2011 Women's Soccer Coaches
 

photoHead Coach
Sarah McClellan

One of the elite young coaches in the Northeast, Sarah McClellan has quickly built a top-notch soccer program that not only competes with class and quality on the field but produces model citizens who strive for success in every endeavor.

Her 2010 Bearcats narrowly missed their seventh straight postseason berth, falling short by one goal in each of their final two games and missing the sixth and final America East playoff spot by one point.

Off the field, her team continued its achievement in the academic arena. The Bearcats earned Team Academic Award distinction from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for the 2009-10 year. The Bearcats posted a 3.15 team GPA to surpass the 3.0 minimum standard for the national honor. It marked the seventh time in the last eight years that BU has received recognition.

McClellan's 2009 squad was picked to finish fifth in the America East last fall but instead went 6-2 in league play to earn runnerup honors in a record-breaking campaign. Despite a starting lineup that consisted of four freshmen and seven underclassmen, BU produced the highest conference win percentage in its eight years of membership and advanced to the tournament title game well ahead of schedule. The postseason appearance was the program's sixth straight and the Bearcats reached the America East semifinals for the third straight season.

In McClellan's first year in charge in 2008, the team more than doubled its win total from the previous year. Opponents have been served notice that McClellan's teams will play hard and blaze a trail toward the top of the conference.

"The Binghamton environment and our soccer program provide student-athletes the ability to develop and excel on the soccer field, succeed academically, grow and mature as young adults and graduate with a top notch degree and the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel in the professional career of their choice," McClellan said.

After serving two years as the program's top assistant coach, McClellan was elevated to head coach in February 2008.

As an assistant at BU, McClellan was responsible for on-field coaching, coordinating team practices, scouting, recruiting and overseeing student-athlete academic progress. Her commitment to academic achievement was visible in the Bearcats earning national distinction in three of the last four years for a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.

McClellan came to Binghamton from Drury University, where she served two years as the assistant coach. In addition, McClellan was also the head coach of the Maryland Pride in the Women's Premier Soccer League.

She is a 2003 graduate of University of Maryland, where she played under U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame member and World Cup Champion Shannon Higgins-Cirovski. The Terrapins advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice in her three seasons on the squad. After earning her bachelor's degree in biochemistry, McClellan completed her master's degree in physical education at Drury.

Prior to her two years at Drury (2004 and 2005), McClellan was the lead assistant at Goucher College during the 2003 season. That squad went 8-7-4 and in the process, completed the second-best turnaround in the nation from the previous year.

In addition, McClellan spent four years playing in the semi-professional W-League and the WPSL. Among her post-collegiate accomplishments, McClellan garnered a national award from the WPSL in 2005, being named to the season’s WPSL All-Stars 1st Team.

A member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America since 2003, McClellan holds an NSCAA Premier diploma and a United States Soccer Federation "A" license - the highest coaching badge awarded.

 

photo Assistant Coach
Kristie Bowers
 

One of the elite student-athletes in the program's history, Kristie Bowers returns to campus to begin her first year on the coaching staff in 2011.

While an undergraduate at Binghamton, Bowers immersed herself in every facet of campus and has an abundance of achievements and accolades both on and off the soccer field.

A four-year starting goalkeeper (2003-06), Bowers led the 2004 Bearcats to a 14-win campaign that included the program's first Division I conference crown and subsequent NCAA berth. One year later, Bowers ranked fifth in the nation in save percentage and first in the America East in shutouts. She holds school records for career saves (383) and minutes played (6,544) and earned all-conference honors.

Bowers was equally invested as a student, earning a bachelor's degree in human development with a minor in chemistry and concentration in biology. She made the America East Honor Roll every semester, held down a 3.35 cumulative GPA and was a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society and Chi Alpha Sigma College Athlete Honors Society. Bowers also was an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee all four years, serving on the executive Leadershipo Committee and representing Binghamton at both the conference and NCAA levels of SAAC.

Following graduation, Bowers also continued her playing career as a goalkeeper for the Rochester Ravens (2005-06) and Rochester Rhinos (2007) of the United Soccer League's W-League Northern Division.

Bowers pursued her master's degree at Western Carolina University beginning in 2007. As the graduate assistant coach and goalkeeper coach for the Catamounts, Bowers helped the program capture the 2008 Southern Conference title and advance to the NCAA tournament. The team won 13 games and Bowers' goalkeeper protege was named the conference tournament MVP.

Off the field, Bowers was a teacher in the health, physical education and recreation department and earned her master's degree from WCU in teaching with a concentration in physical education in 2009.

Remaining in North Carolina, Bowers worked as a high school science teacher, varsity soccer coach and personal trainer and also remained active with the Region III Olympic Development Program. She has served as coach, director and goalkeeper specialist at numerous camps and club teams, including the Carolina Mountain Soccer Club, University of Rochester Soccer Camp and Cornell University Youth Soccer.

Bowers holds United States Soccer Federation "D" and "E" licenses and also is certified in first aid, CPR, lifeguarding and as a personal trainer.

"I'm ecstatic to have Kristie on our staff," Binghamton head coach Sarah McClellan said. "She was the ultimate student-athlete here at her alma mater and has a deep pride for our program and university. Kristie's playing and coaching experience will help us take our program to the next level. Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious and her competitive spirit is second to none. She is a winner and her mentality will be well embraced by our program."

 

photo Assistant Coach
Rich Pitts
 

Pitts, a highly respected scholastic coach in the Binghamton area, begins his first year on the coaching staff in 2011.

He has been coaching youth boys and girls club and premier level soccer for more than 20 years and has led numerous teams to the state cup level.

He served on the nearby Maine Endwell High School girls varsity staff for the past five years, helping that team capture five consecutive Section 4 championships (2006-10), one regional title (2008), and an appearance in the NYS Final Four in 2009.

Pitts has been a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America since 2005 and earned a United States Soccer Federation "E" license. He received his NSCAA National Diploma in 2006.

"Rich has many, many years of coaching experience and does a great job in understanding players and helping to maximize their talents," McClellan said. "He is a student of the game, always growing and developing his approach. Rich brings us a strong sense of the mental side of the game. He is a welcomed addition and fits in perfectly with our program."

 

 

Volunteer Assistant Coach
Amanda Casares
 

Former BU standout Amanda Casares joins the team as a volunteer assistant coach in 2011 while she completes her master's degree in geography at the University.

Casares was one of the program's all-time elite midfielders, earning all-conference honors three times and all-region accolades twice before graduating in 2010. As a senior captain, she led the Bearcats to America East regular-season and tournament runnerup honors in 2009. She was tabbed a first team America East all-star, meaning she was one of the top four midfielders in the entire conference. Casares was voted the America East Fans' Choice Player of the Year in 2009 and also was a two-time team MVP.

Casares was honored as the University's John Bilos Award recipient in 2010 for career achievement in athletics. A three-time America East All-Academic Team honoree and BU's NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, Casares was selected for the prestigious National Geographic Geography Intern Program during the summer 2011. She worked in the education department, helping to develop school district curriculum with photo and video research and websites.

She made the Zeta Rho chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon Geography Honors Society in the spring and will graduate in May with a master's degree in geography with a concentration in environmental resource management.