Springdale graduate Alexa Sarsfield gets coaching gig at Robert Morris
Alexa Sarsfield spent a few years in the corporate world after her soccer career at Robert Morris ended in 2013, but her passion for the game was always in the back of her mind.
Ever since she started kicking a ball around she knew she wanted to stay involved with soccer as long as possible, and now she has a “dream opportunity” to do so at her alma mater.
Sarsfield, a Springdale graduate, was hired last week as an assistant coach for the Robert Morris women’s team.
“For me this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Sarsfield said. “I got a job right out of school and moved out to Cincinnati. Then I came back home in 2016, but after about two and a half years, I came to realize what I was doing wasn’t something I was super passionate about. Ever since I was young I loved soccer. When I started to talking to (Robert Morris coach) John (Kowalski) about coaching, I was really excited about it. I’m really happy to be here.”
The Robert Morris job is her first at the collegiate level. She has plenty of good memories from her days playing for the Colonials.
Sarsfield was an All-NEC second-team selection at defensive back her senior year and served as a team captain. She scored four goals and added four assists her senior season.
In her four years she made 71 appearances (62 starts) and accrued only one yellow card while helping the team post 17 shutouts.
She graduated from Robert Morris in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management and completed an MBA program at the university in ’15.
Sarsfield helped the Quickskills youth soccer program with drills and camps the last few years, which got her interested in becoming a coach.
She’s looking forward to coaching under Kowalski, whom she played for at Robert Morris.
“He really influenced my soccer career when I was a player, and I’m honored to work with him at the coaching level,” Sarsfield said. “He has a great resume. He coached the USA men’s national team, MLS, as well as being the first coach of the Riverhounds. He has so much knowledge in coaching, and I feel very lucky to be learning from him.”
It will be a quick turnaround for Sarsfield, with training camp starting Monday. They have their first preseason scrimmage against Detroit Mercy on Aug. 9, and the season opener is two weeks later at Bucknell.
Sarsfield hasn’t met the team and is looking forward to getting to know her players.
“Since I was just hired I didn’t get to meet the upperclassmen last year, but I can’t wait to meet the girls next week and get back into the game,” Sarsfield said. “It’s going to be a little bit of a rush to get started, but my familiarity with the school will help ease that. I know some of the faculty here and some of the staff, so I was just able to jump in right away and get everything organized for our preseason.”
Aside from being a stalwart defensive back with the Colonials, Sarsfield also had a standout career as a midfielder at Springdale. Having versatility as a player is something she feels will serve as a benefit.
“I feel like I can be an asset for our defense, and that includes our inside and outside backs,” Sarsfield said. “From midfield on back I feel I’ll be able to bring some valuable knowledge to help us have a really great season.”
Sarsfield was on the last Colonials team to finish with a winning record in 2011 and is hopeful to help get the program its first NEC title and NCAA Tournament bid.
“From being a student and a player here, I know that this school prides itself on its athletics and its academics,” Sarsfield said. “I’m just very happy to be involved with all of that, and I hope I can be a good influence. I want to help our girls get the top grades that they can and be there for everything they need on the field.”