Posted February 11, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

SU roundup: Smeltzer named women's field hockey coach

Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Shenandoah University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Zipp announced Monday that Ashley Smeltzer has accepted the position of head women's field hockey coach.

Smeltzer takes over the Shenandoah program after five years as an assistant coach at longtime DIII power University of Rochester. While at the Liberty League institution, Smeltzer was involved in all aspects of the Yellowjackets program.

In the fall of 2012, Smeltzer helped lead Rochester the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

She is the third head coach in program history and takes over the team from Kim Iman-Bianchi.

Iman-Bianchi, the 2012 ODAC Coach of the Year after leading SU to a program-record 11 wins, resigned in December due to family considerations.

"Our program has improved tremendously in the past two years," Zipp said in a news release. "That is due to the hard work that Kim and her assistants put in.

"In looking for a new head coach, we wanted a coach from a winning program that was capable of continuing to elevate the level of the program.

"Ashley is a perfect fit for us. I have no doubt that she will continue the good work that Kim started."

In addition to the 11 overall victories in 2012, SU finished tied for fourth in the ODAC regular season race. After a 1-0 quarterfinal round win over Washington and Lee, the Hornets fell 3-1 to eventual league champion Lynchburg College in the ODAC Tournament semi-finals.

That Shenandoah goal was one of just two that Lynchburg gave up to ODAC opponents last fall. 

Prior to her experience at Rochester, Smeltzer served as a student assistant coach at her alma mater, Michigan State University, in 2007-08.

She played four years for the Spartans on a full scholarship and helped MSU to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and a Big Ten championship.

"I am thrilled and honored to be able to lead the field hockey program at Shenandoah University," Smeltzer said. "Division III presents outstanding opportunities for student-athletes and I cannot wait to be a part of that experience here.

"I am confident that my experience at the University of Rochester has prepared me for this next step in my career and am truly grateful to have outstanding support on both ends of this exciting transition."

In addition to her collegiate coaching experience, Smeltzer has worked in the USA Field Hockey Futures Program since 2009 as a selector, site director, assistant coach and head coach.

She begins her full-time duties on March 1 and will have her first game as the program's head coach on Aug. 30 with a non-league contest against Wilson.

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