Meet the new Head Coach of MIHS’s Girls Varsity Soccer, Erin Bourguignon

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Katie Friedman, Staff Writer

On Friday, March 11, 2022, the MIHS Administration officially announced Erin Bourguignon as the new MIHS Girls Soccer head coach. Bourguignon has an extensive history of incredible success and significance within the MIHS Girls Soccer program that led up to this accomplishment that deserves a spotlight of its own.

Bourguignon was a student athlete in the MIHS Girls Soccer program beginning in 2006 as a freshman and ending with her graduation in the summer of 2010. Bourguignon reflects on her time in the program with fondness and gratitude for its short and long term benefits.

“It was nice to take a step back from [the club] level of competition and have fun with my friends that I grew up with,” Bourguignon said. “And I just really [valued] having it be from home and taking pride in that.”

Bourguignon was immediately recognized as an extraordinary asset to the MIHSGS program when she joined the varsity roster as a freshman and continued to be a varsity captain for her sophomore, junior and senior years. She attributes many of her leadership qualities to her time with MIHSGS and the lessons captainship taught her about mentoring a group of people.

“You have to learn so much when you’re playing with people who you only get a couple months with,” Bourguignon said. “Y’all have different levels of skills and you have to work together and be efficient, and that taught me how to be a really great leader because it made me [start] at a really young age [to try to] bridge gaps.”

Despite numerous injury-inflicted setbacks, Bourguignon had great success during her four years of high school soccer. After a boating accident near the beginning of her junior year, Bourguignon was injured to an extent that kept her off the field for the latter half of the season. Motivated by lost time and newly acquired skilled players at the start of their senior year, Bourguignon and her co-captains put the team to work with the district and eventual state title at the forefront of their minds.

“My senior year, I wanted it so badly,” Bourguignon said.

Regardless of beginning as the firm underdogs in the competition, MIHSGS fought its way to being the 2009 Kingco Champion, afterward moving on to state-level competition.

Bourguignon and her co-captains then led their team to the state semi-final. They won, but not without consequence, as five minutes into the game, Bourguignon separated the AC joint in her shoulder. Regardless, she played out the rest of the semi-final, and then the final that she had worked toward her entire MIHSGS career.

Bourguignon scored the game winner of the semi-final despite her shoulder injury. She also scored in the final, but the game ultimately ended with penalty kicks, which the Islanders lost.

“It was horrible, and I know that sounds bad, but it was so epic getting there,” Bourguignon said. “I’ve never been more proud of not just the soccer I played, but leading the team with the [other] captains and working with them so well to create this team that fully believed in itself.”

“I wish I got the state MVP but I got first all state,” Bourguignon added. “I was the only person to score and assist in every single state game and they didn’t give it to me. I was disappointed, but still making first person all state was really special.”

Bourguignon’s recent and current roles in the soccer community are not the only aspects of her life that have benefited from her time as a high school athlete. Bourguignon’s glass art career has also reaped such benefits by convincing her of its possibility alongside proper commitment.

“If you put the work in, especially on the field, something will come out of it, and learning that at that age really helped me for academics,” Bourguignon said. “But also when I decided to go into my own glass career, that’s kind of how I knew I could do this as my profession as something new, because I’d already done it as a student athlete.”

As Bourguignon transitions into the head coach position, she is eager to shift the program’s focus more toward injury prevention.

“I really want [players]to know how to keep [their] bodies strong [and] just what’s really good for [players] as [they] get older so [they] have the skills down,” Bourguignon said.

Bourguignon also intends to concentrate on establishing a positive, healthy culture within the MIHSGS program. She holds great value in both the relationship between players as well as that between a player and their coach.

“I just want to build [players] up to realize how badass [they] are and just have that constant source of support,” Bourguignon said. “Seeing [them] grow up take on the world [is] such a privilege to see. I love it.”

“I want the coaches to have relationships with each of these players, for these players to know that they can come to us for any questions they need, come to us for any support they need,” Bourguignon added.

As the 2022 MIHSGS season nears, Bourguignon is more excited than anything to simply get the ball rolling. She looks forward to implementing her style of play, which is based on her belief that soccer is a simple sport, as well as her value in going back to basics. She also encourages incoming and existing MIHS students to try out for the program regardless of experience, skill and competitiveness, assuring that there is support and a community for everyone within MIHSGS.