Women’s Head Soccer Coach, Jason Gross took time out of his preseason planning and schedule to meet and discuss the season ahead. We asked him a bit about team captains and transitioning into the head coach position.
What is your outlook on the season for this year?
“Positive, I’m very pleased with what we have returning. The spring was a shift for the players and I was encouraged by their response to new expectations.”
What do you think will lead to your team’s success this season?
“It’s a building year for us. We have a very young team, so this year will be about laying a solid foundation for the years to come.”
Give me an idea of what your preseason workouts will entail this year.
“Our preseason consist of several components. Off the field, players will be involved in classroom sessions to get acclimated to the program processes and expectations. We will take a deep dive into our playing style, philosophy, and team culture. With a short preseason, fitness will be our immediate focus. A lack of fitness can lead to preventable injuries so it’s important to manage the load appropriately each week.”
How confident are you in your returning athletes to lead your team this year?
“We have several upperclassmen whom I expect to lead the group. They were instrumental in rallying the group this spring.”
Do you have any ideas of who will be team captain; if so, why?
“I like to let preseason dictate who should lead the group.”
You are going into this season after losing senior Brenda Alonso, Bruna Distinto, Acrelis “Lisa” Piantini, Gabriela Escobar, Audrey Tsuemi and freshman leading scorer, Angely Mercado, which players do you think will play the biggest role in filling the shoes of these lead players?
“Jessica Alonso, Vanessa Ramirez, and Jennifer Portillo are going to be my big three. They have the pulse of the group, and I expect them to lead from the front this season!”
Being the team with the most wins and most returning athletes, what expectations do you have for your team this year?
“It’s early to make a definitive statement about where we will be by year-end. Success for us this year will be measured by improving our team GPA, graduating our seniors, and improving our team culture. On the pitch, we want to be as competitive as possible and play a more creative style.”
Becoming the head coach this season what changes will you make to the program to make it your own?
“I think my predecessor Amy Olson did an amazing job with the program before I came in. Players are happy and are proud to be a part of the program. I want to continue to build on that culture while improving the size and quality of the team.”
Tell me about your new assistant coach and how you think she will add value to the program?
“Naj [Najla Muhammad] is great, she played at a high level and has coaching experience at the youth travel and high school levels. She is very professional, dependable, and works well with others. She’ll have a huge impact on the players this season.”
Where do you see Trinity athletics going in the future?
“I believe we are trending upward. It was a very productive spring and summer!”
What type of athletes are you looking for when recruiting? What recruiting methods do prefer?
“The most important factor in deciding on a student-athlete is their character. Our school and program is a big family, and the prospective student-athletes have to be a good fit for the school and our program culture.”
On behalf of athletics and the Trinity community we would like to thank Coach Jason Gross for giving us an inside look into the women’s soccer program!