This year’s women’s soccer team finished their season with a record of 9-8-2 and made the Liberty League Tournament for the first time since 2010. This has been due to the hard work of the student-athletes, but there’s a new face on the Brew Crew this year that many on the team consider to be have been absolutely essential to the team’s success. Assistant Coach Pamela Monnier joined the Brewer women this August. Monnier comes to Vassar from SUNY Cortland. She received her Bachelor’s in Physical Education in 2011 and her Master’s in Health Education in 2013. She was a 4-year starting Goalkeeper at Cortland and served as an assistant coach for one year.
According to the coaches, one of the Brewer’s strengths this year has been their stellar defense and in particular their goalkeeping. This happens to be Monnier’s area of expertise. “One of my main focuses as an assistant is to be responsible for the coaching and training of the goalkeepers on the team. It has always been a passion of mine to coach keepers specifically. I am able to bring in a goalkeeper-specific perspective that is different from what the program has had in the past,” Monnier said.
Monnier’s coaching has not been limited to the goalkeepers. She also helped train and coach the field players just as much. She noted, “I have really tried to focus on my ability to coach the field players and help them improve their technical and tactical abilities.”
Monnier made her way to Vassar from Cortland, moving to Poughkeepsie over the summer. She said her adjustment to Vassar and Poughkeepsie have proven relatively snag-free. “There’s always an adjustment period when moving to a brand new city but I think it has been as smooth as it could have been. Coach Williamson definitely took me under her wing right off the bat and made me feel right at home within the department and the team, which of course helped a lot,” Monnier explained.
She continued, “I think it’s safe to say that I can’t thank the young women I coach enough for welcoming me with open arms into the VCWS family. Without their love and support I don’t think I would be as happy as I am here.”
For Monnier the team has been a highlight of her time at Vassar. She said, “I can’t say enough positive things about the women I am honored to coach. They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home right from the start. I can honestly say that this group of women has taught me more about myself than I have taught them about soccer each day.”
This year has been a growing and changing year according to Monnier. The team is ready to keep moving forward and building on their success. The assistant coach explained, “Overall, I am definitely happy with the outcome of our season this year. We made strides every day both as a team and individually. By no means does this mean I am satisfied with what we accomplished and I think it’s safe to say that this is the feeling across the board.”
She went on to note, “This season allowed us as a group to realize our potential and what we are truly capable of moving forward. This group of returners is ready and capable of making some amazing things happen next year and for years to come.”
This room for growth stands as one of the reasons Monnier loves Vassar so much. “I love the fact that our Athletics program is on the rise. The idea of being a part of the growth and development toward becoming a threat both in the Liberty League and nationally across the board is a great opportunity,” Monnier stated.
Monnier also expressed her love of Vassar’s diversity and the caliber of the students overall and especially the student-athletes; she asserted this standard has been an inspiring and valuable part of her experience here. “I am honored to be in a position where I am surrounded by Vassar student-athletes on a regular basis. The women and men that are members of our teams are the most driven individuals I’ve ever been around,” Monnier explained.
She continued, “Between the intense academic load, clubs and other obligations these students are able to find the time to live up to the high expectations that we as coaches place on them by not only showing up to practice and games, but by dedicating themselves to getting better and stronger each and every day. These students are constantly striving to be the best they can be in every facet of their lives and that helps me to try to do the same. For that, I can’t thank these student-athletes enough.”
Vassar College Women’s Soccer and Vassar Athletics, according to Monnier are on the rise, and she feels ready to help the program and department meet its potential. “I truly feel as if the possibilities are endless for me here at Vassar. I believe it’s safe to say the athletics program here is on the rise toward becoming a national powerhouse and I am honored to be a part of that growth and development as a department.”
Monnier also expressed her hopes for the future of the women’s soccer team. She said, “For the women’s soccer team, I would love to be a part of this team making it into the NCAA tournament and competing for a National Championship. This is something that we are more than capable of accomplishing and I am excited to see it all unfold throughout my time here.”
Looking towards the future, Monnier had nothing but optimism surrounding her team. She explained, “The future of VCWS is as bright as ever. We are returning an extremely talented group who got their first taste of playoffs and are ready to do more and I think that’s the most important. As a team we are in no way satisfied with what we accomplished this year because we are fully aware that we are capable of much, much more and in a lot of ways that is half the battle.”
She added, “We are a motivated group of talented players who love each other and I think when you have that, there are no limits to what can be accomplished.”