DETROIT, Mich. -- Marygrove women's soccer made a splash recently when athletic director Steve Bloomfield announced the hiring of well-known local soccer figure, Mario Scicluna, as the program's new head coach. Scicluna, well known for his role as executive director of Waza FC and co-owner of their indoor professional team, Detroit Waza Flo, will take over a program that owns a 35-48-8 record over its first five years of existence.
"Mario is a perfect fit for our program moving forward," Bloomfield said in regards to Scicluna's ability to lead a competitive college program. "He has access to a far-reaching network of top notch student-athletes. Academically, our women's soccer program has earned the top team mark for the past few years. With Mario's network, I'm confident we will continue to bring in talented student-athletes that can be great ambassadors of Marygrove College for years to come. Mario possesses a high level of energy and passion for the game and his student-athletes. The combination of that, mixed with his extensive background in the game, will help the program rise quickly."
A popular name in the soccer world, Scicluna was tabbed Marygrove's second head coach in program history after enjoying successful years as a coach and player at a variety of levels. The native Detroiter started his competitive soccer playing days in high school as a Shamrock at Detroit Catholic Central. From there, Scicluna spent one season with the Broncos of Western Michigan University (1993) before playing at Australia's Bond University ('94) and at the University of Malta ('95).
Making himself a permanent fixture of the beautiful game, Scicluna then turned his attention to the coaching ranks where he is best known for helping build the local Waza brand. With his club, Scicluna guided four teams to North American Indoor Championships from 2000-2005 and led a PASL team to a 2008 national championship. Scicluna also enjoyed a successful tenure as an assistant coach at Schoolcraft College where he helped take the men's soccer program to a third place finish nationally in 2002. Schoolcraft also earned a pair of sixth place finishes nationally in 2001 and 2004 while Scicluna helped lead the program.
As for Marygrove, Scicluna is wasting no time building the program as he has already started recruiting high school and community college student-athletes for the upcoming 2014 campaign. With 13 returners coming back from the 2013 squad, Scicluna knows the program will need an influx of new personnel heading into his first season as head coach.
"We have already started to look at and talk to talented student-athletes in our network," remarked the program's new head coach. "Michigan is known for producing great soccer and we will look locally first when building this program. From there, we have access to an extensive international network that will also help us in the short and long term."
Despite taking over a team that was 3-15 last season, Scicluna is eager to get the program back to its championship form. In 2009, Marygrove's inaugural women's soccer team shocked everyone by finishing the season with a 10-4-2 record en route to winning the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national championship. Playing off their early success, the Mustangs compiled a 26-21-7 through the 2011 season after attracting some of the area's top talent to the Marygrove campus.
In recent years, the women's soccer team suffered through a pair of frustrating seasons after finishing 2012 with a 6-12-1 mark and 2013 at 3-15 overall. Scicluna is determined to send the upcoming 2014 seniors out on a winning note and lift the program to unprecedented heights under his leadership.
"Without question, the program has enjoyed plenty of success in the past," Scicluna said. "The team may have struggled lately, but I know we have the talent in-house right now to be competitive. We need to get back to the basics, relearn the game, and bond as a team in order to achieve all of our goals this season. I am looking forward to seeing what each day brings alongside the great young ladies we have and will have in this program."
"We are a program on the rise," continued Scicluna. "First and foremost, we will have plenty of fun playing the great game of soccer. Make no mistake about it though; our team will be fit and ready to compete when our season begins August 2014."
Want to be a part of the Mustang Family? Interested women's soccer student-athletes can fill out a recruit form here.
The women's soccer program at Marygrove is #OnTheRise. Stay tuned for more info! #TeamMG
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