University of Lynchburg

University of Lynchburg Athletics
Turner Gym 1501 Lakeside Dr Lynchburg, VA 24501
Division 3 Virginia Northeast
Private Small National competitor


Email coach

Dr. Todd Olsen

Dr. Todd Olsen took over the Lynchburg women's soccer program ahead of the 1994 season and in the time since has built a perennial conference and regional powerhouse and a consistent NCAA postseason tournament participant, capping it off with a national title in 2014.

Olsen led the 2014 Hornets to a 27-0-1 record, tying for the most wins in Division III history en route to the national championship. He was named ODAC, state, regional, and national Coach of the Year for his efforts. His team produced three All-Americans in the 2014 campaign, while sitting atop the national leaders in defense and scoring the entire season.

Since his arrival, the Hornets have posted 20 winning campaigns and have advanced to the NCAA tournament 15 of the past 18 seasons. In 2000, Dr. Olsen led his team to the school’s first ever NCAA tournament win for either men or women. Since 2000, his squads have been to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament (2009, 2014), the Elite 8 four times, and the Sweet 16 seven times. Under Olsen’s leadership, his teams have won more than 362 games. Also during his tenure, the squad has produced 72 all-region, 84 all-state, 153 All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference, five Academic All-Americans, and 13 NCAA All-Americans.

A native of Pittsburgh, Olsen received his bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education in 1985 from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa., where he was a two-time Academic All-America selection. After graduation, Olsen traveled to England and attended Loughborough University, earning his master’s degree in 1987 after completing a comprehensive soccer coaching regimen. In 1992, Olsen rounded out his academic career at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology.

Aside from on-the-field coaching and classroom teaching, Olsen is actively involved with service and study abroad projects both locally and globally. He has taken the women’s soccer team on soccer/service trips to Argentina and Costa Rica. In addition, he has partnered with Sports Outreach Institute and serves in a volunteer role as the Community Public Health Epidemiologist. He has traveled to Africa multiple times in this role, where he is able to utilize his unique background as soccer coach and epidemiologist. He has developed and implemented community health workshops and programs on community public health issues in Kenya and Uganda. His work has helped serve some of the world’s poorest people with these training sessions.

In 2012, Olsen was inducted into the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, which honors his philanthropic and coaching achievements. In the fall of 2012, he was inducted into the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame.

show more

Email coach

Natalie Deacon

Natalie Deacon, a native of West Chester, Pa., joined Lynchburg's coaching staff in 2017 following a four-year playing career under the leadership of head coach Dr. Todd Olsen. During her time on staff, the Hornets have claimed two Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships and made three NCAA Tournament appearances in 2017, 2018, and 2021. She helped the Hornets reach the Round of 16 in 2017 and the Elite 8 in 2018.

Throughout Deacon’s playing career, spanning from 2013-16, the Hornets posted an 84-8-6 record and won three Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships. Lynchburg reached four NCAA tournaments appearances and won the Division III national championship in 2014. A two-year captain, Deacon was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, three-time All-ODAC selection, and the 2016 women’s soccer ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Immediately following her time on the pitch, Deacon transitioned to the track in 2017, where she became a three-time NCAA All-American, twice in the indoor 1-mile and once in the outdoor 1500m, as well as a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. Deacon helped lead the Hornets to the 2018 ODAC outdoor track & field championship.

On three separate occasions, Deacon has traveled to Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda to serve alongside Coach Olsen with various nonprofit organizations. She assisted Coach Olsen in implementing the Women of Worth long-term project, which strives to empower young women using the tools of soccer and education.

Deacon holds her National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She is a recent graduate of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy - Class 46, and served as the head girls’ soccer coach at Brookville High School in Lynchburg from 2019-2021.

Deacon graduated from Lynchburg in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and a minor in coaching. In 2019, she completed her master's degree in Lynchburg's nonprofit leadership studies program.

show more

Email coach

Jessica Hinkle

Jessica Hinkle (nee Gonzalez) joined the Hornet coaching staff in the 2014 season after spending the last five years as a player in the Lynchburg women's soccer program, providing key leadership from her midfield position. She earned All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors four different times in her career, posting an impressive 19 points in her senior campaign on seven goals and five assists.

Gonzalez spent three summers as a camp counselor at the Naval Academy Soccer Camp while also working the Lynchburg soccer camps. She is currently the head girls' soccer coach at Heritage High School in Lynchburg and was formerly an assistant coach at nearby Brookville High.

She graduated from Lynchburg with a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in special education in 2013 and her M.Ed. in adaptive special education in 2017.

show more

Email coach

Matt Newton

Matt Newton joined the Lynchburg women's soccer staff as a graduate assistant prior to the 2018 season, bringing with him a wealth of coaching and winning experience.

The head girls' soccer coach at Jefferson Forest High School in nearby Forest, Va., since 2015, Newton has taken the Cavaliers to the VHSL Group 4A tournament each of the past two seasons and led JF to the state title in 2017. He earned 4A coach of the year honors in that season. He's been on the staff at Jefferson Forest since 2010.

Newton is a 2011 graduate of Liberty University and earned his master's degree from that institution in 2015 and has since served as an adjunct instructor in Liberty's College of General Studies. He has worked in information technology and faculty support in the Lynchburg area.

show more

Email coach

Caitlin Mertens

Caitlin Mertens rejoined her alma mater's women's soccer program as a graduate assistant in the summer of 2020.

One of the most prolific scorers in program history, Mertens won's national forward of the year and Old Dominion Athletic Conference player of the year honors in her senior season after helping the Hornets to the NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinals. She scored 29 goals that season, second-most in Lynchburg's storied program history, and was a second-team All-American and first-team All-South Atlantic Region honoree.

The Succasunna, N.J. native earned three All-ODAC and All-State accolades in her career and was named to the ODAC All-Tournament Team twice. Her 63 career goals rank fourth on Lynchburg's all-time leaderboard, and her 147 points rank fifth.

She spent the 2019-20 year in Richmond working as an intern for Fit4Kids, a nonprofit that works on nutrition and physical fitness skills with at-risk youth, and as a medical scribe with OrthoVirginia.

Mertens graduated from Lynchburg in 2019 with a degree in health promotion and is currently pursuing her master's degree in public health.

show more
This site helped me establish communications with several colleges. The ability to contact colleges that interested me and research information about them was very helpful.
- Dylan MorenoWhat are others saying?