Story by Zachary Avery, Editor-in-Chief
Photos courtesy of James DeCosemo
After a historic run in the 2021 season, AQ Women’s Soccer has undergone a change in team leadership after the resignation of former head coach Lewis Robinson. While Robinson heads to Kalamazoo to join on with Western Michigan’s NCAA program, Aquinas has looked in-house for their next star coach: James DeCosemo.
“Obviously, it’s a really good team and a really good opportunity to lead a program that’s Top 10 in the country, which was pretty exciting,” DeCosemo said. “There was some pressure that comes with that, but I understood that when I was going for the role.”
After working on the sidelines with Men’s Soccer as first assistant coach, DeCosemo took on the new whirlwind of responsibilities with excitement, readying both himself and his new team for the impending preseason matches.
“We had a couple good weeks of training, played against a couple of really good teams,” DeCosemo said. “Trinity was a good test for us, it was good to see where we’re at and what to focus on.”
Entering their pre-WHAC season, DeCosemo’s team headed to St. Louis to play against some impressive schools, including No. 3 team Central Methodist out of Missouri. After four consecutive appearances at the NAIA tournament, AQ is eager to return to the finals site and compete against the very best in the country.
“That’s the level we want to play at, so that’ll be the test to know where we’re at,” DeCosemo said. “It’ll tell us what we need to do to compete on that national semifinal or national final stage.”
DeCosemo has also brought back some of the program’s very best, including 2021 NAIA All-Americans Hannah Crum, Merin McDermott and Ariana Garcia.
“There’s so many returners, and they felt that last year they didn’t quite reach exactly where they wanted to,” DeCosemo said. “They’ve got a little bit of a chip on the shoulder, which is just motivating them to push to the next level.”
And what better tone to start off their triumphant return than an unprecedented preseason coaches’ ranking of No. 9, the best in the program’s history.
“It’s just a good showcase of what Aquinas is, and what this athletic department is about,” DeCosemo said. “We want to be the pinnacle of that. We want to be the best, showcase the best, work the hardest, and play the most exciting brand that brings people to the games.”
See you on September 1 against Campbellsville. Go Saints!