A fresh start for Langara women’s soccer team

The arrival of a new head coach aims to ignite sparks for the Falcons

Head coach Mark Eckerle at Trillium park. Photo by Ryan Ng
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By Ryan Ng

This coming fall, the Langara women’s soccer team will be playing under a new head coach, who brings his extensive experience to the women’s soccer team.

Mark Eckerle, a Chicago native, will try to bring winning formula back to the Falcons who finished last in PacWest standings last year, with a 1-11 record.

“I think anyone in the game has a passion for being a head coach,” Eckerle said. “Hopefully I can support the program and lead the program to provincial and national successes.”

On Feb 24, Langara announced the arrival of Eckerle, who soon began training the women’s soccer team for the 2020 PacWest season taking place next fall.

At the same time, he also works as an assistant coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U19 Development Squad.

Originating from Chicago, Illinois, Eckerle has spent over a decade gaining coaching experience from time spent in Ghana, the United States and now Canada. After moving to Vancouver nearly eight years ago, he started as an assistant coach for UBC’s women’s soccer program.

“I want to believe that I’ve learned valuable lessons along the way,” Eckerle said. “I’m ready to take that growth and experience to Langara.”

Team captain Carly Dhanda, a midfielder, said their new coach offers knowledge and new ideas. She said he has “changed the tempo and intensity” of the practices.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do,” Dhanda said. “I think we got a good coach to lead us.”

Kayleigh Beaubien, a forward, is a third-year player who is also excited about the changes and insight that Eckerle brings.

“His coaching style is a lot of fun,” Beaubien said. “We’re having fun in all the drills while also keeping our intensity up and work ethic levels high.”

Along with his vast coaching background, Eckerle has athletic experience competing in the NCAA Division I in both soccer and track and field.

Beaubien said that having their coach play with them during a few drills makes him a lot more involved in the practices.

“It’s a lot of fun having our coach playing with us,” she said.

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