Penn State faces eight 2012 NCAA Tournament teams
Marton is captain for third-straight year; Hurd and Schram first-time captains
Program coming off its fourth ever College Cup appearance
Fans can participate by fundraising on behalf of Penn State
Brittany Basinger, Olivia Brandy, Chloe Buehler, Andrea Gunderson, Angela Widlacki, Salina Williford and Anna Witte all set to join women's soccer program
2009 BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR
Head coach Erica Walsh enters her sixth season at the helm of the Penn State women's soccer program in 2012. Walsh's 2011 squad was her most dominant, winning 21 of 26 matches, while out-scoring opponents 70-24. The Nittany Lions were 10-1 in Big Ten action and posted the seventh undefeated season at Jeffrey Field (9-0). Walsh help guide the Lions to their 14th straight Big Ten title and a spot to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2007. The 14-title mark stands as the most consecutive Big Ten championships by a women's program.
During the 2011 summer, Walsh had an extraordinary experience of being one of the top assistants to Pia Sundhage and the 2011 United State women's national team at the FIFA World Cup in Germany. The U.S. make a sparkling run through knockout play to the final, falling to eventual champions Japan.
During the 2010 season, Walsh's young club made a remarkable turnaround mid-season, overcoming a two-game deficit in the league standings over the final weeks to capture a share of a record-breaking 13th straight Big Ten title.
After a tough 2-4 start to the 2009 season, Walsh has led the Nittany Lions to a remarkable turnaround, going 10-1-2 in the last 13 games of the regular season, earning her the 2009 Big Ten Coach of the Year Award for her efforts. With the impressive end to the season, Walsh and her charges captured the program's 12th-straight Big Ten Championship, tying a record for most consecutive women's Big Ten titles won held by the Michigan swimming & diving program.
Walsh continued her success from the 2007 campaign into a 16-8-0 record that saw Penn State capture its 11th-straight Big Ten Championship and the 2008 Big Ten Tournament crown.
Her transition to Penn State was quite smooth as the 2007 team finished 18-4-2, including a 9-1-0 mark in conference play, and was ranked 12th in the final NSCAA poll of the season.
When she came to Penn State, Walsh brought with her a wealth of experience at both the international and collegiate levels. She already has coached at six different universities, including three stints as head coach as well as serving as an assistant for the U.S. U-19 team in 2004. Walsh served as head coach of the U-17 team from December 2004 until her hire at Penn State in February of 2007.
As of January 2009, Walsh was appointed as a member of the Panel of Instructors and Lecturers for FIFA Courses. In addition, she was appointed as the Chairman of the Women's Technical Committee for the period of January 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011.
In January of 2008, Walsh was named as the assistant coach by Pia Sundhage for the U.S. National Team. With Walsh's help and guidance the U.S. team completed its historic run with a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Even sweeter was that Walsh's main responsibility was the U.S. Team's defense, which held fellow world power Brazil scoreless in the gold medal game.
The head coach at Harvard University as well as the U.S. Under-17 team prior to her hiring at Penn State, Walsh has consistently been active among the coaching ranks both at the Division I level and the U.S. Youth National Team program for nearly a decade. Prior to her time with the Crimson, she was part of a Florida State staff that led the Seminoles to one of 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.
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 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 Master's in Business Administration at Lehigh University where she served as a graduate assistant from 2003-04.
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. After the World Cup, Walsh was appointed the U.S. National Team's U-17 head coach, a position which she held for three years.
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.
Walsh earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in biology from William & Mary in 1997 and resides in State College, Pa.
Walsh on what Penn State apart from other colleges and universities: "Undoubtedly, it's the combination between the athletics and the academics. It's what Coach Paterno refers to as 'The Great Experiment.' PennState has created an environment where student-athletes can pursue an outstanding education while competing at the highest level of college soccer. This is precisely the reason I wanted to join the Penn State Community."
Walsh on a Penn State player's soccer future after graduation:
Walsh on what makes Penn State's home field so special:
Walsh on the facility improvement plans for Jeffrey Field:
Walsh on PennState's support staff resources:
Walsh on offseason training:
Walsh on school pride: