RFA grad Gifford to take reins of Westmo girls soccer
WESTMORELAND — Tricia Gifford is the new head coach of the Westmoreland varsity girls soccer team, charged with turning around a program that was 3-11-2 last season.
Gifford graduated from Rome Free Academy in 2003, where she played soccer. She graduated from SUNY Cortland, where she majored in English and minored in economics and management. She played club soccer there as well.
A contract manager for North Point Defense in Rome, she has been coaching since the 2007-08 season with a four-year break to raise twin girls. She has coached modified, freshman and varsity soccer. She’s coached at RFA and was the varsity girls head coach at Oriskany for three years.
After the time off for family, she said, “I decided that it was time to get back into coaching.” She said she heard about an opening in Westmoreland and asked about it.
“I’m so excited to be back at a small district. I loved my time at Oriskany,” Gifford said. “I’m excited for what will happen at Westmoreland. In small districts there are just athletes,” not as many students who specialize in one sport but plenty who play two or three sports during a school year. “I encourage you to play multiple sports.”
The Bulldogs are in the Center State Conference.
“I will definitely bring positive changes to a very established program. They have the foundation. I’m bringing in a very enthusiastic, fast paced passing style.” She added, “Hoping to make a good run for Sectionals, and I think they have the skills for that.”
Gifford said, “The big thing for Westmoreland is they bring a sense of community. Every sports team, every student, they all support each other.” She continued, “Everybody bleeds that green and white.” Also, “It’s nice that there are a lot of Romans in the Westmoreland district. It brings a hometown feeling for me, which was a big selling point.”
She concluded: “It’s a new chapter with the same traditions.”
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