Women’s soccer coach uses teaching ability to lead team to playoffs

Randy Dedini’s role has energized the team


Jordan Latimore

Head coach Randy Dedini speaks to his team in a huddle during practice on Friday, Sept. 25, 2021, at Hornet Soccer Field. The Hornets are set to open up Big Sky play in a road matchup against Weber State on Wednesday.

Nathan Uebelhoer

After finishing fourth in Big Sky standings and 4-3-1 in conference play, Sac State’s women’s soccer team will kick off playoffs on Wednesday in a road match against Weber State.

Head coach Randy Dedini has had success personally and team-wide throughout his 16-year tenure at the university– earning the Big Sky Coach of the Year award three times and accumulating the most wins in team history. 

The Hornets have also won two Big Sky titles and two appearances in the NCAA Division I tournament. 

Dedini is a former MLS goalkeeper playing professional soccer from 1994-2001 and Division I soccer at Sonoma State 1992-1993. 

He said that his success as a coach comes from his ability as a teacher. Dedini says that sometimes coaching is not just about tactics.

“My plan coming out of college was to be a teacher,” Dedini said. “When I got into coaching, I really tried to implement my teaching ability. Tactics are good, but it’s the off-the-field stuff that really shapes these players.” 

Accolades from the players he’s interacted with are proof: players love Dedini. 

One former player, Danielle Davis, graduated in the spring, then returned to the team as a volunteer assistant this semester. 

Davis said she came back to the team because Dedini treated his players like his “daughters”. That family atmosphere, Davis said, attracted her to return to the team as a coach.

Soccer’s a family affair — at least, Dedini said, it is for him. 

“Listen, parents leave their daughters with me,” Dedini said. “They trust me to mentor them in their college experience.”

This season, the Hornets finished 4-9-4 overall.

If not for their come-from-behind victories against Eastern Washington and Idaho, Sac State would have had no statistical chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

Sac State lost their regular season finale against Northern Arizona 2-0 on Oct. 21.

Dedini said he wants his team to make adjustments finishing their shots for the playoffs. They had seven total shots against Northern Arizona  but failed to score a goal.

Dedini said senior Aubrey Goodwill, a central defender, led the Hornets statistically with four goals and three assists.

“She’s been a star for us.” Dedini said. “We’re definitely gonna miss her next year. She’s been a total leader for us.”

Sac State Athletic Director Mark Orr said he has full trust in Dedini. 

“I believe [Dedini] has got to be a role model to our student-athletes,” Orr said. We are an institution of higher education. This isn’t pro sports, where it’s just about coaching the x’s and o’s on the field.” 

Sac State’s Big Sky playoff match against Weber State kicks off Wednesday in Greeley, Colorado at 1:00 pm.