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Former high school and college soccer player Jules Petrucelli is joining the coaching staff with the East Haven girls’ soccer squad this fall. Jules will serve as an assistant coach with the Yellowjackets’ varsity team and as head coach for the JV team. (Photo courtesy of Jules Petrucelli )
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Jules Petrucelli is bringing a wealth of experience to the East Haven girls’ soccer team as she joins the Yellowjackets as their JV head coach and a varsity assistant this fall. Jules has played soccer at Foran High School and Curry College, in addition to competing for the South Central Premier program for nine years. Jules started volunteer coaching with South Central Premier when she was 16.
“I started volunteering at South Central Premier with a team my old coach took over. I ended up really enjoying it at that time, and I never even considered coaching as something I’d be interested in. Now, I’m making a career out of it, which is fun,” says Jules, 23, who lives in Milford. “I was a volunteer assistant for seven years and, now that I’ve finished school, I’m being paid.”
Jules has a rich history as a soccer player. After graduating from Foran, she played for four years at Curry College in Massachusetts. Jules suited up in every game as a central midfielder and was even named the Player of the Week for her conference one time.
“I was able to play in every game of my college career, and that’s something not too many people can say, so I’m thankful,” Jules says. “I’m a very versatile player, because I was taught young to use both feet. Not many kids are taught that, so my technical ability was always something my coaches could use.”
Jules’s proudest moments as a coach come when she sees her athletes mesh together. In one instance with South Central Premier, Jules saw her team run a beautiful sequence that made her smile. While it didn’t result in a goal, Jules felt good that her teachings were taking hold.
“I spent a lot of time teaching the girls positional aspects of soccer and, during one of the games, I saw it click. It was such a great passing combo, cross, and scoring opportunity. It was a pivotal coaching moment for me,” says Jules. “I couldn’t tell them exactly what to do during the play, but I had taught them the concept, and they put it together. That was something I was proud of.”
East Haven girls’ soccer Head Coach Jake Hackett worked with Jules for a few years at South Central Premier. Hackett believes that Jules will bring an extra level of soccer knowledge to the entire Yellowjackets’ program.
“Jules is a person that is always willing to help out in any way, has been absorbing soccer knowledge, and is coming into her own as a good coach. She has a bright future as a coach, and I’m really excited to have her with the program,” Hackett says. “Jules is somebody all the girls in my program should aspire to be—a strong, independent, female player who knows the game inside and out. I think she’ll do a great job with the JV program and as an assistant to the varsity program.”
Although she’s coached high school-aged players and taken her teams to regional championship tournaments with South Central Premier, this fall will mark Jules’s first experience coaching at the high school level. Jules is looking to use her previous experience to East Haven’s benefit, while continuing to build her coaching résumé.
“This year, it’s all about gaining knowledge from coaching. I haven’t had this experience yet, so I’m excited to do this, learn from it, and see what I like about this level,” says Jules. “Then in the future, I’d like to maybe coach at the collegiate level, maybe I’ll want to stay at the high school level. I’m figuring things out in that aspect, but I want to make a career out of coaching, and I’m on the right track to do that.”
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