.

The women’s soccer team is motivated to compete at a high level. This competitive spirit all started with their practices.

“We make everything a competition only to push us to our limit. With our determination and strength, we put every day at practice, we will see a great outcome,” said Brito.

To attend a women’s soccer game, visit the Athletics section of BC’s website for a full schedule.


Photo: Coach Henke explains soccer tactics to his team during practice. BellaRiccitelli/The Observer

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