SPECIAL TO THE HERALD
WEST HARTFORD - Former Central Connecticut State soccer standout Ciara Crinion has seamlessly made the transition from player to coach, as she is quickly making a name for herself as a leader on the sidelines.
Crinion has been promoted to associate head coach for the University of Hartford women’s soccer team. She was previously an assistant coach. Crinion has been on head coach John Natale’s staff since 2012.
“I am just really proud and happy to continue my time here at the University of Hartford and to continue the great success of the program,” Crinion said. “I am delighted to have been working with John for a while. We have run a successful soccer program and we hope to continue to do so.”
Crinion graduated from CCSU in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science. During her years at CCSU, she was a member of the women’s soccer team and collected numerous accolades along the way. She was a two-time Northeast Conference First-Team selection and helped lead the Blue Devils to an NEC championship in 2008 and a regular season crown in 2009.
“I had a great experience at CCSU,” Crinion said. “The coach, Mick D’Arcy, had a good influence on me. He motivated me and pushed me to be a great coach. I know I can always turn to him if I ever needed help with coaching.”
Crinion, a native of Dublin, Ireland, has been a part of three America East Coaching Staff of the Year honors, in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Since joining the coaching staff, the Hawks have ranked among the top-three in the America East in goals and points, with an average of 31 goals per season. In 2016, the Hawks led the league in goals (38), assists (31) and points (107), the team’s best offensive numbers since 2002. Defensively, the Hawks goals-against average has been 0.93 or better since 2012 and has led the America East in the category in four of the five past seasons.
“Ciara is one of the most talented young professionals that I have come across during my time as a head coach,” Natale said. “There has always been an understanding and willingness between the two of us to collaborate for the better of the program. I am excited to have her promoted to associate head coach this upcoming season.”
Crinion was a former member of the Irish National U17 and U19 teams as well as playing for the Arsenal Ladies Academy (2004-06) and the Boston Renegades in the Women’s Football Alliance in 2007. Crinion holds an FAI Level One and FA Level Two coaching license and has been a head coach for FSA FC Girls U14 ECNL and Girls U15 NPL teams.
Crinion is expecting to receive her Master’s degree in soccer coaching education from Ohio University this December.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12