NC State lost 1-0 in overtime to Virginia in the 99th minute. (Photos by Tim Shelley)
Steve Springthorpe embarks on his fourth season as the head women's soccer coach at NC State in 2012. He was hired on January 6, 2009, after spending five seasons as head coach at Fresno State University.
The Wolfpack enjoyed its best season to date under the leadership of Springthorpe in 2011, posting a 10-8-2 record, the program's best dating back to the 2002 campaign. State was one of the last teams left out of the 2011 NCAA Tournament after recording a final RPI of 41.
2011 also saw defender Shelli Spamer earn a spot on the ACC All-Freshman team, marking the second player in three years to garner a spot as one of the top first-year players in the nations toughest soccer conference. Additionally, classmate Stephanie Bronson checked in at No. 38 among TopDrawerSoccer.com's list of the Top 100 freshmen in the country. The Raleigh native led the Wolfpack in scoring.
The program continues to shine in the classroom with Springthorpe at the helm. Three more student-athletes were named to the ACC All-Academic Team, and that makes eight selections in the last three seasons.
Tanya Cain was an ACC postgraduate scholarship recipient, and earned Academic All-District honors for a third-consecutive season. In the last three years, the program has earned five Academic All-America All-District citations.
Springthorpe has accumilated a 25-29-4 record in three seasons at NC State, and owns a 77-69-16 career record in eight seasons as a head coach at the Division I level.
The 2010 campaign left the Wolfpack with a 7-12 record.
Springthorpe's first season in Raleigh saw his club record an 8-9-2 record and won a pair of ACC matches in 2009, including a 2-1 victory over No. 14 Virginia.
Springthorpe compiled a 52-40-12 record at Fresno State, transformed the program into a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) title contender that appeared in the league's championship game four-straight years, winning twice, and earning a regular-season title in 2006.
Fresno State made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2008.
The 2008 campaign saw his club open the season 3-7, only to turn that record completely around by posting a 9-2-2 record down the stretch, win a second WAC title in four years and in the process, secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, six of his players landed on the all-conference team, including four first-team selections.
2007 was another exceptional year for Springthorpe and his program. Fresno State placed second in the WAC and had an overall record of 13-7-1. He led the Bulldogs not only to a second-place finish in 2007, but also helped four players earn spots on the WAC All-Conference teams.
In 2006, Fresno State turned a corner as the Bulldogs 13-5-3 record stands as the best record in school history. The Bulldogs won their first regular season WAC championship since 1999 with a 6-0-1 record and Springthorpe was named the WAC Coach of the Year.
Fresno State's success in 2006 hinged on a stifling defense that set numerous records and ranked among the nations best. The Bulldogs held all seven of their conference opponents scoreless, setting a new league record and posting 16 shutouts overall, a new program record. Nationally, the team's goals against average was seventh best, and its shutout percentage and save percentage were second best in all of Division I soccer.
In addition to leading the team to the best record in school history, Springthorpe catapulted the Bulldogs onto the national stage. Following a 6-1-1 start, the Bulldogs entered the Top 25 for the first time since 1999, reaching No. 22 in the Soccer America poll, the highest ranking in team history.
In the 2005 campaign, Fresno State posted a 10-10-2 slate and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history. Springthorpe was 5-9-4 in 2004 during his first season in Fresno.
Prior to being named head coach at Fresno State on June 3, 2004, Springthorpe served as an assistant coach at the University of Florida for five seasons, working primarily with the goalkeepers and was involved with recruiting and scouting under coach Becky Burleigh.
Springthorpe helped the Gators to an 87-28-5 overall record, three Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season championships and three SEC Tournament Championships, while reaching the NCAA Tournament on four occasions.
Springthorpe had nine years of collegiate coaching experience when he joined Florida in May of 1999. He was an assistant coach for the Methodist College women's team from 1987-95. The Lady Monarchs advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals three times (1989, 1989, 1990), reaching the Division III championship match in 1995. Methodist earned eight Dixie Conference Championships and student-athletes earned Division III All-America honors 20 times during Springthorpe's tenure.
Springthorpe has more than 20 years experience with individual coaching at summer camps, specializing in goalkeeping instruction. In addition, he served as North Carolina's Olympic Development Program goalkeeping coach from 1992-95.
As a player, Springthorpe played for the Greensboro Dynamo from 1989-93. The team claimed the 1993 U.S. International Soccer League national championship. Springthorpe was a two-time All-South Region and a three-time all conference selection for Methodist College from 1983-87. He was captain of the Monarch team in 1986.
Springthorpe spent the three years prior to joining Florida as a promotions manager for PUMA North America. Born in Miami, Fla., he graduated from Methodist in 1987 with a degree in sociology.
Springthorpe and his wife, Trish, have four children - Tyler, Elizabeth, Westley, and Jackson.