YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Western College women’s soccer program announced Nicole Acosta as the team’s new head coach on Friday, and now she is ready to start rolling here in Yuma. The Goodyear, Arizona native is the team’s fourth head coach in team history.
“I’m excited to work at Arizona Western because I know they have always had a strong athletic program that has helped student-athletes get to the next level, and I look forward to being a part of that,” said Acosta. “I also have always respected [AWC athletic director] Jerry and look forward to working for him and with the Arizona Western coaching staff.”
Going forward, she will be taking the reins of a team that is coming off its most successful season in team history. The Lady Mats advanced to the Region I Finals last season for the first time in its six-year history.
“I am a firm believer in work ethic and positive reinforcement,” said Acosta. “So I am focused on keeping these girls motivated and instilling in them a strong work ethic both on the field and in the classroom.”
She has experience coaching teams to titles. Last season, Acosta led the Maya High School men’s soccer team to the state title. In 2012, she was an assistant at Paradise Valley Community College when the Pumas went undefeated and won an NJCAA National Title.
As a player, she was an NJCAA First Team All-American for Paradise Valley after posting 10 goals and nine assists in 23 games while leading the team to the NJCAA National Tournament. After PVCC, Acosta played in the midfield for Arizona State and started in 14 games her senior season. She made 33 appearances for the Sun Devils.
For Acosta, coaching reaches beyond the field though.
“I am a coach because of my passion for soccer and love of the game,” she said. “I believe sports and competition are comparable to life. Winning, losing, succeeding, failing. These are life lessons applicable to everyday life. I want to instill these traits in these girls: responsibility, work ethic, intensity, and to become a good person on and off the field, and I want them to internalize them and be able to use them in order to be successful here at Arizona Western and in their future endeavors.”
The Lady Mats will open the season in August. Check back on www.awcmatadors.com for the schedule to be released later this week!