Anzalone fills in as varsity girls' soccer coach

January 27, 2009 — by Tim Rollinson and Aditi Jayaraman

After leading the Lady Falcons to a 3-1-1 record in their first five league games, varsity girls’ soccer head coach Tulin Mendoza was replaced by history teacher Kim Anzalone for the remainder of the season.

Anzalone was previously the girls’ JV coach. Mendoza and the administration agreed it wasn’t right that his busy schedule prevented him from fully committing to the team.

“Mendoza was spread a little too thin and he wasn’t giving us his full attention,” said senior captain Katie Marsh.

After Anzalone took over the varsity coaching duties on Jan. 14, math teacher Kristen Hamilton was appointed as the new JV coach and Eric Leonard, a team parent, was chosen as an assistant coach for varsity. The team, which has had four different coaches in the past four years, is beginning to feel its weaknesses lie in the inconsistency of its leaders.

“I think the transition between coaches has been pretty hard to deal with,” said senior captain Hana Pruzansky. “The girls are beginning to have trust issues with our coaches now because they’re continuously changing, and I feel like this might be the root cause that’s weakening the soccer program.”

Anzalone’s first game at her new position ended in a 2-2 tie with Milpitas on Jan. 14. Goals were scored by freshman Kari Clark and junior Sam Li. Anzalone was pleasantly surprised by the effort given by the team.

“I think the girls are playing better now that they are getting to know each other better,” said Anzalone. “It also helps that they have more consistent positions.”

Despite her initial concerns about the loss of Mendoza, Marsh expressed optimism about Anzalone’s hiring.

“It’s definitely a change having [Anzalone] as a coach,” said Marsh. “She’s really positive, and she listens to us more.”

Anzalone said that the focus is going to shift from conditioning to ball work and chemistry.

The team was scheduled to play first place Gunn on Jan. 23, but due to printing deadlines, The Falcon was not able to cover the game.

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