Dominican University

Dominican University Athletiics
7900 West Division River Forest, IL 60305
Division 3 Illinois Midwest
Private Small National competitor


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Carlos Carrillo

Inheriting a team that won just three matches the season before his arrival, Carlos Carrillo has turned the Stars into a Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) powerhouse. Since his arrival in November of 2013, Dominican has shown their dominance being NACC regular season champions four straight years (2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021) and winning conference tournament championships in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 giving the Stars four NCAA Division III national tournament appearances in program history.

On 9/15/21, Carrillo achieved his 100th career win in a thrilling 2-1 victory over Illinois Institute of Technology.

Under Carrillo, the Stars have never had a losing season while averaging more than 14 wins per year, including a 17-3 mark in 2019 and an 18-3-0 campaign in 2018 that saw Dominican post a 0.38 goals against average with 16 shutouts while averaging better than three goals per game offensively. Since taking over, the women's soccer program has had 11 student-athletes recognized by the United Soccer Coaches organization with All-Central Region Honors and 2 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Americans.

Carrillo has a long history at Dominican, starring as a player from 1998-2002 before aiding the men's soccer program as an assistant coach for seven seasons from 2002-2009 and again for the 2013 fall season.

As a player, he was honored by the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletics Conference (CCAC) as the Newcomer of the Year in 1998 and was a first team all-conference selection four times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), earning Conference Player of the Year accolades twice (1999, 2001). The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) named Carrillo to the Region VII All-Region First Team in 1999, 2000 and 2001 while he was selected for the NSCAA All-American Third Team in 1999 before receiving honorable mention All-American selections in 2000 and 2001.

To date, Carrillo holds numerous records for the men's soccer program including all-time goals scored (110), all-time assists (68), all-time points (288), single-season goals (37, 2001), single-season assists (26, 1998) and single-season points (81, 2001).

In addition to his coaching experience with his alma mater, Carrillo coached with Ajax F.C. Chicago, a club soccer team in the western suburbs. With Ajax, Carrillo helped establish the girls' soccer program, growing the club from two teams in 2005 to 10 teams ranging from U9 through U18. As the club's Director of High School Girls, Carrillo has helped develop players that have gone on to play at all levels of college, including NCAA Division I, II and III.

In 2011, an Ajax U17 squad led by Carrillo won the US Youth Soccer President's Cup and went on to represent Region II at nationals were Ajax went all the way to the national championship match where they lost to Utah.

Carrillo currently resides in Plainfield with his wife Tethnie and two daughters, Mia and Mikayla.

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Jeff Halsema

A 2003 graduate of Dominican University, Jeff Halsema returned to Dominican University as an assistant women’s soccer coach in 2019.

Halsema enjoyed a stellar playing career with the men’s soccer program, garnering the University’s 2002 Student-Athlete of the Year Award and Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference (NIIC) Player of the Year honors. Upon his return to Dominican, Halsema served as both a head and assistant coach for more than a decade, including six seasons as the head women’s soccer coach and five seasons as a men’s soccer assistant coach. During his tenure with the men’s soccer team as both a player and a coach, the Stars amassed a 180-45-18 overall record with eight national tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight finish in 2003 and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012. In 2011 and 2012, with Halsema responsible for the organization of the Stars’ back line, Dominican was dominant defensively, ranking in the top-35 nationally each season while posting a combined 0.68 goals against average. Additionally, the Stars produced two Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) Defensive Players of the Year in Kyle Boekeloo and Krzysztof Lagowski.

Prior to rejoining the men's soccer team in 2001, Halsema spent six seasons as Dominican's head women's soccer coach. Halsema posted a career mark of 71-43-6, going 51-14-2 in conference play, in leading the Stars to four appearances in the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament championship game. Throughout his tenure as the Stars' head women's soccer coach, Halsema served as the Northern Athletics Conference Women's Soccer Coaches Chair from 2007-2009 and then sat on the NSCAA Central

Region Ranking Committee. Despite inheriting a program that had not had a winning season since joining the NCAA in 2000 (and had only three winning seasons since the program's inception in 1997), Halsema recorded five winning seasons to go with a .617 career winning percentage with the women's soccer program. In his final season as head coach, Halsema guided the Stars back to the conference tournament championship game, falling to perennial NAC powerhouse, Aurora University 2-1. On the year, the Stars posted a program-best 15-5-1 overall record, going 10-1-1 in NAC regular season play. Under his guidance, Liz Phipps and Adrienne Ryba garnered NSCAA All-Region honors, the first time in program history a pair of Stars landed on the squad, while Phipps also earned NSCAA All-Region accolades in 2009. In his six seasons as the head coach, Halsema coached 32 all-conference selections including one conference player of the year, one conference rookie of the year, one all-region athlete and three NSCAA all-region athletes. Halsema has earned his Advanced National and Premier Diplomas through the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

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Sara Stepanovich

Sara Stepanovich, a former graduate of Dominican University, joined the women’s soccer program as an assistant coach in 2017.

The former goalkeeper appeared in 54 games for the Stars, including 48 starts during a four-year career with the women’s soccer team from 2012-2015. During her career, Stepanovich logged a 1.63 goals against average to go along with a 22-23-1 record in goal. The Des Plaines native posted 11 shutouts, including five during her junior season when she started all 20 games and helped Dominican to a 12-8-0 overall mark.

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Lauren Zallis

Lauren Zallis joined Dominican University as an assistant coach with the women’s soccer program prior to the 2018 season. Zallis, a former DI student-athlete at Northern Arizona University, is a native of Lockport, Illinois, and works in Sport Psychology.

During her time as a student-athlete, Zallis earned All-Big Sky honorable mention honors as a freshman, playing in all 22 matches for the Lumberjacks, including 17 starts. Zallis was on track to be a four-year starter at Northern Arizona before battling injuries throughout the remainder of her career. In 2009 as a sophomore, Zallis started the first ten matches before suffering a season-ending injury. In 2010, Zallis appeared in 11 game with nine starts and then suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener as a senior.

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