Head coach David Barrett is in his first season as the man at the helm of the Women’s Soccer squad. The Mirror was able to catch up with the New England native and hear his thoughts on what it meant to him to come back to the area and how he feels his first season in Stag Country is going.
Q: How did you know during the decision process that Fairfield University was the right fit for you personally and athletically?
A: In terms of family and personal life, my wife and I are both born and bred in New England. We were excited to get back to our roots and have the opportunity to raise our kids where we grew up. My wife’s dad and sister are both Fairfield alums. Professionally, Paul Shlickmann [Director of Athletics] has terrific vision for the department and I wanted to be on board with the vision to grow the program. This is a great school with academic, social and athletic resources so when you put it all together it was the perfect storm.
Q: Can you talk about the transition from Division Three to Division One as a head coach?
A: It has been fun as some of the things I was not always able to get from my athletes in the past, now they have an easier time responding too. I love being able to work with the athletes more, so that is the big difference on the coaching side. We also have higher quality athletes and we are able to work with them throughout the academic year to help them grow as people and players.
Q: How did the trip to England allow you develop chemistry with the players?
A: I thought it was very useful for them to get to know me. Having a chance to play right away and play three extra games was really beneficial. We had the chance to see what our players could do and what their strengths and flaws were. We spent 10 days travelling with a group of people so it is a pretty intimate setting, whether you want it to be or not. Overall it was very useful.
Q: At this point in the season, how would you grade your team’s performance and the impact of Alex Madden ‘21?
A: We have had some really good moments and moments we have struggled. The moments we played well gave us optimism. We are a work in progress and now that we are in the conference season teams are able to scout us. We need to find ways to put pressure on the other team. Alex is a goal scorer so, when she is on the field, people have to pay attention to her. The threat she poses opens opportunities up for other people. But, overall we are teaching our players how to manage games and constantly finding ways to teach them and help them grow.