Bartini Takes Over Drury High Girls Soccer Program
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- New Drury girls soccer coach Maria Bartini is hoping for enthusiasm and optimism on the pitch this fall.
And she has every reason to be optimistic herself.
“I think there’s a lot of possibility for forward momentum for sure,” she said on Tuesday. “There are lot of positives. We don’t lose any seniors. There aren’t those gaps to fill that pretty much every other team in the county has to contend with.
“We’re just looking to consolidate skills, improve some individual skills, work together as a team and improve our tactical play.”
Bartini comes to the Blue Devils after serving the last four years as the women’s lacrosse coach at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Her return to full-time teaching the classroom at MCLA allows the psychology professor to pick up a high school coaching position.
Although this fall will mark her first season on a high school varsity sideline, she has a wealth of soccer experience both as a high school athlete herself on Long Island and as a youth sports coach. When reached for this story, she was coaching the Berkshire Attack girls lacrosse team in the Bay State Games 7-on-7 tournament.
Back when girls lacrosse was catching on in the county, Bartini coached a Northern Berkshire cooperative team that drew players from Hoosac Valley, Drury and McCann Tech. And for nearly a decade, she has coached soccer in the North Adams youth soccer program.
In the latter capacity, she coached several of the girls on last year’s Drury team, and she knows they have shown the commitment to the sport to help the Blue Devils improve from last year’s two-win season.
Four short years ago, the school’s boys team had a two-win season, and last year, the Blue Devils won 13 games and went all the way to the Western Massachusetts Division 4 title game.
“Part of the success of the boys program was playing for North Adams Soccer, the U10, U12 and U14 teams,” Bartini said. “Part of that success has been from playing in the youth program and building a solid foundation of skills.
“We’re bringing in even more kids on the girls side now who have come all the way through the ranks from North Adams youth soccer. … The girls are just a year or two behind where the boys were when they hit the critical mass of the number of boys who were involved with youth soccer.
“We’re right on the cusp.”