FEATURED NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS | December 17, 2021 5:10 pm | Matt Murray
Deana Moreschi Awarded Mass Youth Soccer & US Soccer 2021 National Coach of the Year!
We are delighted to celebrate Coach Deana Moreschi, recently awarded the Massachusetts Recreational Coach Of The Year AND National Recreational Coach Of The Year For 2021! Deana will be honored at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City in January! Deana Moreschi’s passion for youth soccer and the benefits it provides to players and… View Article
We are delighted to celebrate Coach Deana Moreschi, recently awarded the Massachusetts Recreational Coach Of The Year AND National Recreational Coach Of The Year For 2021! Deana will be honored at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City in January!
Deana Moreschi’s passion for youth soccer and the benefits it provides to players and their communities started at a young age and continues to this day! Deana played for Needham Soccer Club for 10 years as a child which prepared her for playing all 4 years on the Needham High School Girls Varsity team from 1983-1987.
Deana was a regular starter on the 1984 State Championship team and was elected co-captain for her senior year leading the team to the State Tournament. Deana returned to NSC to coach her daughter, Gianna, in the first grade back in 2013 and continued coaching, serving as the Travel A-team coach in third grade.
For 6 years, Deana had the Needham Strikers competing in the top division of BAYS where they were consistently finishing in the top 2 spots of their division and, in 2021 she led the girls to the summit, by winning the girls 7th & 8th Grade Division-1 Massachusetts State Championship!!
Deana made sportsmanship a key pillar of her teams’ philosophy, and this could be seen across all aspects of the game. She taught her players to understand that a good opponent makes you better by pushing you to be your best. So, when you are battling an opponent you are forced to put your very best effort out on the field. Therefore, both in victory and defeat, her teams verbally thanked their opponents, not because it is required, but because their opponents helped make them better players and better people. This understanding of how competition should be embraced as learning opportunities that will challenge our players to be their best and, therefore, regardless of the result, needs to be appreciated is what truly stands out when you watch the way her team competes!
During the BAYS playoffs this past Spring, the Needham Strikers lost to Natick in a close game, ending their goal of simply playing at MTOC. Deana graciously closed the season with many tears from players, coaches and families alike. After so many years playing together, it was difficult to have the season come to an end that way. A week later, she found out Natick was not able to field their team, which gave the Strikers the opportunity to play on! She rallied players and families who gratefully halted their vacation plans to resume their participation in the tournament.
Upon winning MTOC this year, her message to the girls was simple, “I want you to never forget how important a second chance is!” This year winning the MTOC tournament was about second chances for the team and once again she was there to help her team give it their all.
Deana’s team motto has long been touch, grit and team chemistry which has been the foundation of her strong team culture for many years. In third grade she encouraged the girls to use the space on the field by doing a cartwheel each time they went out to the touchline, much to their delight!
Deana is a tremendous asset for Needham Soccer Club, going out of her way to mentor coaches of younger teams and create a sense of community. Starting in 4th grade, she coordinated joint practices with other coaches. Practices with the 3rd grade A team at the time led to combined practices for the next 4 years, forming a great partnership and helping to contribute to the Strikers success this year, largely owing to the experience of having the 7th and 8th graders practice together for so many years!
Deana created an extremely productive player development environment by pushing the girls to grow mentally, tactically, and strategically. She worked with each individual player at the start of the fall season to set goals including technical, tactical and mental goals in preparation for the year ahead.
Over the years Deana focused on two key philosophies. First, she taught her players to push and motivate themselves. Second, she taught her players to respect and appreciate when their own teammates pushed them through intense and competitive intra-squad competition. Her players came to understand and appreciate good work ethic, such as pursuing self-directed training outside of team practices. To grow tactically and strategically, Deana would identify development opportunities and would always come to practice with detailed and structured practice plans.
Deana also appreciates that developing her players and her own coaching skills often “takes a village.” When we think of Deana, we think of this idea to sum up her approach and coaching philosophy.
We talk to our players a lot about being brave, and again Deana modeled this behavior by showing the courage to be vulnerable enough to admit when she needs help. She often leaned on the clubs Director of Coaching and looked to other outside resources to come in and help run training for her girls. But it didn’t stop at training, Deana consistently brought in guest speakers to speak in detail on specialized areas of development. These “specialists” included: (1) a group of women from the Cornell Women’s Soccer Team; (2) a professional nutritionist (3); player from the U.S. Women’s National Team (4); Yoga instructors, and; 5) a current college D1 soccer player (to name a few)!
While all of this on-field soccer development was truly spectacular, a really distinguishing part of Deana’s performance as a coach was her desire for her teams to be more than simply a soccer team. She encouraged her girls to be a family and to not only take care of one another, but to be productive members of their club and community at large.
Deana led the formation of the Town Relations Committee at Needham Soccer Club with the mission to encourage players to give back to the town of Needham through a variety of community service programs.
The team piloted the program over the years by running and participating in countless events, including hosting town beautification activities by doing a tree planting event and mulching a playground at the middle school.
They spearheaded an annual Holiday gift giving program for children where each player purchased holiday gifts & provided hygiene kit’s to homeless populations in Boston during COVID.
Assembled Valentine’s Day Blessing gift bags for the local Needham Community Council for all clients who were homebound.
The strikers visited the Greater Boston Food Bank for 2 years in a row packing boxes of food to distribute to Food Banks in need all across the region.
Deana also promotes the game by coaching the whole player. She celebrated her players’ successes on and off the field and can be found coming to cheer her players in basketball, lacrosse, hockey or musicals.
She also worked to bridge the Club with the Needham Varsity program, encouraging high school players to attend her practices and act as mentors to the youth players. She has also pledged to continue her work helping high schoolers mentor the youth teams to stay connected to the Club and further build a bridge to High school soccer and many of her girls followed in that lead as they came back to help coach our younger teams across all age groups and levels, this past Fall in their first season in High School!
Coach Moreschi has truly been an amazing role model for her girls, club, and the community as a whole and represents the best of what youth sports should be about! We feel truly lucky to have had Deana coaching with us all these years, and we’re beyond grateful for her continued dedication and commitment to our players and club!
On behalf of the entire Needham Soccer Club Community, we would like to thank Deana for all her hard work over the years and congratulate her for being named the 2021 Mass Youth Soccer AND US Soccer National Coach Of The Year!!!!
WELL DONE COACH!!!