ROCKVILLE — Jeff Cardinal has seen plenty of success in his 12 seasons as head coach of the Solano Community College women’s soccer team, most notably eight Bay Valley Conference titles.
He’s the first to admit he doesn’t do it alone and has assembled a solid staff that includes assistant coaches Joe Koller, Jesus Mata and Mark Torguson.
All have been or still are head coaches at top-notch club programs, Koller with the San Juan Soccer Club in Folsom, Mata and Torguson with the Davis Legacy Soccer Club.
“All these guys are head coaches with teams they work with,” Cardinal said. “With all these guys as head coaches and with their expertise, the players really benefit from their experience and knowledge.”
For Koller, who’s in his second season with the Falcons, coming to Solano was a matter of wanting to do something different from the club level.
“I was just looking for a new challenge,” Koller said. “I’ve been coaching club for about 12 years seasons and I like the daily intensity with the training.”
Koller appreciates the Falcons can train more than two or three days a week.
“Training is everything,” Koller said. “Training gets you up, it prepares you to play.”
“In addition to the soccer part, he adds strength and conditioning and a lot of knowledge in strength and conditioning we take advantage of,” Cardinal said.
Mata is currently the JV boys coach at Davis High and coaches the Davis Legacy U-16 Boys Red and U-15 Girls White teams. He’s also been the varsity boys and girls coach at Dixon High.
“I’ve known Jeff a long time. I went to school here and played at Napa Valley College,” Mata said. “That’s how I got to know Jeff. We kept in touch through the years. The opportunity came up to come on to the staff last year. I gladly accepted.”
An area of focus for Mata is shooting, though he’s not limited in his contributions.
“The assistant coaches we have here (share) the responsibility as far as what we do out here,” Cardinal said. “(Mata) has been doing a lot of shooting practice last season and this season and as with the other coaches as far as games, recruiting and film analysis, if you will.
“They all do those tasks instead of ‘you do this’ and ‘you do this,’ because they’re all head coaches in their own right.”
Torguson worked with goalkeepers at UC Davis and Cosumnes River College before joining Cardinal’s staff this season. In fact, he still plays for both outdoor (Aguias PSC) and indoor soccer teams (Sacramento Surge).
“His primary role is goalkeeper coach, but I don’t want to limit him to that,” Cardinal said. “To have someone work with the goalkeepers is a big advantage because some teams don’t have a goalkeeper coach. Our goalkeepers are taking advantage of that.”
For Torguson, who coaches U-13 and U-15 teams for the Davis Legacy, the key to good goalkeeper is doing things over and over, “getting their reps in, lots of routines so when the pressure comes they don’t have to think, just react to it.”
Torguson feels his biggest contribution to the Falcons is simply “experience.”
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said. “Being a goalkeeper you’re going to have ups and downs. You have to focus on the next game.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org.