Women’s soccer names Mazza new head coach

ULM Hawkeye

Former UAPB coach hired to turn losing program around

The soccer team named Roberto Mazza as the new head coach in December.

Mazza brings a new standard of excellence to the women’s soccer team.

“He has very high expectations, but I think he’s reasonable as far as where our expectations are in the off-season compared to where we should be when we come back for the fall season,” goalkeeper Alex Holland said.

Last season Mazza finished with a 16-5-1 record at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) as head coach and a trip to the NCAA Tournament .

He took over the program at UAPB in 2007, which usually finished in the bottom of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and in just his third year, Mazza brought the team to the NCAA tournament.

Holland said, “He’s a good motivator and positive, and I think that’s what we needed.”

Mazza was also named SWAC coach of the year in 2008.

His successes as a coach are not only shown on the field, however. His UAPB team had an average GPA of 3.42.

Mazza said, “That’s one of my main points, especially when involved with recruiting, is that you are a student first, then an athlete.”

He said, “And I think that it is very important that academics come first because at the end of the day, you’re going to graduate with a degree and be a professional somewhere else. For me, it’s very important that the academic standard  stays high.”

In addition to his athletes’ accomplishments, Mazza just recently earned his Master’s Degree in both business administration and physical education.

Mazza has already made some changes in the training program, including  a.m. weight workouts.

He said, “That’s what comes with the territory when you are a Division One athlete, and that’s why not everyone can be a Division One athlete. We are obviously focused on making players more complete and getting them to buy into the system I want to

teach here.”

Junior Haleigh Harrel said, “I think coach Mazza is creating a foundation for what will be a successful program in the future.”

She said, “I think we’re going to do well next season and that we’re going to make the conference tournament, which is something we’ve never done before.”