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About the Women's Soccer Program
It has been a short road to success for the Elizabethtown College women's soccer team. Since becoming a varsity team in 1988, the Blue Jays have averaged 12 wins per season.
The Elizabethtown has made vast strides since posting a 3-8 record in 1988. In 1989, they improved to 8-6-1, and then enjoyed a breakout season in 1990 when they posted a 13-1-1 record. That year the Blue Jays ranked as high as 13th in the NCAA Division III Top 20, and only a late-season, overtime loss kept Etown from post-season competition.
Elizabethtown's solid play on the field has paid big dividends for several Blue Jay players. Amy Hyde '93 became the first Etown women's soccer player to be honored as an All-American, earning third team status in 1990. Amy Bender '98 was named an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) in 1997, and Dina Jingoli '02 became the program's third All-American in 2001. Also following the 2001 season, Nicole Hundley '02 was named the program's first CoSIDA Academic All-American. Megan Halladay '04 became the program's second Academic All-American in 2002, and she repeated the honor in 2003 to become the first Elizabethtown athlete in any sport to earn Academic All-America honors in back to back years since 1994-95.
Elizabethtown players have been named to all-conference teams a total of 85 times since 1989, and a Blue Jay has been named the conference's Most Valuable Player seven times. Becky Nocito '99 and Kristy Wade '00 did it twice in 1995-96 and in 1997-98, respectively. Meredith Uber '00 was named the 1999 MVP, and Jingoli earned the Commonwealth Conference MVP award in 2000. In 2007, Jenna Russo '09 captured the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year award. Etown players have also been named to all-region teams 23 times since the start of the program.
There have only been four coaches in Etown history, with the first two having played a large role in the program's development. Jim Jones served as head coach for the first two years, compiling an 11-14-1 mark before passing the mantle to Ed Batista in 1990. Batista posted a 40-25-4 record over four seasons.
Barry Dohner '83, an alumnus of the Etown men's soccer program, took over as head coach in 1994. He was named the NSCAA Coach of the Year in 1997, and the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2006. He won the MAC Commonwealth League/Commonwealth Conference Coach of the Year award six times and posted a 189-85-19 mark in 14 seasons.
Beginning in 2008, the Blue Jays will begin a new era on the sidelines as Bob Scotten '78, a former men's soccer standout for the Blue Jays, takes over as head coach after a number of successful seasons in the high school ranks.
In 1996, the Blue Jays won their first Middle Atlantic Conference championship and compiled an 18-2-2 record. Although Elizabethtown did not win the MAC Championship in 1997, the team had an even more memorable season. The Blue Jays reached the NCAA tournament for the first time, and they reached the Final Four. The national championship was held at Elizabethtown's Ira R. Herr Field that year, and the team won a program record 10 consecutive games and finished with a 19-4-3 record, the most wins ever by a Blue Jay team.
Elizabethtown recaptured the MAC title in 1998, finishing 12-9-1 and returned to the NCAA tournament, this time reaching the Mid-Atlantic Regional. In 1999, the Blue Jays shook off early-season injuries to go 15-7-1 and reach the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the NCAA tournament once more. The team also went 7-0 in Commonwealth Conference play, and had another string of 10 consecutive victories, tying the program record. A record eight Blue Jays were named all-conference players in 1999.
The team shared the regular-season Commonwealth Conference title in 2000, but fell in the conference playoff championship game to Messiah, which received the conference's automatic NCAA bid over Etown. A young Blue Jay team made the program's return to the NCAA tournament in 2001, reaching the Mid-Atlantic Regional and finishing with a 15-5 overall mark, the program's best since 1997.
In 2006, Elizabethtown captured its first Commonwealth Conference tournament championship and clinched another bid in the NCAA Division III tournament. That year, the Blue Jays reached the "Sweet Sixteen," the deepest the team had gone into the post-season since 1997. The 2007 squad set a program record for shutouts in a season and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament after falling in the conference finals.
Elizabethtown plays its home contests on Ira R. Herr Field, one of the premier soccer venues on the East Coast. Herr Field, with a seating capacity of 2,225, has been the site of four NCAA Division III Final Fours (one women's and three men's) and twelve other NCAA tournament rounds. Lights were installed at Herr Field for the first time in the spring of 2001, and the Blue Jays played their first night home game in the 2001 season.