Notre Dame-Fairfield girls soccer preview
If Pedro Oliveira gets his wish, the Notre Dame-Fairfield girls soccer team's success will not be measured by wins and losses.
And as long as ND is confident, year one will be exactly what he's after.
"My first goal is to bring self-esteem to the girls," Oliveira said. "I want to make sure they believe in themselves."
Oliveira's spent 15 years coaching at Christian Heritage School in Trumbull before getting his opportunity at ND this year. His background -- with Fairfield United Soccer Club, as well as experience playing and coaching in Brazil -- speaks for itself.
But Oliveira's first year as Lancers' head coach should be laced with challenges. Notre Dame was 1-15 a year ago, but he's up to turn its program around.
"I always like challenges," Oliveira said. "We hope they achieve better results than the past few years."
Mackenzie Stone, Katie Yellen and Lauren Berard are the Lancers' three senior captains. Stone is a defender, Yellen is a midfielder and Berard will be the team's sweeper. Oliveira appreciates how each puts her stamp on ND.
"They want to make a difference," he said. "They have the passion besides just the skill."
Emily Wonsiewicz is a transfer from Christian Heritage and Oliveira also has faith in freshman midfielder Bryanna D'Arcangelo.
Oliveira also believes that soccer could help ND's girls off the field.
"It makes a difference in their lives altogether," he said.
Oliveira has high hopes for 2012, but knows the future is what's important for ND soccer. He's hoping to put the Lancers on the map.
"We want to develop players that will be here," he said. "The plan is to make sure the program grows itself for future players and that people know there is a soccer program here."