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Former Guilford girls’ soccer standout Regina Sullivan was recently named the new head coach of the team. (Photo courtesy of Regina Sullivan )
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There’s going to be a new coach on the sidelines for the Guilford girls’ soccer team this year—and it’s someone who has a great deal of experience in the program. Guilford’s new coach is Regina Sullivan, a program alum who is the chair of physical education and the health department at the high school and also president of the Guilford teacher’s union.
Sullivan, a lifelong resident of Guilford, was the goalkeeper for the girls’ soccer squad from 1990 to 1993, helping the team win three-straight Class M state championships. She earned All-Conference and All-State honors multiple times during her high school tenure.
After graduating from Guilford, Sullivan went on to play soccer at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), where she enjoyed a successful career from 1996 to 2000. Sullivan holds SCSU’s record for most saves in a season with 124, a mark that she set in 1997.
“I pretty much played year-round,” Sullivan said. “As a college athlete, I worked a lot of camps, and that’s what got me into wanting to shift my focuses to becoming a coach. I enjoyed helping those younger players, and it was convenient for my schedule.”
Early on in her teaching career, Sullivan started coaching as an assistant with the girls’ soccer team at Branford High School. She later became an assistant coach for the boys’ squad at Guilford.
Now, Sullivan is taking the reins for a Guilford girls’ soccer team that went 18-2-4 on its way to winning SCC and Class L state titles last fall. While she wants the club to continue its run of success, Sullivan and her athletes are taking things one step at a time as they get ready for the 2020 campaign.
“It’s not about what I see us doing. It’s about what [the players] want and what they expect to do,” said Sullivan. “Every year is a new group of kids. We’re facing new teams. Our goal is to have fun and be successful. Winning another state championship would be great, but I want the players to tell me what their goals are before we jump to any conclusions.”
Sullivan isn’t planning on hosting any practices until she can get her full team together. The CIAC recently announced that teams can begin practicing and working out on Monday, July 6, but only in groups of 10 people or fewer. When the season draws closer, Sullivan will select her team captains.
“I know the core group, and I know they won the state championship last season. I don’t know much yet, but I’m expecting them to do well, and I’m excited to meet them. I know the kids are excited to train, and I’m hoping to match their level of enthusiasm,” Sullivan said. “I have no idea who I’m going to name captain yet, but I have a feeling that will play itself out. I think we need to focus on staying healthy and getting together before we name a leader. There’s no need to add additional stress to their plates.”
Guilford’s returning athletes include seniors Julia Rubbo, Olivia Ste. Marie, Kelsey Lynch, Sophie Watrous, Sophia Gabriel, Lexie Greene, Taylor Gambardella, and Moira Kellaher; juniors Audrey Kamen, Brenna Fissell, Taylor Farace, Olivia McMahon, Gabby Sansone, Abby Moore, Amelia Rattet, Lauren Cunneen, and Lily Mariconda; and sophomores Kat Baseggio, Ari Tomassi, and Ava Lepro.
Coach Sullivan is hoping to see these athletes hit the pitch this year. However, she knows that the safety and well-being of everyone is the top priority in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ll do whatever the CIAC says we can do,” said Sullivan. “I’m hoping that we are able to have a season in some capacity.”
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