This Month in Marin FC – March 2018

This Month in Marin FC summarizes the month’s news and notes in a series of ‘high-level’ briefs from various club constituents.

In This Edition


From the President

Evan Cross

Here are a few highlights and news tidbits from the past month:

The Dickens
Charles Dickens said, “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” I don’t know if Chuckles ever made it to Northern California, but he’s hit on something highly apropos for the time of year, our region, and our sport.

As our players, coaches and parents wrap up an unusually dry, warm, and sunny high school season, true to form, March has leapt upon us as we head together back to club play.  League games and early tournaments have already taken place under shifting skies.

Fast and Furious
The spring season, like March, comes on suddenly and is punctuated quickly with important end-of-month showcase events in Vegas and Virginia. April promises great change too as, after yet another round of delays, reports are that both new turf fields at College of Marin and San Rafael High will finally be in service. In a sense then, March may be our Groundhog Day, in which we simply must endure an extra month of winter on the fields front.

The board and coaching staff are minding business while keeping a keen eye ahead to tryouts and new 2018-19 teams. Only two months away, registration for tryouts is up and active on the club’s website, and as of March 1, we surpassed 1,000 registered players. This is highly promising as our slate of teams will grow to more than 60 squads. In the planning and preliminary scheduling, we’re looking to set up tryouts to be organized and efficient, and we will need your help! I have two specific requests. First, please spread the word and encourage new players to register as soon as possible, as this will give us an important advanced view of the player pool sizes (all current MFC and CMSC players are automatically registered). And second, please consider volunteering at tryouts. Check out the website schedule and contact me if you would be willing to help.

Breaking New Ground
In the lead up to tryouts, we’ve launched the 2018 Spring Institute. The board and coaches have high hopes that this club-wide pool training and small-sided games program will provide a cost-effective and high-quality venue for players to train even if their team is inactive in the spring. It will also provide a portal for players from outside the club to get a feel for the ‘Marin FC Way’. In this inaugural year, demand was stunning, so the board reluctantly decided to cap enrollment and curtail field allocations to the Institute, unfortunately leaving more than 50 players on a wait list.  We will be retooling the Institute from what we’ve learned and expect to learn in the next two months, ultimately making it a critical component of year-round soccer at Marin FC. Special recognition goes to Ben Swann for leading the way on all matters coaching and curriculum.

New Faces
Lastly, in the effort to continually build the best coaching slate in California and beyond, we’re thrilled to welcome some new talent to our roster.  In addition to including all the Central Marin legacy coaches, we are particularly pleased to introduce three new faces. Troya Cowell is returning to Marin from the the east coast to pick up two teams, and we’re fortunate to be able to bring in Conrad Gregory and Avery Kindler from Drake High School. All three have eagerly jumped into the Spring Institute and will surely continue to elevate the coaching acumen for Marin FC as 2018-19 teams are formed.  Help us welcome them by introducing yourself when you come across them this spring.

March On!
Dickens had one view of March, but Khalil Gibran had another and perhaps more fitting sentiment, “March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection.” I will look for you out on our path.

Special Note: A big thanks to Vida Hasson and Helena Robinowitz for editing my thoughts between games at the Juventus Spring Showcase.

Evan Cross, President


From the Director of Coaching

Joshua Kalkstein

This past month was a relatively quiet one, as folks transitioned from high school soccer into club.  Here are a few highlights:

Spring Institute
Ben Swann and Evan Cross have been spearheading our Spring Institute initiative for the past couple of months.  Due to high demand, we were forced to cap the number of participants as the interest was more than we had initially anticipated.  With Chas’ help, we’ve set the schedule, communicated with participating families, created the curriculum, and staffed the calendar as we get going in early March.

NorCal News
NorCal had their AGM and annual DOC meeting this past month.  Both events were well attended as usual, and Evan and Ben attended different meetings on the day.  It was great to be there and see familiar faces, although there’s little revelatory to report back from a content/topics perspective.

High School Wrap-Up
Congratulations to our older players, and their coaches, for wrapping up their respective high school seasons.  As usual we had several schools do well, not only in their respective leagues but also in the NCS, representing Marin in the 1st NorCal Finals, kicking off in early March.

Tournament Play
Our teams get back in full swing in March with State Cup, league play and major events in Las Vegas and Virginia.

ODP Best Wishes
Good luck to those ODP players and coaches that are traveling to SoCal for a state team event the first weekend of March.

– Josh Kalkstein, DOC


In the Spotlight

This month’s spotlight features an interview with UCSB standouts, Caitlin Gregory and Jo Van Hasselt.  Their beloved Gauchos were the 2017 Women’s National Champions, the second of back-to-back titles, and the program’s 7th national title in the past 11 seasons. No other program has more than three titles.

UCSB standouts, Caitlin Gregory and Jo Van Hasselt

Here’s what they had to say:

First Caitlin…

Talk about your Marin FC experience.
I started playing for Marin FC at U14 on Rob Funes’ red team. I played through my Junior year of high school, finishing on the U17 blue team coached by Tyler Gottschalk. Marin FC was a great step forward in my soccer career. I dramatically improved my game while making lasting friendships with my teammates. Some of my best friends are from that original U14 red team.

Talk about your UCSB experience thus far.
I am currently pursuing a Psychology and Brain Sciences major, with a possible minor in French.  I am incredibly happy with my decision to attend UCSB. The academics here are challenging, but the community and location are perfect. Living next to the beach is amazing!

Talk about the season that was.
Club soccer brings the perfect balance of commitment and competition. We practice 2-3 times per week and play games and participate in tournaments on weekends. It’s very easy to balance soccer and school, and the level of play is still high. We only missed two days of class when we traveled to nationals, so balancing school and soccer is manageable.  Being able to play soccer this often with a great group of girls was super fun. We played teams like UCLA, UCSD, Cal Poly, and UC Irvine in conference play, and some NorCal teams at Regionals. At Nationals, we played teams from all over the country, such as Florida State and University of Vermont.

Talk about the championship game.
We won the championship game 3-0 vs University of Texas. Capitalizing on our speed up-top, we gained a lead early on and kept the pressure on, though it was an exciting and close fought game all the way to the end. Once the final whistle blew, we all rushed the field and did a Gaucho cheer. A highlight of the season for sure. 

Looking back on the season, what were some of the more memorable highlights?
A memorable highlight for me was traveling to Phoenix, Arizona for nationals. Before nationals, we have a tradition called “Secret Sisters”, where we are each assigned a teammate and get them a crazy costume to wear through the airport and on the flight. I had to wear a green wig, big pink sunglasses, and fairy wings. Other girls had to wear things like a banana suit or a unicorn costume. We grabbed everyone’s attention in the airport, and it was a great bonding experience that got us hyped-up for the games to come.

I learned the following about myself/my teammates during our amazing run …
It’s important to put yourself out there and push yourself beyond your comfort zone. I’m usually shy, but I challenged myself to be more outgoing and pursue teammate friendships which made it much easier to bond and have an amazing time on the team.

Talk about your aspirations for next season.
Next season we are hoping to bring home another national title, which will be our 8th.  That’s the goal!

Talk about your thoughts on “life after college”.
I don’t know what life after college will look like for me. I am taking advantage of all the classes and opportunities UCSB has to offer and will hopefully find something I’m passionate about along the way and pursue a career in that area.

Anyone you want to thank?
I’d like to thank my Marin FC coaches, Rob Funes, JP Verhees, Chris King, and Tyler Gottschalk. Without their lead and help improving my soccer and teamwork, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d also like to thank my dad, Conrad, for being my soccer role model all these years. 

How can our readers follow you your team next season?
Check out our UCSB club soccer team Facebook and Instagram pages, or view our schedule here:

UCSB standouts, Caitlin Gregory and Jo Van Hasselt

Now Jo…

Talk about your Marin FC experience.
I started playing for Marin FC at U13 and stayed with the club through my U18 year.  During that time, I grew not only as a soccer player but also as a person. I met amazing players that are still some of my closest friends and consider all my coaches my greatest mentors. I got the chance to travel and play soccer with FC teammates in Sweden, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal, and it was an experience that I will never forget. Living in the city, it was a long drive to practice and games, but it was worth it, knowing that I got to play at an incredibly high level. More importantly, I got to share my love and passion for soccer with people who appreciate it just as much as me.

Talk about your UCSB experience thus far.
UCSB is such an amazing school. One thing that makes this school so special is the community. I found a great group of friends to enjoy a host of experiences with, and I’ve had an opportunity to try out new things I never thought I would. Thankfully I got a chance to join the club soccer team, and thus far have zero regrets.

Talk about the season that was.
Joining the team, I knew a lot of hard work would have to be put in as defending champions. We had a lot of injuries during the season, but our team was determined and resolute throughout. It was challenging but we fought hard to defend our title.

Talk about the championship game.
Going into the Championship game, our team was “in pain.” We had concussions, sprained ankles, pulled quads, and all sorts of injuries to contend with. Whenever our coach asked if we were okay, we just nodded because we knew it was almost over. No matter how tired and hurt we were, we fought. Right from the start of the game we scored. It wasn’t easy. The other team was bigger than us, but we were more skilled. We played our hearts out and played for each other, ultimately winning the championship game 3-0.

Looking back on the season, what were some of the more memorable highlights?
Our team LOVES to dance. Sometimes our coach sometimes couldn’t get us to settle down because we were just having too much fun. Our pre-game routine involved blasting music while singing and dancing together.

I learned the following about myself/my teammates during our amazing run …
That my college experience at UCSB wouldn’t be as rewarding without club soccer. I’ve met an amazing group of people and forged several lifelong friendships.

Talk about your aspirations for next season.
Not only do I want to keep growing as a soccer player, but hopefully I can play a role in bringing back an 8th National title to Santa Barbara.

Talk about your thoughts on “life after college”.
Honestly, I have no idea what I want to do after college. Hopefully I’ll get to travel a bit before I settle down.

Anyone you want to thank?
I want to thank all my Marin FC coaches for helping me become a better soccer player and supporting me through the many decisions I made through the FC years. I also want to thank every parent on those FC teams, for helping me commute to and from practices, games and the emergency room, and for just “checking in” on me periodically.

How can our readers follow you your team next season?
Check out our UCSB club soccer team Facebook and Instagram pages, or view our schedule here:


From the Director of Development

Ian Tonks

Eloi Vasquez Marin Headlands Memorial Run and Walk

The third annual Eloi Vasquez Marin Headlands Memorial Run and Walk will take place in the “wee” hours of Saturday June 9, 2018.  Registration is now open:

Eloi Vasquez, a lifelong Marin resident, Marin FC soccer standout, and UC Berkeley student-athlete was tragically killed in a car accident in southern California in 2015.  All proceeds from the event support the Eloi Vasquez Living for the Game scholarship, a grant annually awarded to deserving Marin FC male and female youth soccer players.

Got Team News?
To share a game summary or tournament recap:

  • Visit
  • Locate ‘Media & Info’ under ‘About Marin FC’ at the top of the page
  • Click ‘Submit an Article’

Alternatively, click here:

Edited posts will be added to our website homepage “latest club news” section and posted on our Facebook page within 48 hours. We encourage you to use this tool to keep all in the club informed re: individual and team accomplishments. A big thanks to those of you that use it already.

– Ian Tonks, Director of Development