New William & Mary head women's soccer coach Julie Shackford announced that she is promoting Marsha Lycan '87 to a full time assistant coach for the 2018 season.
"I am beyond thrilled to have Marsha help lead our storied program," said Shackford. "She is a passionate, astute and engaged coach with experience at all levels of the game, having held positions in club, ODP and at the college level. She was a successful student-athlete at William and Mary, and as her former teammate, I know she will be a phenomenal role model for our student-athletes. Marsha is a tireless worker and her energy knows no bounds. Her dedication to W&M soccer has kept generations of Tribe women's soccer alums connected to our program for more than 37 years. I am excited to team with her again to lead our current players, recruit national caliber student-athletes and build upon John Daly's legacy."
Lycan was a volunteer assistant coach on the Tribe's staff last season. She helped guide the Tribe to eight wins and its fifth straight CAA semifinal appearance in 2017. Lycan mentored three players to All-CAA honors, including a pair of first-teamers in senior midfielders Elysse Branton and Rachel Moore. Moore went on to be selected as the first pick of the fourth round by the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Draft.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to become a full time member of the soccer staff and assist head coach Julie Shackford with the Tribe soccer team, which has always been so close to my heart," Lycan said. "Julie is not only one of the most successful, well respected coaches in the
country, but also has been a lifelong friend since the time we shared the field here as teammates. My time at William & Mary this past season has given me a renewed appreciation for the incredibly special people that make up not only the student-athletes, but the entire athletic department. It will be a tremendous privilege to work alongside Shacks as we do our very best to honor and continue the Tribe Soccer legacy built by our coach and mentor, John Daly. I am grateful to Julie, W&M Director of Athletics, Samantha K. Huge , and the entire department for the opportunity to return to my alma mater, and look forward to making a valuable contribution to the Tribe Athletics family."
Prior to returning to Williamsburg, Lycan served as an assistant coach at the University of New England for the previous six seasons. The Nor'Easters compiled a 62-39-12 record, including three 12-plus-win seasons during her tenure. UNE was ranked as high as eighth in the region, and were ECAC finalist in 2014 and 2015. Lycan helped guide 30 players to all-conference honors, while three players were tabbed as conference players of the year, and two went on to All-America honors.
She also has an extensive background on the youth level coaching with many different groups dating back to 2001. Most recently, Lycan was the head coach for the GPS Maine U17/U18 Girls Elite team from 2012-2017. She also served as the director of coaching at the Falmouth Youth Soccer Association, where she oversaw the teams and coaches for 30 boys and girls teams. With FYSA, she coached various levels since, including leading the U9-U14 girls' team to three straight state finals appearances from 2004-2006. Lycan also served as the Director of High School Age Girls Program for Maine Coast United from 2001-12. She led the U10-18 Girls to five consecutive Maine State Championship, which is a state record. She earned her NSCAA Premier Diploma in March of 2011, after earning her NSCCA Advanced Diploma in May of 2010. She holds an USSF National "D" License. On top of those licenses, Soccer Maine tabbed Lycan the Premier Coach of the Year in 2010.
Lycan appeared in 59 games for the Green and Gold, while she scored 12 goals, recorded seven assists, and 31 points. She helped the Tribe to the 1983 Division I ECAC Championship, before leading Tribe to three straight NCAA Tournaments from 1984-86. Lycan graduated from W&M with a degree psychology in 1987.
Alexa Gaul | Assistant Coach
Alexa Gaul enters her first season as an assistant coach with the Tribe in 2018. Gaul spent the last two years as a graduate assistant at Columbus State University, after an impressive collegiate and professional playing career.
At Columbus State, Gaul was the goalkeeper coach, while assisting with the day-to-day activities of the program. She helped guide the Cougars to a pair of Peachbelt Conference regular season and tournament championships. CSU advanced to the Division II Final Four in her first season, before making a Sweet Sixteen run in 2017. Under her tutelage, goalkeeper Maylyn Parson earned All-America honors in 2016, and also earned a National Player of the Week honor as well as three straight Peachbelt Player of the Week honors.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Gaul enjoyed a successful collegiate and professional playing career. She spent a year and a half in Willstätt, Germany playing for SC Sand in the Allianz-Frauen Bundesliga Women’s First Division. She helped the team advance to the DFB Pokal Finale, the German Championship, as well as defeating the defending European Champion, VFL Wolfsburg, for the first time in club history. Gaul also spent a season playing for UMF Selfoss in Iceland, and was a part of the club’s first-ever top four finish and played in the Icelandic Championship Cup match.
Gaul was a three-year standout at the University of Texas, before concluding her collegiate career at Boston College. A two-time All-Big 12 selection, Gaul was selected to the MAC Hermann Trophy, which is presented to the nation’s best player, watch list in 2010 and 2011. In her senior season at Boston College, she helped the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament and a victory over No. 1 Florida State.
She also has had six stints with the United States National team, as she was selected to the U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18, U-20, and U-23 National Teams. In 2008, she was member of the US U-17 Women’s World Cup team that captured a second place finish in New Zealand.
Gaul has also honed her coaching skills with US National Team and ODP. She has worked at the US National Training Centers, and helped coach the Georgia ODP in Atlanta.
Originally from Naperville, Ill., Gaul earned her bachelor’s degree in applied psychology and human development from Boston College, and will earn her master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State this May.