Today: Apr 21, 2024

Women’s soccer: former goalie joins coaching staff

Mark Tillotson – Special to Southern News

North Haven resident Jackie Fede is making a smooth transition from star goalie to assistant coach of the Southern Connecticut State University women’s soccer team.

Fede has excelled at every level, beginning with an outstanding career at Cheshire High School. There Fede had three All-State and All-New England selections and led her team to two state championships.

After high school, Fede took her talents to the University of Rhode Island, where she played for three years and posted 10 shutouts. Fede then came to SCSU as a graduate student looking to take some part-time classes.

Photo Courtesy | southernctowls.com
Jackie Fede playing goalie for the Owls in 2011. She helped the team to a school record 12 shutouts last season.

Before long, Fede was back on the soccer field, playing out her last year of eligibility for the Owls. Fede earned All- Region and All-New England honors and set an SCSU record for shutouts in one season with 12.

Former Owls teammate Laura Barberia, a junior, spoke very highly of what Fede did on the field and the kind of person that she was.

“She was a great leader and she was the best goalie I’ve ever seen,” said Barberia. “She taught me hard work and passion for the game.”

Barberia and all of Fede’s former teammates now get to see her in a new role. Fede has taken over the job of assistant goal keeper coach for the Owls.  This is a job that her former coach and current co-worker Adam Cohen thinks she can strive at. Cohen said that as a coach, Fede can impact the game even more than she did as a player.

“Her new role as a coach can have an even bigger influence on the game and our players,” he said. “The coaching role extends beyond wins and losses because as a coach she can affect people’s lives and the way they carry themselves.”

Fede said that the way she can help this team win as a coach is through her experience over the years.

“I played soccer for 15 years,” she said. “14 of those years came as a goalkeeper so I think my experience is what can help this team.”

As a coach, Fede’s impact on the game changes immensely. She can no longer be her team’s anchor on the field at the goalkeeper position.

“It’s very different in terms of preparation because it’s more like a puzzle trying to figure what will and will not work,” Fede said.

Cohen said he has already seen a steady improvement in his goalkeepers since Fede started working with them.

“They know that she’s been there and done that,” said Cohen. “It gives her instant credibility while she grows into her coaching role and instills confidence in them.”

While known by her teammates as a great leader, the always humble Fede said she owes her ability to coach to her teammates over the years.

“They are 100% responsible for my ability to coach,” she said. “They’ve taught me to work hard and be a vocal leader, so they get all the credit.”

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