Eagle women soccer prepares for spring recruitment

Head Coach Cayleb Paulino previews what recruitment is like for AU


AU Athletics

Eagle Head Coach Cayleb Paulino has found recent success with the team, winning two conference championships.

Gage Eldridge, Reporter

The Ashland University women’s soccer team are two-time Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) champions, but they could not be at this point without recruiting the necessary players to build up a program.

Head Coach, Cayleb Paulino, believes that a big part of their off-season is spent by recruiting and bringing athletes to the University. Before the 2022-2023 season, the team lost 10 total players, but Paulino was able to bring in even more to counter the losses.

“We brought in 14 players in the fall and losing 10 you understand you have to replace a lot of those talented kids,” said Paulino.

There were many things Paulino and the staff looked for while scouting their talent.

The Eagles’ goal is to bring in athletes that understand how to be good teammates and who can contribute to the fun and competitive culture they have set in Ashland. Paulino also understands that they have to have skill too, and what stands out to him are players that can be creative on the field.

“Being creative on the ball and being comfortable, I think that is something we miss out on soccer today,” said Paulino.

He has seen many games with all sorts of different teams around Ohio in order to bring in the best possible recruits, while also attending out-of-state tournaments and weekend recruiting events. 

One of the biggest factors, however, is the transfer portal. The Eagles are no stranger to the transfer portal, which has blossomed into an important part of team-building in recent years.

Sophomore Sabrina Trapani remembers what it was like being recruited to the team. At first, traveling out of state and coming to Ohio was out of her comfort zone, but she eventually came around to the idea.

I really liked the size of the school and knowing that I wasn’t going to just be a number. It felt nice knowing that someone wanted me to play for them,” said Trapani.

For local Sophomore McKinley Mendenhall Ashland was always an option. She really loved how personable the soccer staff was and was also drawn by the facilities Ashland has.

I was actually very nervous when I committed, but also very excited. I remember it was my junior year and during covid. So I had committed over the phone in my bedroom, which was interesting and sort of anti-climatic, but quite memorable,” said Mendenhall.

Paulino has continued recruiting during the spring of 2023 by bringing in 10 new players as of now. They will look for these players to help them win their third straight GMAC championship.