Belmont University

Belmont University Athletics
1900 Belmont Boulevard Nashville, TN 37212
Division 1 Tennessee Southeast
Private Medium Competitive team


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Heather Henson

Heather Henson enters her eighth season as Belmont University head women's soccer coach in 2018, the sixth coach in the history of the program.

The Bruins have won 50 matches during Henson's tenure, and gained national acclaim for academic achievement and community service.

In 2017, Henson's Bruins posted a 10-6-2 record, their most single-season wins during her tenure with the program and the most for Belmont women's soccer since 2009 before joinging the Ohio Valley Conference. Belmont made the OVC tournament for a second consecutive year and had four players receive OVC postseason recongition – Tara Austin, Julie Garst, Belicia Mendiola and Sydney Cason – for a second straight season as well. Mendiola was also named to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-South Region Second Team.

During the 2016 campaign Henson led the Bruins to previously untouched milestones as they shut out five consecutive conference foes for a total to 531 scoreless minutes over a seven game span. The squad’s record-breaking OVC slate led to Belmont’s first OVC tournament appearance in four years and the second under Henson’s tutelage. BU’s success was rewarded when four different Bruins – Stephanie Bukovec, Brittany Coca, Belicia Mendiola and Anna Brock Hawkins – earned postseason recognition.

After graduating from Belmont, recent team members Stephanie Bukovec (2017) and Tara Austin (2018) went on to professional playing careers overseas. Bukovec is currently playing club soccer in Iceland while also a member of the Croatia National Team, while Austin is playing for a team in Sweden.

Under Henson's watch, the program has twice posted the highest team GPA in NCAA Division I as recognized by the National Soccer College Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Bruins earned the top mark for the 2013-14 school year at 3.73 and for 2014-15 at 3.83. The latter saw Belmont score highest among all NCAA women's soccer teams regardless of division. The program has received NSCAA Team Academic honors in each of her years as head coach and 14 consecutively through the 2017-18 school year.

The Bruins also earned the OVC Sportsmanship Award in 2015

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Valerie Tysinger

Valerie Tysinger joins the Belmont women's soccer program for her first season in 2018 as an assistant under head coach Heather Henson.

“I am very excited to add Valerie to our Belmont Soccer family,” Henson said. “She is a perfect fit with her character and personality being true examples of what it means to be Belmont. Val will be a wealth of experience and understanding of what drives winning from her playing days under Becky Burleigh at the University of Florida.”

Tysinger joined the Bruins after one season at Nashville’s Trevecca Nazarene University as the coach overseeing goalkeepers and their development. Prior to coming to Nashville, she had a two-year stint playing professionally with the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League. During that span the Lady Eagles claimed the 2014 Regular Season Champion title and reached 2014 Final Four.

Tysinger began her soccer path at the University of Florida, helping the Gators to a whopping five NCAA Tournament appearances. UF also advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen four times and was an Elite Eight finalist in 2014. Tysinger and the Gators collected three SEC regular season championships and three SEC Tournament championships during her time between the posts. During her senior campaign the Gators broke through and remained ranked in the nation’s top 10 the entire year after holding a spot in the top 20 for the three previous seasons.

A true student-athlete who excelled in the classroom, Tysinger also earned Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll throughout her career at the University of Florida.

A native of Daytona Beach, Fla., Tysinger resides in Nashville.

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