From the sound of the ball leaving a cleat to the impact left from the pound into the sure and soft hands of the keeper, the Brahmas new coach is making saves.
In his first season with Pierce College, goalkeeping coach Juan Plascencia has felt right at home and coaching the talented goalies of freshman Taylor Bailey and sophomore Jenna Koziol.
“It was pretty much a job just to make some extra money and I found out that I really enjoyed it and here I am,” Plascencia said.
A veteran coach of 16 years, Plascencia had previously coached at high schools Notre Dame and Harvard Westlake as well as California State University, Northridge. Now at Pierce he looks to cement another legacy for a program that has won that has won nine conference championships.
Coach Plascencia had been at CSUN for seven years, but due to budget cuts in the athletic programs for the Matadors the long time coach needed a new home. That is when he fell right into the lap of his old head coach Adolfo Perez who has coached the Brahmas since the program opened in 2001.
“They went in a different direction and they let him go. We are so blessed to have him,” Perez said. “I talked to him and we needed a goalie coach.”
The adjustment for Plascencia has been relatively easy, having played under Perez when he was about 16 and 17 years old. Coaching at Pierce for the past month, Plascencia has quickly come to understand his role on the team. He feels the players have become accustomed to his way of coaching and having a good relationship with Perez makes it easier to understand what is wanted of him.
“Every coach is a little bit different in how they work. I definitely have that specialty for the goalkeeper, having been a goalkeeper myself,” Plascencia said. “I think I can bring a little bit more to the goalkeeper and give them special attention.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Jenna Koziol said that coach Plascencia has brought a firm understanding of what a goalkeeper is meant to be, helping her elevate her game.
“Last year our goalie coach wasn’t a goalie himself so he tried his best and it really helped,” Koziol said. “This year since Juan has experience I feel its been very helpful and I think its going to make Taylor [Bailey] and I better goalkeepers. It‘s shown so far in our play even though our scores aren’t that great.”
Coach Plascencia said he is here to help the players improve their game while preparing them for opportunities beyond Pierce.
“My personal goal is for the goalkeepers is to keep developing and keep improving every day,” Plascencia said. “The one ultimate goal is that they become successful and they have options after they are done with their career at Pierce.”