Finlandia Fridays is back and kicks off season 4 with new Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Grace Sokolow. Hired this past July, Sokolow talks about her move to Finlandia, her coaching background, as well as her expectations for the rest of the season.
Sokolow played Divison III soccer at Vassar College. Upon graduating and doing some soul searching she realized the soccer field was the place she wanted to be. She took a job as an assistant soccer coach for the past three years before making the move to FinnU.
“I was really looking for somewhere that I could a build a program that really is based on who I am, which is a holistic student-athlete and that’s what we’re doing here,” said Sokolow.
Sokolow, originally from Colorado, spent time outside hiking and skiing which has made her move to the Copper Country a natural fit. She enjoys the small town and how Finlandia stands out within the community. In terms of the team, “I inherited a program that was in pretty good shape. I am building on top of past success,” stated Sokolow. “The girls have really bought in to who I am and what I’m trying to do.”
One of the more interesting components about the team is their “Glitter Jar”, also known as the calm down jar. In practice when teammates get frustrated with one another they shake the jar and wait for the glitter to settle at the bottom – calming them down in the heat of the moment.
Sokolow believes in coaching the whole student not just the athlete. It’s not only about soccer and their success on the field but more importantly, it’s about their success in the classroom. She wants her players to treat school like it’s an 8-4 job, meaning they should get everything done between those hours that needs to be done for the following day. “It really comes down to the fact that none of my players are going to be professional soccer players, but they are going to be professional nurses, professional PTA’s, or professional businesswomen,” said Sokolow. “It’s my job to prepare them for that next step and soccer just adds to it.”
The women’s soccer team has a busy weekend ahead with a game tonight at 4 p.m. against Maranatha Baptist and a match against Lakeland tomorrow at 9 a.m. These games will recognize the diversity that exists within our society, through the “Play with Pride” initiative, by embracing and supporting that there are different identities and sexualities.
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