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Spartan Athletics announced on Thursday the new head coach Heidi Slaymaker who will begin as the SHS girls’ soccer team for the 2023 spring season. She brings a lifetime of soccer knowledge and experience to the program.

Heidi Slaymaker has been named Head Coach of the Salida High school Girls Soccer Team. Courtesy photo.

Slaymaker began playing club soccer at the age of five, building an impressive résumé on the field after that. She went on to play on the BC team in Canada (equivalent of ODP, or Olympic Development Program in the United States), and was a five-year starter at the University of British Columbia where they won one national championship and were runners-up for two years. She played two years of semi-pro soccer in North Carolina (before the NWSL was created) and four years playing for Canada at the international level.

Her coaching career to date has included eight years at the NCAA Division 1 level – two years at Davidson College, and six years at Oregon State University as an assistant coach. She spent multiple years coaching club and youth teams including two years as head coach for ODP in Oregon, and five years at the TTS academy (Total Soccer Systems) skills training for advanced youth players.

Slaymaker coaching intensity. Courtesy image.

Four years ago she stepped down after serving at SHS as an assistant coach for seven years. She returns as head coach with clear goals for the program, the first being to have fun and to engage players with a focus on growing as a team.

According to Slaymaker, she plans to work on skill development to spread out playing time with more players contributing and hopes to strengthen the team’s overall soccer IQ to be able to better problem-solve on the field quickly and effectively to increase opportunities to win games.

Slaymaker says she is excited to be returning to the game and being a part of Salida’s exceptional soccer culture. High School Girls Soccer season starts in February and interested players should reach out to learn about upcoming indoor winter practice opportunities.