Hay takes over Fermi girls soccer

Fresh from the Windy City, the Fermi varsity girls soccer team has a new coach, Matt Hay.

The Wilbur Cross graduate has spent the last eight years coaching various levels of soccer in Chicago, and is excited to return to the Nutmeg State to take the reins of the Falcons in 2013.

“When I looked at the roster, I noticed there were a lot of young players mixed with some talented seniors,” Hay said. “They went 6-10 last fall, right in the middle of their conference, which intrigued me as a coach. I have a lot of experience developing programs. A lot of it is making sure the kids can perform at a higher level. I know its’ competitive at the top of our conference with some other rivals at the bottom, I am looking forward to the challenge there. I know their coach Bob Evans has been there for many years and I’m sure the girls are used to his style. It is a change for us all.”

Hay and his wife are happy to be back home in Connecticut, closer to their families and their home stomping ground. Hay attended Denison University, and upon moving to Chicago played soccer in the highly competitive amateur public rec leagues.

“I have been coaching for the last eight years in Chicago public schools,” Hay said. “There, boys play in the fall and girls play in the spring. I have been coaching boys and girls so it racks up to about 16 different seasons.”

In addition to his coaching pedigree, the history teacher sees the athletic fields as an extension of the classroom.

“I really started coaching when I got into teaching,” Hay said. “I knew I would be a great asset to athletics in addition to academics. I like to develop not just the athlete in the field but the student in the classroom. I like to use sport and teamwork to help develop confidence and to overcome challenges both mental and physical.”

Hay played varsity soccer at Wilbur Cross, playing on the defensive side. However, he says he is eager to tailor his coaching strategy to his personnel at Fermi.

“I was a defender in my playing days,” he said. “I certainly cite that as one of the areas I am most comfortable with. Having not seen my players, I have been told we have very strong offensive and midfielder players this year. I like to attack on the flank, working from the outside to attack in. Every season you get a different crop. You really have to adapt to the players you have.”

The Falcons fell just short of a Class L tournament berth in 2012 with a 6-10 record. Senior Ashley Kennedy returns in 2013 after an All-Conference selection last year.

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