Coach strives for stability, recruits for upcoming season

Women’s soccer team has low participation numbers, despite season starting soon

Comet+defender+Ashley+Portillo+%28right%29+battles+for+possession+of+the+ball+during+a+home+game+in+the+2017+season%2C+the+last+time+the+women%E2%80%99s+soccer+team+played.+
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Coach strives for stability, recruits for upcoming season

Comet defender Ashley Portillo (right) battles for possession of the ball during a home game in the 2017 season, the last time the women’s soccer team played.

Comet defender Ashley Portillo (right) battles for possession of the ball during a home game in the 2017 season, the last time the women’s soccer team played.

File Photo / The Advocate

Comet defender Ashley Portillo (right) battles for possession of the ball during a home game in the 2017 season, the last time the women’s soccer team played.

File Photo / The Advocate

File Photo / The Advocate

Comet defender Ashley Portillo (right) battles for possession of the ball during a home game in the 2017 season, the last time the women’s soccer team played.

By Denis Perez, Creative Director

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Coach Ted Steen was hired to revamp the women’s soccer program and from its summer class group, the team has gained two committed players, biology major Sindy Mendoza and psychology major Noemi Gomez.

Contra Costa College women’s soccer team is looking to recruit 16 players before its Sept. 27 season opener.

“We are building a presence,” Steen said.

Last year the soccer team did not collect enough players to field a regulation team and have a full season.

Steen hopes to change this through a growth mindset.

“We are looking for effort over outcome,” Steen said.

No one is stuck at their level and there is always room for improvement. There just needs to be an outlet for the female athletes to practice their skills, Steen said.

To promote the program, the team has been setting up an informational table in the Campus Center Plaza to get students to sign up for the team, further engage the community and build a reputation.

From tabling, the team has gained another member, criminal justice major Jasmin Cervantes.

The women’s team will host pick-up games open to everyone in the public on the Soccer Field Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, Steen said.

The goal for the women’s team this year is to show people CCC has good talent, Gomez said.

“We just have to be patient,” she said.

Gomez, who has been selected as team captain said, during summer practice and now during the semester, it is vital that the low participation numbers don’t get to her.

“You just have to bring your all,” Gomez said.

For her, that means bringing a good spirit and being in a good mood. Coach Steen’s positivity during practice enables her to do that every practice, she said.

The women’s soccer team will practice from Monday to Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. for the first four weeks of the semester. After that, the team will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 10 a.m. And the games will usually be played on Tuesday and Friday afternoons.

During practice, Steen goes over fundamentals while creating an environment where the team members feel safe, he said.

Steen, 29, had been working as the assistant women’s coach at Diablo Valley College. That team’s record last year was 14-12-6 in the Big 8 Conference. Steen also coaches outside of the collegiate level and in community leagues.

“My coaching philosophy is to educate student-athletes to have fun, while learning life skills,” Steen said.

During the summer, Mendoza saw the team had different skill levels and Steen was able to work with that. Soccer is a team sport, so having a coach that can do that is going to be very important as the season starts and the women start to develop themselves in different ways, she said.

For Mendoza, she knows soccer will always be there for her, as a sport and as a training ground for herself. Having a space to play soccer at the collegiate level allows her to escape the burdens of school, she said.

“I am an athletic person and I love soccer because it is something that I identify with,” Mendoza said.

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