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Langara Falcons’ women’s soccer head coach receives PacWest Coach of the Year Award

Head coach Rachael Pelat has only been with the team for two seasons

Rae Pelat (pointing near the centre of the banner) played on the Langara Falcons women’s soccer team she now coaches between 2004-2007. Photo: Becca Clarkson
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Reported by Becca Clarkson

After coaching the Langara Falcons women’s soccer team for only one season, Rachael “Rae” Pelat was named PacWest Coach of the Year.

First female leader for the women’s soccer team

The award marks many firsts for the former Falcon, who played with the team from 2004-2007. This was her first role as a collegiate head coach and the team’s first time having a female leader.

“I would definitely consider it a team award that is reflective of the group I worked with this season,” Pelat said, adding that the team’s athletic abilities and personalities made for a positive environment. “It’s tough coming into a program as a new coach, but I’d say just as tough coming in as a player to a new coach.”

Giulia Repole, a second-year Kinesiology student, who plays on the women’s soccer team says, a new coach makes a new team.

“I’ve played soccer since I was five and she was the first female coach I’ve had,” said Repole, who was named a PacWest Conference All-Star. “Now I have someone to look up to, she’s a great role model and a great coach.”

Pelat relates to young female athletes

Jake McCallum, director of the college’s athletics and intramurals, says he hired Pelat because of her desire to develop not just student athletes, but young women as well.

“Having been a female student athlete herself at this level, she can put herself in their shoes a bit more easily,” McCallum said, adding that while it’s important for an all-female team to have a female coach, without Pelat’s impressive qualifications the team wouldn’t have been so cohesive.

Pelat told The Voice that to her, it’s important to answer questions about her gender as a coach.

“Sometimes I have to deal with people going straight to the male coach on the field, or thinking I’m a player but it doesn’t really bother me. I just think it’s pretty cool that I get to be in this role as a female.”

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