As Dakota Carroll was preparing for graduation from St. Bonaventure University, the former Shipley soccer standout contacted head coach Sean Costello about the possibility of assisting with the girls' soccer program.
Although Costello did not have the opportunity to coach Carroll at Shipley, he was very excited about the former Gator conveying her knowledge to his young players.
Upon her arrival, she quickly meshed with the players and earned their respect. Shortly thereafter, a plan was discussed about Carroll taking over the program.
Shipley recently made it official when they announced Carroll would take over as head coach, with Costello staying on staff as an assistant coach.
"I am very excited to take the team,' said Carroll, who is also working as Assistant to the Athletic Director at Shipley. "We have a great group of girls and I am looking forward to see their growth as players. Sean, along with the rest of coaching staff has been so valuable. Sean has really helped me transition into this position and I feel very prepared to take on this role.'
Costello said, "Dakota is going to be a great head coach. The two of us have been building towards her leading the program and we are very excited for this move. She has been an extremely valuable asset for our girls to model themselves after.'
"I am extremely happy for Dakota,' said Rachel Shapiro, a junior on the soccer team. "She has been able to use her college playing experience and teach everyone a lot about the game.'
Carroll returns to her alma mater following a successful career at St. Bonaventure that included being a key member of a team that had the most wins as a senior class in 2011-12 (nine); made the Atlantic 10 tournament all four years; was the fourth player in school history to score two goals in a game and received Atlantic 10 Athlete of the Week.
Prior to heading to Olean, N.Y., Carroll was a standout player for Shipley, where she led the Gators to an Inter-Ac title in 2004 and Friends Schools League crowns in 2005 and 2007; earned All-League all four years (All Inter-Ac freshman year, All Friends Schools League sophomore, junior and senior year); scored 50 goals, tallied 50 assists and was named All-Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2005.
During her short time as assistant coach, Carroll and Costello has become a valuable coaching tandem for the young players that have matriculated through Shipley.
"Sean, Dakota and Kevin [Costello] have been very encouraging and has helped myself and the team improve,' Shapiro said. "It is going to be great have all three next year. They complement each other very well.'
With the season still a few months away, Carroll is eager to get her coaching career started.
Carroll said, "I am excited to share with them my love & knowledge for the game. I can't even put into words how excited I am for the fall.'