Big Changes Coming to Ashland Women’s Soccer

Aliyah Sheppard, Multimedia Editor

Ashland University Women’s Soccer team’s new head coach, Cayleb Paulino, is telling fans and the team to “get excited” for the upcoming 2021 season. 

Cayleb Paulino received his undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education at Wilmington College, then worked toward his masters in Education with a concentration in Sports. He coached at Ohio Northern before coming to coach Women’s Soccer at Ashland University. 

Paulino’s motto for this year is “raise the standard”. With pre-season starting back in early August, the team has been practicing both morning and evening to meet that goal of ‘raising the standard.’

“It’s a learning process right now where we’re getting to work every single day and every day is a different opportunity,” Paulino said. “There are a lot of things that might be different or it’s not right, wrong, good or bad it’s just different and the girls are figuring it out and I’m getting a sense of what things that we are really good at doing.”

Not only does the women’s soccer team have a new coach this year, but they have also joined the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC).

Paulino is confident that the GMAC is a great fit for the team. One of the reasons it will be better for the team is that their opponents will be closer.

“In the GMAC there are a lot more closer schools so the traveling for away games and missing classes is less,” Paulino said. 

With less traveling to and from games, the team is able to have more time to themselves to regroup, finish assignments and get ready for the following week. Another reason this conference is better for the team is the fact that since the games are a lot closer, more family and fans can come watch the games.

“That’s the exciting part with it for the team, is that there’s a lot more opportunity for parents to get to games because the games are closer,” Paulino said. “I think it’s going to be a great fit for us. It is something different, something fresh, new competition.” 

Paulino does hope to win a lot of games and hardware but he wants the team to know that’s not the most important thing.

“Soccer is not a job here, your job is to be a good teammate and a good student. Be successful and get prepared for the next step.” Paulino said. 

The team’s first game will be against McKendree on Sept. 2, at 1 p.m.

Official headshot of the new head Women’s Soccer coach, Cayleb Paulino. (AU ATHLETICS)