PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe senior Bryanna Diceanu signed Tuesday afternoon to play soccer for the Indiana University East women’s soccer program.
Diceanu, the daughter of Danny and Claudette Diceanu is excited to play for the IE East Lady Red Wolves in the school’s inaugural 2017-2018 NAIA women’s soccer season.
“I’m very excited,” said Diceanu. “New opportunity and I love the school.”
Diceanu plans to further her education in the medical field while competing in a sport she excels at.
“I’m kinda undecided now,” Diceanu said of her field of education. “I want to go into the medical field either Occupational Therapy or Nursing.
IU East tapped Shane Meridith to serve as the first head coach of the Lady Red Wolves soccer team playing in the River States Conference and is excited to have a well-known soccer name join the IU East program.
“We love that,” Meridith said of signing “a Diceanue” to the program. “I am thrilled with not only getting a great player but a great person and meeting the family…a larger family. Has been a lot of fun for me. This is really a great day.”
Meridith brings extensive college coaching experience to the new Red Wolf Program. Meridith won conference Coach of the Year honors twice during his tenure at Earlham College, where he was the women’s head soccer coach from 1994-2000 and 2012-2015. Meridith served as an assistant coach for NCAA Division I programs at IUPUI, Miami University (Ohio) and the University of Iowa between 2003 and 2012.
“She’s a soccer junkie,” Meridith said of Bryanna. “She has real good pedigree with her dad playing and family playing. She strikes a ball very, very well.”
Coach Meridith has no doubt Diceanu will be a major contributor to the new soccer program.
“She’s going to be somewhere in the attacking half, but whether that be as a target player or whether that be in the infield,” noted Meridith. “Being a brand new program we’re going to have to put these pieces together…the puzzle. The important thing is we are getting a nice piece of a puzzle here, so she’ll fit in some place. I’m confident about that. Probably be on the front side of things…attacking half.”
Diceanu comes from a soccer family where her father Danny was a 1984 second team All-American soccer player for the University of Scranton, was inducted into the school’s Wall of Fame in 2004 and now serves as the head varsity boys soccer coach for the Franklin Monroe Jets. Diceanu has twice been named D-III Coach of the Year for the state of Ohio; 2012 and 2014.
A very proud father, Danny weighed in on Bryanna’s decision to play for the Lady Red Wolves soccer team.
“Just a proud moment knowing that she is going to go on and play and that she has her heart in it,” said Diceanu. “She’s the one deciding she wanted to do it…not because I wanted her to.”
“It will be fun to watch her grow and see what she can do with it and how far she will take it,” added Diceanu. “The most important thing is that you are able to get an education, follow your dream and pursue your desires.”
Franklin Monroe Lady Jets soccer coach Scott Howell is pleased Diceanu will represent the Lady Jets at the next level of competition.
“Just goes to show you how much heart, dedication and commitment that Bryanna had,” said Howell. “I’m glad that she is getting a go play. It’s a dream. It will help our program. These girls see that and hopefully they will try to follow in her shoes.”
“She’s a coach’s dream,” continued Howell. “Easy to coach, fun, committed. Anything we asked she would follow. Good leader amongst her peers. She’s a great soccer player…knowledge of the game because her family is all about it and that helps. It would be nice to have three or four every year like that but when you get one you hope to see them move on to the next level. That’s pretty awesome for us as a team, as a school and community to get to go watch somebody play at the next level.”
Bryanna had many thanks to handout to those helping to making her dream come true.
“I want to thank all my past coaches, my dad…he’s helped me a lot,” noted Bryanna. “I used to go practice with his select team all through elementary, so that is really the base of where my soccer came from. My mother was a very big supporter. My grandmother used to give me five dollars when I scored…that was neat.”
With IU East less than an hour away, coach Meridith hopes to create a friendly atmosphere for family and friends attending soccer matches.
“We’re going to have some fun tailgates,” Meridith stated. “I’m hoping to make this a family atmosphere to where families get to know one another and bond. Take part not just in the on-field fun, but tailgating and following the team.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Bryanna Diceanu signs to play soccer for IU East. (L-R) Danny Diceanu (father), Claudette Diceanu (mother), Bryanna Diceanu and IU East Soccer Coach Shane Meridith (Gaylen Blosser photo)