Eliott Tarney finds new path after leaving men’s soccer

Senior men’s soccer captain and goalkeeper Eliott Tarney’s fondest memory of his four years as a Golden Grizzly is winning the Horizon League Championship at home in 2014.

“The feeling of success and being able to celebrate that on campus with the supporters and families was irreplaceable,” he wrote in an email. “I remember everyone immediately just pitch invading and everyone going crazy.”

Originally from Preston, England, Tarney wrote he misses the food and that adjusting to the time difference was the biggest difficulty. Andy Wagstaff, a former Oakland assistant coach who is now head coach at Saginaw Valley State University, saw Tarney play back in England and helped Oakland recruit him, head coach Eric Pogue wrote in an email.

“[Coming to Oakland was] life changing,” Tarney wrote. “It’s made me see new cultures and how diverse America is. I have made new lifelong friends and many different connections. Would like to take this moment to say thank you for all those who know me for everything they have done for me and supported me and also accepting me. I have no regrets except not getting to meet a lot more people.”

The thing Tarney misses most about the game is making mistakes.

“If you never make mistakes, then you will never know what you are capable of,” he wrote.

Pogue stated that Tarney’s work ethic, leadership and passion for the game helped the team bring home championships.

“Eliott fits all the things that you look for as a coach in a teammate and top notch player,” Pogue wrote. “Eliott was always willing to do what was in the best interest of the team’s success, even if it meant taking a supporting role for the good of the team.”

Although he has stepped off the field for the men’s soccer team, he’s not finished. This fall, Tarney will be the new graduate assistant for the women’s soccer team.

“I see coaching at the college or youth level being a big part of his future,” Pogue wrote. “He always did a fantastic job working our summer camps as a goalkeeper, coach and counselor, and I know he is highly thought-of from his coaching experience at the youth and high school levels.”

This summer, Tarney wrote, he will play for the Michigan Stars, be a coach for Coerver Coaching and be an assistant coach for the Rochester High School girl’s varsity soccer team. He hopes to earn his masters in counseling while here.

“I am planning on going home [after this phase of my life] and either trying to go pro or semi-pro at minimum,” Tarney wrote. “If I go semi-pro I plan on doing a masters in psychology and receiving a degree in teaching. I want to become a child psychologist if all else fails.”