BALTIMORE – UMBC women's soccer head coach Vanessa Mann has rounded out her coaching staff for the 2018 season, hiring Sam Kirschenbaum and Jen Mavis as assistant coaches. Kirschenbaum, who will act as director of player recruitment, joins the Retrievers after two seasons at Virginia Wesleyan. Mavis, who will also be the director of camps and clinics, comes to UMBC after three years at William & Mary.
In Kirschenbaum's two seasons at VWU, the Marlins finished with a 16-1-3 record in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play and finished both seasons as the fifth-ranked team in the South Atlantic Region by the NCAA. In 2017, VWU clinched the ODAC regular season title, their first regular-season title since 2012 and also earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, and won its first-round game against Tufts University, its first NCAA victory since 2007.
"For me when identifying the ideal assistant coach, I wanted someone who a parent when coming on campus with their daughter knew that this individual would be pushing her every day to be the best version of herself from the day she arrives on campus to when she leaves here to become a champion in her life. Sam lives a principle-centered life, is an educator at the core and has an incredible ability to connect with every individual that he meets," said Mann. "He is a former student-athlete that excelled in the classroom and on the field, something we are asking our women here to do daily. Getting to know Sam over these last three years I know he is more than ready to take on this opportunity where I know he will flourish and will aid us in continually competing for America East championships!"
Prior to his time at VWU, Kirschenbaum was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Marist. While with the Red Foxes, Kirschenbaum was responsible for recruiting student-athletes, coordinating training sessions, video analysis, and scouting opponents. During those two seasons, Marist climbed from a 10th place to third-place regular season finish in the MAAC, including a 6-3-1 conference record in 2015. In Kirschenbaum's second season with the Red Foxes, three freshmen were selected to the MAAC All-Rookie Team, a number more than any other program in the conference.
"I am excited and proud to be a part of UMBC and Retriever Nation. The university has always had a strong academic reputation, and now with the momentum of our athletics programs moving into the new Event Center, it will allow us to bring in talented student-athletes who perform at a high level on the field, in the classroom, and in the community," said Kirschenbaum.
While at Marist, Kirschenbaum was also involved in youth soccer, serving as the Director of Coaching for the Hyde Park Soccer Club. As the clubs first ever Director of Coaching, Kirschenbaum organized Fall and Spring clinics, created age-specific curriculum, hired coaching staff, and built the Hyde Park pre-academy program.
Kirschenbaum is an ODP Region I Staff Coach and is currently the Assistant Coach with the program's Under-14 girls team. In addition to Region I, he has worked with the Eastern New York ODP, serving as the head coach for the Under-16 girls team in 2016.
Kirschenbaum played soccer at SUNY Cortland, where he was a three-time SUNYAC All-Academic Team honoree. He graduated from Cortland with a B.S. in psychology with summa cum laude honors.
He went on to play semi-professionally in the Premier Developmental League (PDL) for the Westchester Flames. Kirschenbaum also played in the First Division of the Cosmopolitan League with the Manhattan Celtic.
Kirschenbaum holds a Premier Diploma from the United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) and a D License from the USSF. He serves as an associate staff coach for United Soccer Coaches and was chosen as a member of the United Soccer Coaches 30 Under-30 program in 2017.
While with the Tribe, Mavis worked primarily on the goalkeepers and helped usher in three new goalkeepers after the graduation of senior Caroline Casey in 2015. In the 2016 season, redshirt junior Grace Smith, junior Samantha Johnson, and freshman Kaitlyn Briguglio finished the year with a combined 1.35 goals-against-average, 92 saves and six shutouts. Moreover, six players garnered eight All-CAA awards, including CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year Clara Logsdon. As a team, the Tribe won 10 games, moved their consecutive winning seasons mark to 36, an NCAA record, and advanced to the CAA semifinals for the sixth straight year.
In just her first season, Mavis helped the Tribe return to national prominence and the NCAA College Cup. W&M won 14 games in 2015 and spent time in the NSCAA Top 25 Poll. In league action, the Tribe posted a 7-1-1 record, won a share of the regular season title, and advanced to the CAA Championship match. All of that was enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA College Cup, where the Tribe advanced to the Second Round with a penalty kick victory over Central Florida. Individually, Mavis helped guide nine Tribe players to CAA awards, including Defensive Player of the Year Caroline Casey and first-team selections Nicole Baxter and Clara Logsdon. Casey, who was drafted in the NWSL by Sky Blue FC, also earned NSCAA First-Team All-America honors.
"Having known Jen for just over 10 years it was important for me to find a way to have her abilities showcased on the national level. Her diverse background sets her apart and will allow us to elevate this program to a level where we are continually competing for America East championships," Mann said. "It must be said that we at UMBC are incredibly fortunate to have someone of her caliber on staff, she will compliment both Sam and me well and force us to continue to evolve our program. I have appreciated watching Jen flourish these last three years at William & Mary and I know once she is able to integrate herself within the program the former, current and future Retriever women soccer student-athletes will concur with me in stating that we hit the jackpot acquiring her services."
Mavis spent the 2014 season at Oklahoma, where she was the director of soccer operations. During her one season with the Sooners, she helped the team to a 10-win season and a berth in the Big 12 Championship match. While at Oklahoma, Mavis was responsible for monitoring the academics of the 30 student-athletes, overseeing student-athletes life skills, preparation for the NCAA Tournament First Round, recruiting correspondence, game day operation, and much more.
"I'm truly excited to be working with an incredible staff here at UMBC not just within our soccer program, but the department as a whole. The Retriever Nation truly feels like a family and I'm so excited to be working with people who love what they do," Mavis commented. "I cannot wait to see what the future holds for UMBC Women's Soccer and I look forward to being part of this incredible institution."
Aside from gaining experience at the college level, Mavis has a vast experience at the club level.
She worked as the assistant director of coaching for the Oklahoma Soccer Association, where she worked with the Olympic Development Program (ODP). Mavis also was the president, founder, and goalkeeper director of the Legacy Football Club in Sparks, Nevada.
Mavis has an impressive list of credentials in terms of certifications. She has earned her United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "B" License, National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Level III Goalkeeper Diploma, and NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma.
She played her college soccer at Nevada from 2003-06, playing goalkeeper primarily, but played nine games as a field player. She helped Nevada to their first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2006, after winning the WAC Championship. She earned her bachelor's degree in health ecology in 2008 from Nevada, while she is working on a master's in educational leadership with an emphasis in intercollegiate athletics.