WALTHAM, Mass. –The Brandeis University women's soccer coaching staff, led by head coach Denise Dallamora, has been selected as the National Coaching Staff of the Year in Division III by their peers in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
For the first time in 2016, the NSCAA is honoring a team's entire coaching staff, including assistant coaches. The rest of the Brandeis staff includes first-year assistant coach Jenna Fisher, third-year goalkeeper coach John Conlon and first-year volunteer assistant coach Bob Winch.
Dallamora and her staff guided the Judges to a 13-3-3 record in the regular season this year. Brandeis got off to its best start in program history, posting a 12-0-1 record in their first 13 matches. After finishing 1-3-2 down the stretch, Dallamora and the Judges were ranked 23rd in Division III at the end of the regular season by the NSCAA. They reached the NCAA tournament with an at-large berth for the third year in a row.
The Judges saved some of their best soccer for the postseason. They opened the tournament traveling to Trenton, New Jersey, where they defeated Virginia Wesleyan, 3-0, in the opening round. Facing the hosts from The College of New Jersey in the second round, Brandeis tied the 5th-ranked Lions with a goal late in regulation, then advanced on penalty kicks, 4-2.
Brandeis was granted the opportunity to host the sectional rounds in Waltham, and took full advantage. Another late goal in the third round gave the Judges a 1-0 win over 15th-ranked McDaniel College. In the quarterfinals, they met top-ranked William Smith, who had allowed four goals all season entering the tournament. Despite trailing, 2-0, with under 20 minutes left in regulation, the Judges scored three times to take the lead. After the Herons forced overtime with just 3.7 seconds left in regulation, Brandeis notched the game-winner early in golden-goal play to reach their first-ever Final Four.
One of the two longest-tenured coaches in Division III Women's Soccer history, Dallamora's career record now stands at 343-267-68. She is ninth among active Division III coaches in career wins, 14th all-time. She also ranks 30th all-time among all collegiate women's soccer coaches regardless of NCAA Division.
Dallamora has led Brandeis to six NCAA Division III tournament berths, including three seasons in a row and five of the last seven. She was the University Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 1988. She also earned a Letter of Commendation from the NSCAA in 1994 and in 2014 was the recipient of the NSCAA Women's Committee Award of Excellence. She is a 1978 graduate of Northeastern. She currently resides in Framingham.