University of Southern Maine Director of Athletics Al Bean has announced the hiring of Seth Benjamin '00 as the next head coach of the Huskies' women's soccer program. Benjamin replaces former coach Lisa Petruccelli, who resigned this summer to pursue other opportunities.
"We're very excited to have Seth join our staff and lead our women's soccer program. A former Husky, Seth was a hard-working and skilled player, and it is always great to bring home one of your own. Seth has real breadth of experience, having coached at the Division I, Division III and prep school levels in addition to a strong history of club soccer coaching," said Bean. "An outstanding teacher of the game, Seth will be a strong recruiter, and his desire and passion for the game will be evident from his first step on Hannaford Field. I'm confident that Seth will lay the groundwork for a strong program and will bring USM women's soccer to a new level of play. He's fired up to get going and we're anxious to have him put his stamp on the women's soccer program."
Benjamin most recently served as head coach of the men's soccer program at the New Hampton School in New Hampton, N.H. (2014-2018). Taking over a program that amassed two wins during the 2013 season, Benjamin improved the New Hampton's record each season finishing with an outstanding 11-3-2 record in 2017.
"I am honored and excited to be named the next women's soccer coach at Southern Maine," said Benjamin. "This is a homecoming for myself and my family. I am looking forward to meeting the players, and helping to building a great soccer program. I want to thank Al Bean, the search committee, and the University of Southern Maine for this opportunity."
Prior to his post at New Hampton School, Benjamin was the head coach of the women's soccer and women's lacrosse teams at Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vermont) from 2011-2014, and was an assistant coach for the women's soccer team at Division I University of Vermont (2010-2011). During his time at Green Mountain College, Benjamin coached three players to NSCAA All-Academic Regional honors, and implemented numerous community outreach initiatives. At UVM, Benjamin assisted in a top-50 ranked recruiting class for 2011. In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Benjamin also has a decade of experience in the club circuit, serving as the head coach for the U-13 Girls' Summit FC (2012-14), and GPS NH Boys' (2016-18), and was a Region 1 Evaluator for the Olympic Development Program (2014-2016).
A former member of the Huskies' men's soccer team (1997-2000), Benjamin earned his bachelor's degree in History from Southern Maine, and then went on to earn his Master's degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration of Concordia University (Irvine, Calif.). Playing back and midfield for Southern Maine, Benjamin played in 66 career games in his four seasons with the Huskies. Benjamin holds a United States Soccer Federation National 'A' License, NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, and an NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma.
|Title:||Women's Soccer Assistant Coach|
|Previous College:||Drew '11|
|Previous College:||UMaine Farmington '91|
Now in his fifth season as the goalie coach for the Huskies men's and women's soccer programs, Jeff Neal was an NSCAA All-New England and NEISL All-Star selection during his collegiate playing career at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Over his four-year career at UMF, Neal posted a school record 32 shutouts. A two-time captain for the Beavers, he twice allowed only five goals in a season.
A coach in the Farmington Recreation Department's soccer program, Neal was honored with the Jimmy Joe Allen Award for his service. He also had coaching stints at Yarmouth High School and Bonny Eagle High School before joining the USM staff in 2009.
Neal is a 1991 graduate of UMF with a degree in secondary education. He was inducted into the UMF Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.