Walsh named Penn State women's soccer coach

February 09, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- Current United States Under-17 head coach Erica Walsh (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) has been selected as the third coach in the history of the highly successful Penn State women's soccer program. Walsh most recently served as the head coach of the Harvard Crimson women's soccer program and has consistently been active among the coaching ranks both at the Division I level as well as with the U.S. Youth National Team program for nearly a decade. Walsh will begin her duties with the Nittany Lions' nine-time defending Big Ten championship squad immediately.

"We are very excited to announce Erica's hiring as the next head coach of our women's soccer program," said Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley. "She will undoubtedly continue our program's nationally competitive ways as well as its high standards in the classroom. Erica brings with her an excellent blend and breadth of experiences and will thrive as a Nittany Lion. We welcome her to Happy Valley and are prepared to help her keep the program moving forward as she hits the ground running."

The head coach of the U.S. Under-17 team, Walsh comes to Penn State after a year as head coach of the Harvard program. Prior to her time with the Crimson, she was part of a Florida State staff that led the Seminoles to its most successful year to date. FSU joined Penn State in the 2005 Women's Soccer College Cup, with both programs reaching the national semifinals.

"Becoming the head coach at Penn State is an extremely exciting opportunity for me," said Walsh. "The chance to go back to my home state to join the Nittany Lion family and lead a program with such a strong tradition is something I have dreamed of for a long time. Penn State's unique offering of quality academics and nationally competitive athletics is my ideal coaching environment. I have had the opportunity to work with several of the players already with the U.S. Youth National Team program and believe the sky is the limit for Penn State's women's soccer. I am looking forward to being a part of its bright future."

Walsh's coaching path began in 1997 as a graduate assistant with Bucknell University. In 1998, she accepted a position at Dartmouth where she was an assistant coach for two seasons. After helping the team to a final NSCAA ranking of No. 8 at the conclusion of the team's 1998 NCAA quarterfinal run as well as an Ivy League championship in 1999, Walsh assumed the head coaching duties before the 2000 season.

As head coach, Walsh led the Big Green to back-to-back Ivy League co-championships in 2000 and 2001. Her squad was ranked in the NSCAA's top 25 each year, rising as high as No. 13 in 2001. In her three seasons as head coach, Dartmouth was invited to the NCAA Tournament each season and reached the round of 16 twice. All three of her teams earned the NSCAA's Academic Team Award. Walsh left Dartmouth to earn her MBA in Business Administration at Lehigh University where she served as a graduate assistant from 2003-04.

"As we spoke with people in the women's soccer community around the country, Erica's name kept coming up as one of the nation's brightest and most talented coaches," said Penn State Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Sue Scheetz. "We know that she will continue to enhance Penn State's already strong presence on the women's soccer scene both in the collegiate ranks and beyond. We think she is an excellence choice to continue the legacy of our program as well as to help our student-athletes grow and develop as players and people."

Beginning in the spring of 2004, Walsh joined the United States Under-19 team as an assistant coach where she helped with preparations for the Under-19 World Cup. The U.S. finished with the bronze medal in Thailand after defeating Brazil in the third place match. Current Nittany Lion sophomore Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.) was part of the U-19 squad that year. After the World Cup, Walsh was appointed the U.S. National Team's U-17 head coach, a position which she currently holds.

As a player, Walsh was an NSCAA all-region selection at William & Mary. A two-time first team All-CAA pick, she propelled her team to four NCAA Tournament appearances as well as two CAA regular season and two CAA league championships. A high school All-American at Lower Moreland, she was also a member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team. She earned her bachelor of science degree with a concentration in biology from William & Mary in 1997.

Walsh inherits a Penn State team that was 18-5-3 last season and made its eighth NCAA quarterfinal appearance in the past nine years. The Big Ten champion Nittany Lions lost to eventual national runner-up Notre Dame in the NCAA's round of eight. This year, Penn State will pursue its 10th-straight Big Ten title and look to defend its 2006 Big Ten Tournament title.

Harvard University Head Women's Soccer Coach, 2006 3-13-1 (2-5-0 Ivy League)
Florida State University Assistant Women's Soccer Coach, 2005-06
Lehigh University Graduate Assistant Women's Soccer Coach, 2003-04
Dartmouth University Head Women's Soccer Coach, 2000-02 37-15-2 (16-4-1 Ivy League)
Dartmouth University Assistant Women's Soccer Coach, 1998-99 Bucknell University Graduate Assistant Coach, 1997

Career Record as a Head Coach: 40-28-3

U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team Head Coach, December 2004-Pres.
U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team Assistant Coach, March-December 2004

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Last Updated March 19, 2009