Women’s soccer rebuild stunted

By Alex Kwasniza, Staff Writer

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Fielding and keeping a full women’s soccer team has been a problem since Nikki Ferguson transitioned from coaching the women’s team to the men’s soccer team for Contra Costa College in 2014.
And once again Comet athletics may be without a women’s soccer team for the 2018 season.
“I’m disappointed,” Ferguson said. “I’m very disappointed because I think it’s important to have female representation within our athletic department.”
The women’s soccer team has experienced a number of coaching changes since Ferguson’s rebuilding of the team six years ago and his subsequent departure from the women’s program to coach the men.
Initially, his assistant Amanda Beckenhauer took the helm but was soon allowed to walk away after not maintaining the standard set in previous years by Ferguson.
Only one win was garnered under the leadership of the overwhelmed former assistant coach in 2014 and in 2015 the women’s team forfeited its entire season.
Beckenhauer was followed by Brittany Castillo, who also endured a rough and short-lived tenure before leaving without even nudging the program in the direction of prominence.
Last year Manish Doshi was hired to lead the fledgling women’s program and after guiding the team through its first complete season in years, his final post-game speech last November left many of his players filled with optimism.
After the game Doshi assured the team that he was here to stay, not going anywhere and that he was “dedicated to helping build the women’s soccer team back to a competitive program.”
However, before the 2018 fall semester began, Doshi was gone and the burden to rebuild the women’s program was, once again, place firmly on Ferguson’s shoulders. And Ferguson already has his hands full coaching the men’s soccer team at CCC.
Ferguson was chosen as the women’s soccer coach in May.
“As much as I hate to say this, I don’t really see it happening this year,” he said.
As of press time on Tuesday, the team had only six enthusiastic and participating players. This number obviously needs to grow, but time is running out as the season is slated to start on Friday when the Comets are scheduled to host College of Marin at 2 p.m.
A full soccer team consists of 11 players, however, ideally, Ferguson said he would like to have at least 16 players on the squad before he could feel comfortable with CCC matching up against other teams this year.
Athletic Director John Wade said he had a list of 16 players signed up for the women’s soccer team, but over half of them dropped off for various reasons.
“It got to the point that I notified our (Bay Valley Conference) commissioner that it didn’t look good,” Wade said. Currently, no schedule is posted for the team on the California Community College Athletic Association website cccaa.org, meaning expectations that the program will experience some last second miracle are low.

At this juncture, anyone who is interested and capable of playing for the team should contact coach Ferguson immediately at nferguson@contracosta.edu.

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