Soccer Re-Boot II: ‘This time, it feels different’

Gainesville, Florida. – When the 2022 Florida soccer team got together for the first time on Monday, Samantha Bohon She didn’t tell her first-team Gators what she was all about or what to expect from them. She used a powerpoint presentation to show they.

First, Bohon polished her background. A featured club player from Ormond Beach, Florida, who became an all-American Duke and a floating member of Team USA. Her first coaching position was successful in Tennessee, but she moved away from it to start a family. Four years later, she’s back on the sidelines as a head instructor at Aviation Division II at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, a pair of I-95s where I grew up.

The next leg of the show was the one that affected Gators directly. Bohon spoke about the personal values ​​most important to her, which range from family to faith to individual relationships. She then showcased her overarching “student-person-player” philosophy, which focused more on relationships. Then came the list of criteria that student-athletes are expected to meet, both on and off the field, along with some key points of focus that will be emphasized.

Then we finished a really funny video,” Bohon said.

With that, a new era of football began in Florida. second.

Fitness Trainer Samantha Bohon She wants UF’s first soccer team to be a cohesive group built on relationships.

Yes, the Gators did this last year, with similar elements of freshness and excitement, as Tony Amato, via Arizona State, took on a program built from the ground up by Becky Burley, who won 14 titles in the Southeast Conference, and went on to 22 NCAA Championship and 1998 National Championship over 26 seasons. Amato, after only one season, was fired in April, along with the UF Sports Director Scott Stricklin He cited a “discontinuity” between the coach and his players after dozens of them entered the transfer portal.

Stricklin and his search committee went on a search for a replacement who not only managed to fix the program but also fixed a bitter coach/player breakup that worsened during the 4-12-4 season that was the worst in the program’s history. They didn’t have to go far to find this person. Just two hours south, where Bohon went 167-76-16 over her 14 seasons at ERAU and in all of that time there was no player out of the program.

Healing began immediately.


run in peace

“I can already see a real big difference, not just with one or two people, but with everyone,” senior striker run in peace He said. “All the staff really made an effort to get to know us off the football field.”

Case in point: Bohon attended a club tournament over the summer and happened to see Pace’s father in the crowd watching his youngest daughter compete. Bohon approached him and spent 30 minutes talking to him about Corey, their family, football, and a whole lot of things.

“She didn’t have to. She had people to see and the players to watch, but she was thoughtful enough to take the time to talk to my dad and then my sister,” Salam said. “She was getting to know them, like she was getting to know us. The relationship side, this time, it feels different.”

This has been a top priority for Bohon from the moment she was appointed on May 16. The relationship piece has always been a staple of her training profile.

“I think that’s where I am now,” Bohon said. “When I had meetings with different [UF] Actors, I explained to them that this is the way I always do things. This is my twenty-second year of university training. I’ve always been leading the relationships, with the competition a close second, so that was a perfect fit. I don’t think I should have changed what I’m doing, but make it clear what I’m doing and give it time. They accepted me and our staff very quickly and we are grateful for that.”

With this acceptance came acceptance. It just so happened that Bohon arrived a few weeks after the Gators opened the doors to a gorgeous new $7.4 million, 13,000 square foot soccer facility.


Delaney Tozel

The place still smells fresh and the Gators intend to do their part to keep it that way, with one faction of the team tasked with cleaning up and vacuuming the place. Another group is assigned to organize the equipment each day before training; another place prepares the dining area for team meals; The fourth group helps managers with laundry.

Where some may see merit, Bohon promotes gratitude.

“You want us to be what you call a ‘blue collar team’ that isn’t afraid to do the dirty work, including at [the building]Midfielder ، Delaney Tozel He said. “No one complained about it because she got us all on board.”

Bohon has only been on the job for less than four months, so the process is still in the very early stages, with first practice of the season coming Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. (the day before the soccer team hits the field across campus). That day, Bohon walked to the training ground at 4:15 a.m. to run in thick moisture like soup. by herself. in the dark.

“The parking garage lights were on, and that helped her,” she said.

Bohon put herself in the same sprint exercise she assigned to the players that day: 300 yards of shuttle runs; 50 yards (back and forth three times). The time required for the players was 1 minute. She gave Bohon, 46, an extra five seconds. Yes, she made her times.

On Wednesday, Bohon jumped into the pass drill and (easily) held her workout. She still has the game.

big striker alivia gonzalez During the team’s first training on Tuesday.

“We respect that very much,” Senior alivia gonzalez He said. “Our Tuesday afternoon session may have been one of the hardest I’ve been through in Florida, but I was so happy when I felt like we were achieving something.”

The roster of 22 is one of the youngest in years, with only 25 players to return from last season’s disaster. The four wins came after a six-win campaign in Burleigh’s final season. Only once (2018) in the previous 25 seasons had she had number one victories after the UF.

Translation: Amato inherited a program in dire need of rebuilding.

Update: So did Bohon.

“We have a lot of work to do and this is the beginning,” she said.

Its players understand their place as a basis.


alivia gonzalez

said Pace, who will lead the Gators to a show date Tuesday against North Florida. “It won’t happen overnight, but the camaraderie mentality between us and the team is very good. We play for each other and just be positive. I think that was a bit of a struggle in the past, with uncertainty and not knowing what was going to happen next. Now. We depend on each other and this will be an important step to make us head in the right direction.”

For many VIPs, they work on a third coach in as many seasons and a second reboot in 12 months. The New Beginning topic has been floating around for 12 months now.

But, again, this looks different.

“As a team, we’re looking forward and not falling behind,” Gonzalez said. “There’s nothing we can do about what happened last year, so it’s going to continue this year. We were excited to put it all behind us. And here we are.”

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