In addition to Seton Hall recruiting eight new members to the women’s soccer team this year, Alex Mendolia will join the Pirates staff as the new assistant coach alongside head coach Ciara Crinion. Mendolia is an experienced and seasoned asset to the team who has knowledge as a player and coach, recently spending 2019 as the top assistant for Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
“I was looking for a professional setting with resources that players can benefit from,” Mendolia said about his decision to join The Hall from Sky Blue. “During the job search, Seton Hall was attractive on multiple levels from the athletics to the academics. For me, it checked the boxes and was a high interest.”
After being hired, Mendolia was at Seton Hall for a little under a month until the pandemic sent everyone off of campus, leaving the country without college sports for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and impacting relationships being built with players and staff as a newcomer.
“It was a process, in the beginning, getting to know everybody,” said Mendolia. “Overall, we did a great job in staying connected as a staff whether it was over the phone or through Zoom. Of course, it’s different when you’re not in person, but we made the best of the situation and I feel it went well.”
Mendolia is no stranger to college soccer, but what is going to make Seton Hall a different experience for him after coaching at colleges like St. Joseph’s, Stony Brook, and LIU Post?
“In meeting with the other coaches here, we had an immediate connection,” said Mendolia. “We see the game very similarly, we have the same type of values for our program, and we teach in a very similar manner. For all of us, we’re very much on the same page which makes it much easier to achieve the same type of goals. In general, Seton Hall has a lot of resources not only for the students but also for their athletes, and to use them to benefit our athletes is very important.
Coming back onto campus had made us prepared with the resources we have available to ensure that the players are safe, healthy, and ready to perform.”
Getting back into college coaching for the first time since 2017, Mendolia is ready to find the right players that fit for Seton Hall and what the coaching staff can do to make sure the team is successful.
“The only difference is getting more into the side of recruiting and working to identify players that would like to play collegiately,” said Mendolia. “In Europe and with Sky Blue, we’re identifying players on a different scale, so coming back into college and finding the right players that fit us is so important. Working together as a staff to identify the specific needs of the team and what fits in terms of character perspective is something we value very much.”
Jenna Powell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.