Coach Highlight: Brooke Barbuto
Brooke Barbuto, the head coach of the girls 2004 SDA team, knows the ins and outs of the soccer world.
Brooke has been a supportive, motivating coach with SDA for about 5 years. Having the ball at her feet since the age of 3, Brooke never knew how far soccer would take her. A Syracuse native, Brooke attended Corcoran High School. She played for three years on the Girl's Varsity team, and played one year on the Boy's Varsity team. Playing with and against the Boy’s Varsity team tested and improved Brookes speed, physicality, and technical skills. Brooke also played for the Syracuse Blitz Club team, where she met one of her biggest inspirations.
“Michael Paolini was my coach for 5 years and honestly one of the most influential people in my soccer career. I admired him as a person and as a coach and to this day consider him a role model," says Brooke. Michael Paolini, the SDA’s Director of Coaching sparked Brookes passion for soccer since the beginning. Brooke’s skills and love for the game earned her a spot on the Division 1 Stony Brook Women’s team.
Brooke was the starting attacking center mid for four consecutive years, where she gained numerous awards and attention from other teams. As a freshman, she was named to the American East All-Rookie Team. From then on, she stacked up even more awards throughout the rest of her college career, including First Team All-American East for her junior and senior year, Adidas NCAA Division I Women All-Northeast Region First Team her junior year, and overall Team MVP her senior year. Along with this, Brooke also received a spot on the America East Conference All Academic Team throughout her college career due to her commitment and success in her education.
After college, her soccer career took off. Brooke said, “I played professional soccer in the US with the Buffalo Flash. I've played professional soccer in three countries: Iceland with Haukar, Finland with GBK and NiceFutis and in Australia with the Peninsula Power. “Playing professional soccer was an absolute dream come true. I was so grateful for the experience. I believe playing soccer overseas helped me grow as a person and as a soccer player.” Her accreditation did not stop here; leading her team in goals for both GBK and the Peninsula Power, Brooke also earned the 2017 League MVP for the Peninsula Power.
When she was asked how she got into coaching she said, “The love of the game led me to coaching. I wanted to stay involved in the game and help bring my desire and passion to athletes especially young female athletes.” Brooke strives to help young athletes find their way. Along with coaching the girls SDA 2004 team, she also coaches the Youth Developmental Program where she molds the skills of first time players. On top of this, Brooke is also the assistant coach for the Cortland Women’s Soccer Team.
Brookes favorite part about coaching is helping guide her players on and off the field. Knowing she has the ability to impact her player’s life for the better is a very special and important part of coaching. Acting as a mentor, Brooke has been able to create personal relationships with her players to help them grow as a person and as a player.
Lastly, when Brooke was asked what led her to coach for SDA she exclaimed, “SDA is a great organization and the second I knew I wanted to get into coaching, I reached out to Mike and couldn't imagine working for another organization. The club is so successful and truly wants to help develop every player and cares about their success.”