Springdale girls soccer hopes chemistry carries over under new coach

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | 7:45 PM


When any first-year coach takes over a program, there are certain goals they want to accomplish to have a successful start.

For Springdale girls soccer coach Marc Bentley, that meant building relationships with his players to create a positive atmosphere.

“The biggest thing for me was, I could come into the team with all the soccer knowledge in the world, but I wanted to show them I actually cared about them as players and as people,” Bentley said. “So it was all about making those individual connections and making everyone feel welcome.”

The Dynamos went 11-7 last year and lost in the WPIAL quarterfinals to eventual state runner-up Freedom. Springdale scored 58 goals, allowed 27 and recorded seven shutouts. But after losing nine seniors, the Dynamos will have a different look this fall.

Their roster will be filled with a mixture of young and old players, and after playing with the last graduating class for so long, senior captain Jamie Tabaka is hoping to pass down the advice she was given.

“Losing them was very hard, but since we have been playing with them for so long, I am trying to pass on the skills they taught us to the grades coming up,” Tabaka said. “I know that a few freshmen have been coming up to me to ask for advice, so I am just looking to pass on that knowledge.”

Getting a team to buy in to a coaching philosophy can be a challenge for any new coach. In Bentley’s case, he is hoping to instill a belief of possession and movement away from the ball. Through the first few weeks of practice, the first-year coach has been impressed by his team’s mindset.

“The attitude they have had since Day 1 is phenomenal,” Bentley said. “They’ve been listening to the directions I’ve been giving and have been implementing those into their play. Their work rate, their attitude, their willingness to play and their willingness to learn has been really important.”

There are a few things Bentley won’t have to address, most notably team chemistry. It was the first thing Bentley noticed when he joined the program, and it is something he can use as the season goes on.

“We are really close, so our communication is great,” senior Ashley Farrell said. “Everyone gets along, so we all communicate really well, and we are able to criticize each other and help each other improve.”

The Dynamos have a strong defense, anchored by Farrell and Tabaka, and they have a group of strikers who can put pressure on opposing defenses.

“We’re just looking to progress with our play every week,” Bentley said. “There are some pretty good teams in our section in the likes of Shady Side and GCC, which are going to be challenges. So we’re just looking for progress against them, and we’re looking to improve as a team.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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