BY JOHN DECOSTE
Acadia has reached into its past and found a new head coach for its women’s soccer program.
The university announced Wednesday that 1996 Acadia graduate Angela Morrison has been named soccer Axewomen head coach for the 2009 season, replacing Dara Ramirez, who resigned last spring.
Morrison’s name will be familiar to fans of Valley District Soccer as the new (since early July) VDSA technical director.
An all-star goalkeeper, Morrison helped lead the Axewomen to a conference title in 1996, a season in which Acadia set a national record by allowing no goals against during the regular season.
Following her graduation with a second Acadia degree in 1997, Morrison played soccer professionally in Japan’s women’s league in 1997-1998.
In 1998, she began her coaching career as an assistant coach with the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where she was completing her education degree.
The following year, she was an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota, where she received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
She coached at UND three years, the last as the head coach.
Starting in 2002, Morrison moved on to San Diego State, where she coached for two seasons, including a brief stint as interim head coach.
From 2004 until her return to the Valley this year, she was an assistant coach at the University of Montana.
Extensive experience a bonus
With an extensive background in soccer and education, her resume is complemented by a U.S. Soccer Federation Class ‘B’ license and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America advanced national diploma.
She had also acquired a Canadian Soccer Level 3 Technical Certification prior to leaving Canada. “There is no doubt that Angela’s background coaching at the NCAA Division 1 level, her extensive knowledge of soccer and her past history with Acadia will benefit our women’s program,” says Director of Varsity Athletics Brian Heaney. “I am confident Angela will guide our women’s soccer program in the right direction, build on last year’s performance and also provide great leadership for our student athletes and the Valley’s budding soccer stars.”
For her part, Morrison anticipates no problems juggling her two jobs, which she said, “complement each other nicely. “A lot of the mandate of Valley Soccer and the VDSA is development,” she said. “In my job as TD, I get to see some of the best soccer in the province and I’m able to keep an eye on the up-and-coming kids.”
Morrison holding both jobs “also has advantages for local players in that it gives them something to aspire to. For me, I can teach them what’s needed to play at that next level.”
At the same time, juggling the two jobs “will make for a full plate for me. It will take some time management and some long-term planning.” It will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge she is more than willing to embrace.
The Axewomen started their pre-season last Friday. “I’ve met a handful of the players as they’ve come back into town,“ Morrison said, “and I’ve seen a lot of them play (in Tier 1 leagues) during the summer. The rest I’ll find out about once we get into the pre-season.”
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BY JOHN DECOSTE