University of Memphis

University of Memphis Women's Soccer
570 Normal, AOB Room #207 Memphis, TN 38152
Division 1 Tennessee Southeast
Public Large National competitor

Coaches

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Brooks Monaghan

Nineteen seasons ago, Brooks Monaghan took over the University of Memphis Women’s Soccer program in hopes of taking it to new heights. Six league championships, seven NCAA Tournament berths and 229 wins later, Monaghan has molded the program into a force to be reckoned with on the national level.


Asked what his one lasting impression on the program would be and why in 2000, Monaghan responded: “I would like my student-athletes to know that I gave everything I had to make this program better. I would want the young ladies to leave here knowing that they not only grew as players, but also as people."


Monaghan, the 2007 and 2011 Conference USA Coach of the Year, has seen the Tigers flourish on and off the field since his tenure began back in 2000.


Memphis has claimed 12-straight National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Awards, six-straight American Athletic Conference Team Academic Excellence Awards, the 2009 C-USA Sport Academic Award, seven Academic All-Americans and 17 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District selections. Since Monaghan’s first season in 2000, the team has a composite grade point average of 3.1 or higher.


In 2016 the Tigers added another honor to the list, posting the highest grade point average in all of Division I Soccer during the 2015-16 academic year. The team GPA of 3.70 was the program’s highest ever, after Memphis posted a 3.60 in 2014-15 and in 2009-10.


On the field, team and individual success have become the norm in the Monaghan era. The Tigers returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 for the first time since five straight C-USA Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances from 2007-11. Individually, Memphis has had one AAC Player of the Year Winner (Kylie Davis, 2014 midfielder of the year), and 14 C-USA Player of the Year winners (5 Offensive/3 Defensive/2 Midfielder/4 Freshman). The women’s soccer team has added 16 All-AAC picks and six All-AAC freshman selections, 34 All-C-USA picks, 16 All-C-USA Freshman Team selections, five All-Americans and one Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honoree.


The 2017 season saw continued success for the team and for Monaghan after an 11-6-3 season that came with six All-Conference performers. Elizabeth Woerner and Marie Levasseur were named to the first-team, Olivia Gauthier and Jessica Lisi were named to the second team and Clarissa Larisey and Elizabeth Moberg were coined to the All-Rookie Team. With the third conference victory of the season, Monaghan claimed his 100th career conference victory.


Memphis returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 after finishing with a 14-5-1 record and earning the program’s first at-large selection. The Tigers posted an unbeaten home record for the first time in program history with an 8-0-1 record, while the only tie was against Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State. Forward Valerie Sanderson became the program’s all-time goals (52) and points (122) leader after a stellar senior campaign where she scored 16 goals and totaled 39 points. Memphis was minutes away from continuing its season and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but an 88th minute goal by Arkansas sent the match into overtime where the Tigers were defeated.


The 2013 campaign saw Memphis dawn a new era, joining the American Athletic Conference, and the Tigers still managed to post 10-plus wins for the 10th-straight season. In 2012, Monaghan passed the 150-win plateau as the UofM posted a 10-8-1 record.


The 2011 season went down as the best in school history and marked a fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Memphis climbed as high as No. 3 in the national polls, the program’s highest ranking. The 2011 squad surged through the non-conference schedule with a 7-0 mark and won the C-USA title with a 10-0-1 record. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round, where it suffered its lone loss in a 22-1-1 season.


A sign that a program is among the nation’s elite is its ability to win on the road, and under Monaghan’s direction, the Lady Tigers have done that in recent years. Monaghan has led Memphis to a 61-31-12 road mark since the 2006 season.


Prior to taking the head coaching duties, Monaghan served as the program’s goalkeeping coach for former head coach Les Szabo. Monaghan was a vital part of Szabo’s staff during the program’s first four seasons.


When Monaghan became the Tigers’ goalkeepers coach, he was already familiar with the demands of running a successful college soccer program, having enjoyed tremendous success during his playing career at Memphis. The former Tigers goalkeeper still holds school records for season (11) and career (24) shutouts. His 298 saves rank second all-time, and he is second in season goals-against average (0.80).


He was named All-Great Midwest Conference first team in 1992, after leading the Tigers to a share of the conference title. In 1993, Monaghan was the Defensive MVP of the league’s championship game, helping the Tigers to the tournament crown and their first NCAA Tournament appearance. His 38 goalkeeper wins still stand as the school’s career record.


A former prep standout at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Monaghan’s collegiate play earned him a spot on the United States U20 National Squad. Monaghan also played professionally, spending two season with the New Orleans Gamblers from 1995-96 and one with the Memphis Express in 2002.


A Memphis native, Monaghan received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Memphis in 1994. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Collierville and have two children, Brooks IV and Charlie Elizabeth.

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Jonny Walker

Memphis native and longtime professional goalkeeper Jonny Walker joined Coach Brooks Monaghan’s staff in 2009 and has helped take the program to new heights. Walker brought with him more than a decade of record-setting professional experience, including becoming the first American soccer player to establish a successful professional career in South America (Chile) and completing two different stints in Major League Soccer (MLS).


Since Walker’s first season on the coaching staff in 2009, Memphis has recorded 118 wins and posted a winning percentage of .681. He has helped lead the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament four times in his nine season.


Walker has consistently groomed success in goalkeepers, as each of his first five years on staff coincided with record-setting performances. In 2009, a trio of keepers combined for a then-record 12 shutouts. The following season in 2010, the squad posted a second-straight, sub-1.00 goals-against average, the first time that occurred in consecutive season in the program’s history.


The trend continued in 2011 as Elise Kuhar-Pitters posted season records for shutouts (15) and goals-against average (0.46). Under Walker’s guidance, Kuhar-Pitters was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America second team selection, becoming the first keeper in Tigers history to earn All-America honors.


The 2012 and 2013 season saw Walker insert a freshman in goal as a starter, with each setting program records for freshmen netminders. One of those freshman goalkeepers, Maryse Bard-Martel went on to start every match of her four-year career (2013-16) and finish with the most minutes ever played by a Tiger goalkeeper, 7,259. Bard-Martel also finished her career second in victories (44), saves (267) and shutouts (25), as well as third in goals-against average (1.15).


The 2017 season also saw a freshman in the net for a solid part of the year. Elizabeth Moberg took over as keeper, allowing just eight goals and recording four shutouts on a 4-2-2 record. She was named to the AAC All-Rookie Team.


In addition to his work with the goalkeepers, Walker has a large impact on the entire defensive unit. Since 2009 the Tigers have had five defenders recognized on all-conference teams a total of 12 times.


As a professional, Walker was a member of Universidad Catolica’s championship team in Chile’s first division in 2002, and he also played in multiple Copa Libertadores tournaments. He finished his South American career with Colo Colo, the only Chilean club to ever win Copa Libertadores.


Walker’s final professional stop was with the MLS’s Columbus Crew, where he won the team’s 2005 Defensive Player of the Year Award after finishing second in MLS with a 1.12 goals-against average. From 2003-05, Walker played with MLS’s NY/NJ MetroStars, and in 2003, he became the third goalkeeper in MLS history to finish a season with a sub-1.00 goals-against average (league-best 0.95 mark). In 2004, Walker started and played three matches for the U.S. National Team, including a 1-0 shutout victory over Mexico.


Walker graduated from Louisville in 2007. He and his wife, Shauna, have two sons, Seth and Adam.

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Lizzy Simonin

Lizzy Simonin returned to her alma mater in 2014 as an assistant women’s soccer coach on head coach Brooks Monaghan’s staff and enters her fifth season in that role. Between her stints as a player and coach, Simonin has played a part in five of the Tigers’ six NCAA Tournament appearances.


Simonin’s third season back on campus saw Memphis return to the NCAA Tournament after finishing with a 14-5-1 record and earning the program’s first at-large selection to the NCAA postseason. The Tigers posted an unbeaten home record for the first time in program history with an 8-0-1 record, while the only tie was against Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State.


In 2016 the Tigers added a pair of off field honors to the list, including posting the highest grade point average in all of Division I Soccer during the 2015-16 academic year. The team GPA of 3.70 was the program’s highest ever, after Memphis posted a 3.60 in 2014-15 and in 2009-10.


The 2017 season saw more academic success for the Tigers, who have collected 11-straight National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Awards, five-straight American Athletic Conference Team Academic Excellence Awards, the 2009 C-USA Sport Academic Award, seven Academic All-Americans and 17 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District selections


Additionally, under Simonin’s guidance the Tigers women’s soccer team earned a No. 2 ranking for community service for all NCAA Division I women’s soccer programs in 2016-17. The Tigers were recognized for their work with St. Jude, the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Youth Villages among many others.


A two-year Lady Tigers captain, Simonin helped the Memphis program rise to national prominence in 2011. That season, Simonin was an All-America first team selection, as the Lady Tigers climbed to as high as No. 3 in national polls. Memphis finished with a 22-1-1 record and ranked No. 9 in the final polls.


An exemplary student-athlete, Simonin earned the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, as recognizing her achievements and loyalty to the University of Memphis. Simonin, the two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, was a Dean’s List honoree each semester as an undergraduate and earned Academic All-America honors in 2010 and 2011.


Simonin, the 2008 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, began her career as a forward, but injuries helped pave a move to defender for the final two years of her career. The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native finished her career with 22 goals and 15 assists for 59 points in 84 games. During her four-year career, the Lady Tigers compiled a 68-17-5 record, won four-straight conference championships and earned four-consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.


After earning her bachelor’s degree in physical education/teacher education, Simonin elected to return to the Kansas City area to pursue her master’s degree.


Simonin posted a 3.81 grade-point average at Memphis, before earning her master’s degree in higher education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Simonin served as a graduate assistant coach in her two years at UMKC, gaining her first experience working day-to-day with student-athletes.

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