Central Catholic Raiders Girls Soccer '07

Coaches' Corner: Anne Marinaro

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Wednesday, October, 24 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

Anne Marinaro has been a fixture in the Merrimack Valley since the late 1980s, when she starred for the Andover High (Eagle-Tribune All-Star in 1989-90) and University of Maine soccer teams.

Back then, you knew her as Anne Murnane. That was before she married her high school sweetheart, Joe Marinaro, an Andover football great who went on to become a three-year starting lineman at the University of Michigan.

Today the Marinaros are still active in the community. Joe is an assistant football coach at AHS and Anne is the girls soccer coach at Central Catholic. The Marinaros, who live in Windham, have two children, daughter Taya, 4, and son Anthony, 3.

This week, we caught up with Anne.

1. Do you think soccer has really grown exponentially since you played? Or is it a myth?
"It has really grown. I think part of that is the exposure soccer got when we had the (women's) World Cup team (win in 1999). That's trickled down to other leagues and teams. (Soccer) used to be very elite. There were not very many club teams. ... Now you see a lot more of them."

2. Is it getting tougher for kids to afford all the camps, club teams and lessons elite athletes are utilizing these days?
"I really think it is. When I played on the (Olympic Development Team) in high school, my parents didn't have a lot of money. It was very expensive. It was probably $400 or $500 to play. Then you had to travel a lot. ... The players want to gain the competitive edge. At the end of the day, it's the parents who have to make the financial and time sacrifice."

3. What did you think of Hope Solo calling out (now former) U.S. women's soccer coach Greg Ryan?
"I think it was shocking to watch. At the end of the day, coaches make decisions for the good of the team. I remember watching it thinking it was disappointing seeing a player calling out a coach like that.

4. In the eyes of the public and her teammates, do you think she can ever get past the episode?
"She should obviously be forgiven. Emotions flare up. I always try to impart to (my players) that what happens on a Tuesday, we move forward from on Wednesday. (Also) taking 24 hours off before speaking probably is the best approach to take."

5. Do you think a women's professional soccer league -- like the WUSA -- can thrive here?
"Certainly. I think there's so many young kids that look up to and respect these players. I hope that energy is rejuvenated."

6. Was it tough for your husband to watch Michigan lose to Appalachian State in September?
"He was crushed. Our good family friend is head coach (Lloyd Carr). My husband was roommates with his son (at Michigan). It's hard to watch a team that has so much pride like Michigan (lose like that)."

7. Do you remember your first game at Michigan Stadium?
"It was amazing. I don't remember who it was against, I just remember getting chills inside the stadium. It's like no other experience."

8. What's the hardest part of coaching at the high school level? "Just getting the players to work hard consistently. There's always that emotional up and down. You are working with girls. ... The hardest part is just getting them to play consistent soccer and keep their goals in mind."

9. Do you have a favorite sports movie?
"'We are Marshall.'"

10. You're a pretty big Michigan fan. What are the strangest Michigan items in your house?
"(My children) both have Michigan Crocs (sandals). And Michigan toothbrushes."

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