U.S. Women's National Team Asst. Coach & Penn State Women's Head Soccer Coach
Head coach Erica Walsh is entering her second season at the helm of the Penn State women's soccer program. Her transition into the Nittany Lion family was as smooth as anyone could have hoped for as she led the squad to its 10th-straight Big Ten title and 13th NCAA appearance. The 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.
In January of 2008, Walsh was named as the assistant coach for Pia Sundhage of the U.S. National Team. Walsh brought with her a wealth of experience at both the international and collegiate levels having 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 from March to December of 2004 and as head coach of the U-17 team from December 2004 to February of 2007.
Under Walsh's guidance the U.S. team has gone completed its historic run with a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The head coach at Harvard University as well as the U.S. Under-17 team prior to her hiring, Walsh has consistently been active among the coaching ranks both at the Division I level and with the U.S. Youth National Team program for nearly a decade. Prior to her time with the Harvard 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.
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.
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. She earned her bachelor of science degree with a concentration in biology from William & Mary in 1997.