Women’s soccer hires new head coach

The Carleton Ravens introduced Dominic Oliveri, fomer 2013 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Coach of the Year as the new head coach of the women’s soccer team on Jan. 23.

Oliveri previously coached the Ottawa Fury FC women’s team and Algonquin Thunder, achieving success for both clubs from 2005 to 2016. He has a combined eight W-League division titles, two provincial championships, eight Top 3 W-League finishes, and four Coach of the Year Awards.

Kwesi Loney, head coach of the men’s soccer team and president of soccer operations at Carleton, described Oliveri as a determined, focused coach who never shys from a challenge.

“He pays a lot of attention to detail, takes what he does very seriously, approaches [everything] in a professional manner. Dom is a tactician of the game, and understands the organizational portion of it,” Loney said. “He also understands the value of a good recruiting class . . . He [takes] the challenge to develop as a coach.”

This will be Oliveri’s first year in Ontario University Athletics (OUA), having replaced former head coach, Fred Juett, who was with the team for two years.

“We have an opportunity to build a program with all the resources Carleton has here . . . It’s a pretty attractive package,” Oliveri said.

Oliveri will have to develop new relationships with players, and when asked about the strength of the OCAA compared to the OUA, Loney does not deny the gap, but said that Oliveri’s success will blossom.

“I think there’s definitely going to be a learning curve [for Oliveri]. I only mention that because I find that the conference that we played in the OUA East is definitely stronger than the conference that they were playing in . . . With that being said, the games he was supposed to win, he showed the capability of winning them,” Loney said.

He added that he anticipates fierce competition from the women’s team when facing top U Sports teams like Queen’s, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and rivals from the University of Ottawa (U of O).

“At any given time, these programs are able to take points regardless of where they stick in the standings,” Loney said.

According to his résumé, Oliveri spent most of his coaching career with top-level players, having coached the likes of Team Canada midfielder Diana Matheson and defender Kadeisha Buchanan.

“Coaching at the university level has always been a personal goal of mine,” Oliveri said.

Loney added that the relationship the two have off the pitch translates to their success as coaches, which is partly the reason why Loney brought Oliveri in. When asked about a shift in culture, Loney talked about the similar vision he has with Oliveri.

“In terms of his vision and what he looks for in a program, we are quite similar. Bringing in somebody that is like-minded would be much easier for us . . . The women’s side needed a bit of stability,” Loney said.

Oliveri noted his vision for the program includes high expectations of competing at a national level for the long-term.

“Ultimately, my vision is to be nationally prominent every year, always challenging for a national championship. With all the resources and facilities we have, it’s a reasonable expectation. Now, it takes a lot of time, building and fighting against top schools that have been good historically,” he said.

Oliveri will begin his tenure at Carleton immediately as both he and Loney work together to make the Carleton Ravens soccer program as successful as possible.

“From day one, we’re never gonna talk about goals for the playoffs. We’re gonna go through a process: what it looks likes to be a Ravens women’s soccer player. As long as we do that . . . results will follow,” said Oliveri.

Photo by Trevor Swann