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Friday, June 14, 2024

Julianne Sitch First Woman to Lead NCAA Men’s Soccer Team to Title

  • University of Chicago Beats Williams College for Division III Crown.
  • Former NWSL player coached the Maroons to an undefeated season.
Players pour Gatorade on University of Chicago head coach Julianne Sitch after winning mens D-3 national championship
Courtesy of NCAA

It sounds like a movie script: Female soccer coach takes over a men’s college program – and leads it to a national championship in her first season.

But that implausible scenario became a reality this weekend as coach Julianne Sitch led the University of Chicago past Williams College in the Division III title game Saturday.

With the 2-0 win, Sitch made history as the first woman to lead an NCAA men’s soccer team to a national championship. 

In her first year as coach, Sitch coached the undefeated Maroons (22-0-1) to a school record for victories. The former DePaul University and NWSL Chicago Red Stars standout previously served two stints as an assistant with the program. 

“The credit goes to the team. I mean, these guys have never had a female coach before, and they embraced me as one of their own. For me, that will forever be a grateful moment,” she said after the win.

The historic moment gave U.S. soccer fans a boost the same day the U.S. Men’s National Team was knocked out of the 2022 FIFIA World Cup by the Netherlands.

“Way to go Julianne Sitch and congratulations to your team. Monumental day!” tweeted soccer legend Brandi Chastain. “Appreciate you giving a real example to what is possible and why there is NO NEED for BARRIERS to coaching, leading, teaching. Just marvelous.”

Sitch took over the program in April. 

Stitch and New York University’s Kim Wyant are the only women coaching men’s soccer in Division III, according to ESPN.

After Saturday’s barrier-busting victory, more doors could open for more women to lead men’s soccer programs.

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