Van Vechten named GNAC Coach of the Year

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Van Vechten named GNAC Coach of the Year

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

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Within the 13 teams across the Greater Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) eligible for Coach of the Year accolades, the Suffolk women’s head soccer coach Ashley Van Vechten ultimately scored this award. 

Coaches from each team were able to nominate three coaches in the GNAC for the Coach of the Year, which was based on a point system.

Receiving Coach of the Year was not achievable without Van Vechten’s team beside her. 

“Because this is an award voted by your coaching peers, there is an outsider’s perspective to why our program was chosen,” said Van Vechten. “I can say that my coaching colleagues can see the improvement in our team from last year to this year. Our team has adapted the style we use and put in all the hard work to make this a reality. It is a testament to the team that I was given this award.” 

For the 2019 fall season, the team played a total of 16 games and won 10, with a total of 34 goals. 

Van Vechten has many goals for the team to reach as they are in the off season. 

“Every coach in the world knows that we all have ideas and answers but if the team doesn’t believe or have faith in them then nothing gets accomplished,” said Van Vechten. 

Right now the women’s soccer team is in the off season preparing for the spring in the weight room. Van Vechten is building the team by adding strength, agility and things to make them successful together. 

“My main goal right now in the off season is to continue to stay hungry, focused and driven and take every opportunity to improve each day,” said Van Vechten. “In terms of on the field I want them to continue to compete and also enjoy what they are doing.” 

Lindsey Keith, the women’s soccer graduate assistant who works right alongside Van Vechten, recognizes how dedicated she is to the team. 

“There are so many positives to say about Ashley. She is one of the most motivated, hardworking and dedicated people I know. She is my mentor and I look up to her as my role model,” said Keith. “Ashley has impacted Suffolk Women’s soccer tremendously. She has improved the players mental and physical aspects of the game, along with their tactical skills. She also teaches the team about life skills that will help them succeed in life.” 

Van Vechten is from Rochester, New York, and went to college to play soccer at The University of Rochester. 

Growing up, Van Vechten started playing soccer at four years old. When she was younger, a girls team did not exist so she played on the boys team through the ages of nine to 11. As a teenager, Van Vechten played club soccer and then finally at the collegiate level solidified her position as a center back. 

Before arriving at Suffolk, Van Vechten was a history and German double major. After graduating college, Van Vechten moved to Germany to pursue a Full-Bright teaching assistantship in Munic, Germany for a year. 

“I came back state-side teaching English as a second language which was fun and challenging in a different way, but I knew that if I was going to teach something, why not teach the thing that I love which is soccer,” said Van Vechten. 

Soon after, Van Vechten took a full-time position as a coach here at Suffolk.

“I really was blown away with the academics and the caliber of students that Suffolk has, as well as all the developments within the athletics department that really started showcasing what division three collegiate athletics looks like,” Van Vechten said. 

Van Vechten has two seasons now under her belt with the team and will continue to coach at Suffolk.

 

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