BOSTON – Ashley Van Vechten, one of Division III's most decorated players, will lead Suffolk women's soccer into its 12th season as head coach this fall, Director of Athletics Cary McConnell announced Monday morning.
Vechten becomes the third coach in Suffolk women's soccer's short history, first female to lead the blue-and-gold and inaugural full-time coach for the program.
"I am excited to announce Ashley Van Vechten as our first-ever full-time head coach of women's soccer," McConnell said. "Ashley brings with her experience at the Division III level, both as a player and coach, along with a great knowledge of the game and a passion for player development and recruiting. With Ashley's leadership we firmly believe this marks a new era for our women's soccer program at Suffolk and we're excited for what lies ahead."
McConnell added, "We are thankful to the senior leadership at the University who shares in our vision and value of the richness of experience that a full-time coach can provide to a student-athlete's education on and off the field. This investment exemplifies the institutions value of the student-athlete experience."
She ventures to Boston for her first collegiate head coaching opportunity after serving four seasons as first assistant at her alma mater, the University of Rochester, where she had a standout career on the field and coaching.
"I am honored and excited to lead the Suffolk women's soccer program and I would like to thank Cary McConnell and the entire search committee for giving me this incredible opportunity," Van Vechten stated. "I am proud to join Suffolk's vibrant campus community, one which values commitment to academic, athletic and personal excellence. I cannot wait to continue to build our women's soccer program to reflect this mission, and I am eager to have our current and future student-athletes, alumni and supporters join me in this endeavor."
Over her coaching tenure at Rochester, a top-tier research university in up-state New York, her vast responsibilities centered around recruiting the well-rounded student-athlete that can prosper at the Division III level, the campus community and global community at large. The success can be shown in the 17 All-UAA selections and 12 UAA All-Academic team members, who sustained a grade point average of 3.30 or higher, in addition to achieving success on the field.
While her coaching resume is extensive, her playing portfolio speaks for itself. During her time in a Yellow Jackets jersey, she garnered three All-America selections – first team as a sophomore and junior, second team as a senior - from National Coaches Soccer Association, in conjunction with Adidas, becoming the first Rochester women's soccer play to earn All-America distinction in three consecutive seasons. The two-time New York State Defensive Player of the Year led Rochester to the NCAA Tournament twice, including a Sweet 16 run in 2005 and an Elite 8 appearance the following season, two ECAC Regional Championship trips and one UAA Title in 2004. The four-time first-team All-UAA defender was also tabbed a first-team All-New York State honoree in each of her four seasons. Van Vechten started 79 of 81 games in her college career, missing only two games due to injury. In that time, Rochester held 67 of 79 opponents to one goal or less with 48 shutouts.
One of the most honored women's soccer players in Rochester's 30-plus history, Van Vechten not only shined on the pitch, but in the classroom. The Bachelor of Arts dual major in history and German language was both a Renaissance and Fulbright Scholar, a Garnish Award Recipient, which is awarded to a student-athlete with outstanding scholastic achievement, and was a member of the Keidaeans Senior Honor Society. She was also recognized for her combined athletic and academic ability with spots on the ESPN The Magazine Academic College Division Women's Soccer Team and the National Coaches Soccer Association/Adidas All-America Scholar Team.
Van Vechten arrives in Boston just one-week prior to Suffolk's preseason and will get right to work to prepare for the Rams' season opener Friday, August 31 versus Lesley at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.