The Cornell Athletic Department announced on Feb. 13 that Gretchen Zigante will step into the position of interim head coach for the women’s soccer team until the end of next season. This announcement follows the resignation of former head coach Berhane Andeberhan on Jan. 5.
“We support Berhane’s resignation,” said Cornell Athletic Director Andy Noel. “I think it’s best for everybody involved. The decision came after lengthy discussion at many levels of the administration about the women’s soccer program, and I think this is best for everybody involved.”
Andeberhan leaves the Red after six years at the helm, during which he compiled a 34-52-11 record overall, including a 7-31-4 mark in Ivy League play during that span.
“It wasn’t voluntary,” Andeberhan said. “I’m very happy and very proud of my work at Cornell.”
Noel said the decision to accept Andeberhan’s resignation came following an annual review of the team’s performance and in-depth consideration of many facets of the program, including its ability to compete within the Ivy League and the quality of experience it was providing for student-athletes.
Zigante will take over the reins after four seasons as an assistant coach under Andeberhan, and she hopes to develop the team into an Ivy League challenger.
“I think we’re going to continue on the same course we’ve been heading. We’re looking to improve, especially in the Ivy League in terms of results,” Zigante said. “The challenge that our students have as athletes and Ivy League students is a great one, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be competitive and get results.”
Noel is confident in Zigante’s abilities to help the Red improve on its ability to challenge in the Ancient Eight.
“[Zigante] has a very positive attitude and a soccer resume that is impressive,” Noel said. “Beyond her playing excellence, in our discussions with her, she has a very strong, confident handle on our program.”
The first notable achievement on Zigante’s resume is the 1986 NCAA national championship, which she won with the storied North Carolina program as its starting goalkeeper. She was a member of the U.S. national team from 1986-90, where she first worked with Andeberhan, who was a coach for the national team.
“I think it’s a natural transition,” Zigante said. “Berhane is an excellent coach and an excellent mentor, so I’ll look to implement what I’ve learned from him.”
After her time with the national team, Zigante moved on to Japan, where she played two years of professional soccer for Shiroki FC in Toyokawashi.
Zigante began her coaching career stateside at Cal State University at San Bernadino, a Division II heavyweight that reached a No. 4 ranking in the nation during the 1995 season and produced four national scholars and two All-Americans. After the ’95 season, Zigante was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
Zigante moved on to Division I soccer when she became an assistant coach at San Diego in 1998, a team she helped take to the NCAA tournament in 1998 and 1999, including a Sweet 16 berth in 1998. The Aztecs reached the top-10 in national polls that season, and won the first of two conference championships.
Zigante earned a bachelor of sciences degree in biological sciences at Idaho State in 1999, and also earned a United States Soccer Federation National “A” license the same year.
“[Zigante] has a clear path in mind for the current team and newcomers next fall,” Noel said. “We feel she’ll do an excellent job in transition.”
After the 2006 season, Noel said the Athletic Department will conduct a national search for a head coach for the Red. He said that Zigante will be considered as a candidate for the position on a permanent basis at that time.
Archived article by Olivia DwyerSun Assistant Sports Editor
While No. 6 Cornell (16-5-4, 11-4-3 ECACHL) was only able to get one point from its weekend in North County, it was fortunate because second-place No. 20 Colgate was unable to gain ground. But, the Red will surely watch out for Dartmouth, which earned a four-point weekend. The Green, which is tied for second place with the Raiders, travel to Lynah Rink on Friday to face Cornell.
Union 2, Brown 1
Jonathan Poirier scored the eventual game-winning goal at the 4:44 mark in the third period as the Dutchmen (15-11-6, 8-6-4) edged out the Bears (3-16-6, 2-12-4) at the Achilles Center. Union took the lead with a goal from Augie DiMarzo, but Brown’s Jeff Prough answered back a little over a minute later. Union goaltender Kris Mayotte made 25 saves in the win.
St. Lawrence 3, Colgate 2
The visiting Raiders (15-9-6, 11-5-2) were unable to get a shot off for 19 minutes in the third period, as Saint Mike Zbriger broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal in the frame to lift St. Lawrence (16-12-2, 10-7-1) to the win. St. Lawrence took 44 shots on goal compared to Colgate’s 12, and took the lead in the first when Kevin DeVergilio scored. Kyle Wilson and Liam Huculak then gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead before the Saints’ leading scorer T.J. Trevelyan knotted the game up. Raider goaltender Mark Dekanich made 41 saves in the loss.
Harvard 5, Princeton 4 OT
Princeton (9-15-1, 6-11-1) was unable to claim another top ECACHL scalp at Bright Hockey Center, as Jon Pelle scored an overtime game-winner at the 1:46 mark. Harvard (14-9-2, 10-7-1) had a 3-2 lead going into the third period before Seamus Young tied the game with a goal at the 5:12 mark. Over four minutes later, Harvard’s Kevin Du earned a hat trick off the power play, before Grant Goeckner-Zoeller put the teams even at four with a man-advantage tally of his own. Princeton’s Eric Leroux stopped 52 of Harvard’s 57 shots in the loss.
Dartmouth 5, Quinnipiac 4
The Green’s (13-10-2, 11-5-2) offensive prowess came to the forefront again on Friday, as it fought back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Quinnipiac (15-15-0, 6-12-0) at Thompson Arena. Goals by Dan Shribman and Mike Ouellette helped tie the game in the third before Mark Van Vliet handed the Bobcats the lead again at the 8:35 mark. But, Tanner Glass knotted the game up just two minutes later before Nick Johnson scored the game-winner later in the period.
Rensselaer 2, Yale 1
A solid 28-save performance by Rensselaer goaltender Mathias Lange kept Yale (8-14-3, 6-10-2), one of the top offensive teams in the league, at bay on Friday. The Engineers (13-14-4, 7-7-4) got power-play goals in the first and second period from Matt Angers-Goulet before Yale’s Jeff Hristovski pulled one back for the visitors at the 17:31 mark in the third.
Rensselaer 4, Brown 2
The Engineers earned a four point weekend after defeating the Bears at the Houston Fieldhouse. Kevin Croxton and Jeff Prough exchanged power-play tallies in the first before Ryan Swanson put the Engineers up for good at the 14:30 mark. Andrew Lord scored Rensselaer’s third in the second period and despite the fact that Matt Vokes pulled the Bears to within one with a minute left in the game, an empty-netter from Kurt Colling sealed the result.
Colgate 1, Clarkson 1
Colgate netminder Mark Dekanich and Clarkson goaltender David Leggio both made 24 saves as the Raiders and Golden Knights played to a tie. Shawn Weller put Clarkson up on the power play in the first period, but Kyle Wilson was able to tie the game in the third. Colgate remains tied for second place in the ECACHL, one point behind Cornell.
Dartmouth 2, Princeton 1
Tanner Glass scored his second goal of the weekend, as the Green earned a four-point weekend after beating the Tigers. David Jones put the Green up in the first period at the 17:04 mark before Christian Read scored the Tigers’ first in the third period. With the pair of wins, Dartmouth is tied with Colgate in second place in the ECACHL.
Union 5, Yale 1
A three-goal spurt within the last two minutes of the first period lifted Union past the Bulldogs at the Achilles Center. Olivier Bouchard scored the first at the 18:23 mark before Brendan Milnamow and Scott Brady added tallies moments later. Yale was able to score one in the third period, but Bouchard completed his hat trick with a pair of goals later in the frame.
Harvard 5, Northeastern 0
Behind a 41 shot-on-goal performance, Harvard destroyed Northeastern (2-20-6, 2-13-6 Hockey East) in the consolation game of the Beanpot Tournament. Ryan Maki put the Crimson up in the first period before Steve Rolecek, Nick Coskren and Jon Pelle made it a four-goal lead going into the third period. Justin Tobe made 24 saves in the shutout win.
Archived article by Brian TsaoSun Assistant Sports Editor