Key for Women’s Soccer: Hard Work


Photo by: Ben Hensley

Austin Roberts handles the ball through two Las Positas defenders in the first half of the Rams’ Aug. 23, 2019 home opener against Las Positas. The Rams won the match 1-0 on a penalty kick early in the 2nd half.

Last year, the women’s soccer team were upset by West Valley College in the playoffs despite turning in a 17-3-3 season. The women’s soccer program at Fresno City College tries to produce seasons like that year in and year out, but the formula for success is driven by the coaches and dependent on the players.

Head Coach Oliver Germond is entering his 19th season with the program. He and his coaching staff insist that maintaining certain themes is what drives the team.

“We try to keep certain traditions from year to year so it’s important that our returners are really bought into what we’re trying to do,” said Germond.

He says that buy-in from the players is essential to the success of the team.“We tell kids that we’re recruiting that our program’s not for everyone because not everyone likes to work hard all the time,” said Germond.

“We’re constantly trying to keep that blue-collar work rate,” said Christina Monreal, an assistant coach and sports psychology consultant for the team.

“This will be my seventh season here and I think we’ve had a different personality every year but our themes have stayed very much the same,” she said.

Unsurprisingly, losing half the team each year leaves some gaping holes in the roster. This should present challenges to the program, but the coaches use it to motivate their players.

“I think what’s really neat about that dynamic is seeing the people that are motivated to step into that role right away,” said Monreal.

The leaders that are ready as sophomores were taught as freshman and learned what it takes to run with the Rams on the pitch. “Typically, I tell them that you’re going to get thrown into the fire, so throw yourself into that fire,” said Monreal.

The enthusiastic coaches encourage all their players to give the team and the game everything they’ve got, even if they aren’t successful the first time around.

“We’re going to see mistakes, but if our players are working hard and making those mistakes very loudly, we all learn from them. It becomes a lesson later,” said Monreal.

She asks every one of her players to give their all and that requires a serious commitment from them. “If you’re too hesitant to get into the water, you’re never going to learn how to swim,” said Monreal.

The Rams’ will have their first home match this season against Bakersfield on Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. The regular season comes to an end in November, creating an endeavor that requires the Rams’ full commitment.

“I feel like a 100% commitment from the coaching staff and their requirement of 100% commitment from the players is really what leads to the success. That was really the reason that I wanted to be apart of this.” says Mike Coles, an assistant coach entering his second year with the program, helping refine the team’s athleticism and improve their nutrition.

He said, “It’s that attitude of being all in and being committed is what I think has created the success for them. There’s no denying that and I think there’s no slowing down.”