Hartwell Soccer Team Tournament Win Inspired by Former Coach

Throughout the spring season, the success of the Hartwell Soccer Club GU11 Premier Strikers has been inspired by the lessons and memory of coach Jay Bentivegna. The Strikers continued to add to that success and Bentivegna’s legacy when they won a premier level soccer tournament over Memorial Day weekend.

Before his death in January from cancer, Bentivegna had been a longtime volunteer and coach for Hartwell. He coached the girls on the Strikers before this season on rec and travel teams, and remained their coach throughout this past fall season despite his diagnosis and decline in health. Bentivegna was regularly at training sessions and on game sidelines. The connection Bentivegna’s players had with him was clear when a number of them spoke at his funeral.

The Strikers maintained their success this spring under new head coach Molly Donavan. They managed to do so even after being placed in a Premier category by Hartwell, which exposed them to higher levels of competition. The Strikers traveled to their first premier level tournament in Cape Cod on Memorial Day weekend and won their division, beating teams from both Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The Strikers success in the Premier brackets is a testament to Jay’s coaching and his commitment to the girls and to soccer.  He truly loved the game and instilled the same love and dedication into his team. When the GU11 Strikers took the field this spring, they knew they always had a 12th player on the field with them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *