Walsh tabbed NSCAA National Coach of the Year
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Just three days after being named Soccer America National Coach of the Year, Penn State women’s soccer head coach Erica Walsh has been named National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Coach of the Year, announced in Indianapolis on Friday (Jan. 18) evening. The voting is done by Division I coaches around the entire country. Walsh becomes the third ever NSCAA National Coach of the Year in program history. Pat Farmer was named NSCAA National Coach of the Year in 1999 while Paula Wilkins won the same award in 2005.
Winners of 15-straight Big Ten titles, Walsh helped Penn State post its second-straight 20-win season and advanced to the College Cup Title for the first time in program history. The Nittany Lions appearance in the championship game was just the second appearance by a Big Ten school in the national championship, as Wisconsin reached it in 1991. Walsh was also named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time of her career this past season.
The women’s soccer squad (21-4-2, 10-0-1 Big Ten) posted its best season in program history. Senior midfielder Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the nation’s best player. Joining Nairn as an NSCAA First Team All-American was junior forward Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.).
The Nittany Lions took home the majority of conference awards as well. Joining Walsh in the Big Ten major award categories was Nairn (Midfielder of the Year), Hayes (Forward of the Year), Defender of the Year sophomore Whitney Church (Ashburn, Va.) and Freshman of the Year Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica). Additionally, the women’s soccer program had a total of five players named to NSCAA Great Lakes All-Region teams. Hayes, Nairn and Church were named first teamers, while goalkeeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was named to the second team and Rodriguez was a third-team selection.