Rudy Meredith, the winningest coach in Yale history with a 173-108-20 mark, begins his 18th season at the helm in 2012. During his tenure, Meredith has firmly established the Bulldogs as one of the most successful and respected women's soccer programs in the Northeast.
He is a three-time Northeast Region Coach of the Year and has guided the Bulldogs to the NCAA College Cup in 2002, 2004 and 2005. In 2005, the Bulldogs won a school record 15 games, captured the first outright Ivy League title in Yale history and advanced to the third round of the NCAA College Cup for the first time in school history. In the second round, Yale upset third-seeded Duke 2-1, scoring the winning goal with one second left in the second half, one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the tournament. The Bulldogs were ranked 13th in the final NSCAA/adidas national poll.
In 2002, Yale made the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, upsetting Villanova in the first round before dropping a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Nebraska in the second round. The Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 after winning 13 games and finishing second in the Ivy League.
Several individuals have earned accolades under Meredith's tutelage. Lorelei Wall '00 was named Yale's first Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 1996 and went on to receive first team All-Ivy honors the next three years. Crysti Howser was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2005, and Christina Huang became only the second Yale player to earn All-America recognition when she was named to the second team in 2005. In 2010, Yale had both the league's player of the year (Becky Brown) and the co-rookie of the year (Kristen Forster). Meredith has coached 24 players to first team All-Ivy honors during his tenure. In 2011, Melissa Gavin became the fourth player in school history to be named the league's rookie of the year.
In the summer of 2012, Meredith served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team. Meredith joined the team at its training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and then accompanied the team on a tour of Norway. Notre Dame's Randy Waldrum was the team's head coach. The training camp featured 24 of the nation's top players, some who had college eligibility remaining and some who had experience with the Women's Professional Soccer League.
That was Meredith's second stint with U.S. Soccer. In 2007, he served as an assistant coach for the Under-20 Women's National Team that played three matches against top English clubs in Manchester, England. He worked primarily with the goalkeepers - Chantel Jones of Virginia and Penn State's Alyssa Naeher.
Prior to being named head coach at Yale shortly before the start of the 1995 season, Meredith served three years as an assistant coach under Felice Duffy. In his first year as an assistant, the Bulldogs captured their first Ivy League title, sharing the crown with Brown.
Meredith, who has the United States Federation license, also has considerable experience coaching youth teams, including working with the Kenyan National Team for six months. He has guided six Connecticut state champions, two regional champions and two national champions, the under-16 Weston Wild Things in 1998 and the under-19 Yankee United Nova in 1997. Meredith is currently on the Region I Olympic Development coaching staff.
As a player, Meredith was a member of the 1990 Southern Connecticut State University Division II national champion men's soccer team. He was an All-American at Montgomery Junior College and a high school all-state player in Maryland. He was inducted into the Montgomery College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. In recent years, Meredith has continued his playing career in Stockholm, Sweden. While serving as an assistant coach at Yale, Meredith was a physical education teacher at Vincent Muro Elementary School in New Haven.
Fritz Rodriguez begins his 18th season as an assistant for the Bulldogs in 2012. A 1992 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Rodriguez has considerable experience coaching youth soccer, serving as an assistant for Yankee United Nova, a Connecticut under-19 team that captured the national championship in Phoenix in 1997. In addition, he has been the assistant coach for the under-16 Weston Soccer Club, which captured the national championship in 1998. He also was an instructor at Victory Soccer School.
In addition to his duties with the soccer team, Rodriguez is an assistant athletic director at Yale. He works with the admissions and financial aid offices, coordinating recruiting for the athletic department.
Todd Plourde begins his sixth year as an assistant coach at Yale in 2012. He serves as the recruiting coordinator for the Bulldogs.
Plourde spent two years an assistant at Manhattan where he helped the Jaspers earn their first regional ranking. In the year before he arrived, the Jaspers had a record of 2-15-1. In 2006, the team won a school record 12 games.
Before Manhattan, Plourde was the head coach at Fairfield (CT) High School where he compiled a record of 103-28-11. During his tenure Fairfield won the 2002 Class LL State Championship and was the runner-up in 2003. In addition, Fairfield won the league title in 2002 and finished second in 2001. Plourde was named the FCIAC and Connecticut Post Coach of the Year in 2001. His overall high school record was 130-34-14.
Plourde is also a coach of the Connecticut United FC women's club team. Since 1997, the team has won six Connecticut Open Cup titles. In 2005, he was named the Director of Player Development CUFC. In addition, he has been a member of the Connecticut Olympic Development Program staff for six years.
Plourde is a 1994 Quinnipiac graduate with a degree in marketing. He was captain of the men's soccer team as a junior and senior and was a two-time All-Northeast 10 selection.
|Title:||Volunteer Assistant Coach|
Ciara McCormack ’01, who played in 48 games during her career, is returning to the Yale women’s soccer program to serve as a volunteer assistant coach beginning in 2012.
McCormack was the recipient of the Captain’s Cup in 1997 as the team’s top rookie, and scored her first career goal in a win over Cornell as a sophomore. Injuries limited her over her final two years at Yale.
McCormack has remained active as a player since graduation. She has been a member of the Ireland Women’s National Team since 2008 and also plays for the New England Mutiny of the WPSL Elite league. In addition, McCormack has had tremendous success overseas. She became the first Canadian player to medal in the UEFA Women’s Cup Final after claiming silver with Fortuna Hjorring of Denmark’s top flight Elitedivisionen in 2003. Since then, she has played for Asker IK (2008, silver medal), Kolbotn IK (2009, bronze medal) and FK Donn (2010) of the Norwegian Toppserien as well as serving as team captain for the Ottawa Fury in 2007-08.
Off the pitch, McCormack founded girlsCAN Football (girlscanfootball.com) in 2002, an organization dedicated to providing role models for female players that runs all-girl camps, clinics and seminars across Canada, which recently expanded into Connecticut in 2011. She also began the girlsCAN Foundation in 2010 and is the founder of the Western Canada Soccer Showcase, the largest and longest running girls-only college showcase in Canada.
As a senior at Yale, McCormack attended the NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference. She was a women and gender studies major.
|Title:||Director of Soccer Operations|
Bob Dikranian, who coached Rudy Meredith at Southern Connecticut, is in his seventh season with the Yale women's soccer program. He served as an assistant coach for six years before beginning his role as Director of Soccer Operations in 2012.
Dikranian served as Southern's head coach for 21 seasons before stepping down in 1989, and his teams had a superb 227-94-31 won-lost-tied record. Dikranian has been a consultant to the Southern men's and women's programs and was an assistant coach for former Southern player and coach George Kiefer at the University of South Florida. Dikranian's teams appeared in 14 NCAA Division II tournaments, including six straight trips to the semi-finals from 1978-83. But it was the seventh trip to the semifinals, in 1987, that will be remembered as Southern won its first NCAA title, tipping Cal State Northridge at Tampa, Fla.
Dikranian has been a regional coach with the U.S. Soccer Federation; trained the Connecticut Senior all-star team; was head coach in the Senior Bowl Classic; and is a former member of the NCAA Soccer Committee.
An All-America soccer player at the University of Bridgeport, Dikranian was Southern's director of intramurals and club sports before retiring. He was inducted into Southern's Alumni Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and was among the inaugural class of inductees to the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in January of 1999.
David Dikranian is in his eighth year working as the Video Coordinator for the women’s soccer program. He also serves as the Video Coordinator for Soccerhead TV and CFC Azul. In addition, he is the Director of the South Central Premier Youth Academy Program and the Managing Director of Victory Soccer Academy.
Dikranian is a graduate of Southern Connecticut with a BS in communications. He also studied film in the masters program at Cal State Northridge.