UAlbany Women’s Soccer Coach Caitlin Cucchiella Announces Retirement from Collegiate Coaching
ALBANY, N.Y. – Caitlin Cucchiella, the architect of the two-time America East champion UAlbany women’s soccer team, will step down as head coach and retire from collegiate coaching.
Cucchiella, a local product at Colonie Central and standout player at Ohio State, was hired as UAlbany head coach in the summer of 2013. In four seasons, Cucchiella was turned the program from two victories in 2013 to the program’s first-ever back-to-back America East Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament berths in 2015 and 2016. Cucchiella will be leaving coaching to spend more time with her family.
“The last four seasons, my staff and I have been 100% committed to changing the culture of the UAlbany women’s soccer program, while instilling a winning mentality and completely enhancing the program on every level,” said Cucchiella. “I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have had as the head coach here at the University at Albany. I was able to embark on this journey over the last four years by having a remarkable associate head coach in Nick Bochette and the support of my athletic administrators.”
“I want to congratulate Caitlin on an outstanding tenure as head coach of our women’s soccer program,” said UAlbany director of athletics Mark Benson. “In four seasons she and Nick did a tremendous job in turning around the program in leading us to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. I know this was a difficult decision for her and her husband Powell, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors. She will always be part of the Great Dane family.”
Cucchiella set new marks for the UAlbany women’s soccer program, including the winningest single seasons in 2015 and 2016, the team’s first-ever America East regular season title this year and hosting the America East title game for the first time in program history this season. In addition, the team earned the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) Team Academic Award all four seasons of her tenure for earning at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA during the academic season, currently standing at 3.45 for the team.
On an individual level for UAlbany, Cucchiella coached the first-ever National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) All-Region player, Caroline Kopp, the program’s all-time wins leader at goalkeeper in Alana Brennan, the team’s all-time assists leader in Kiana Rugar, a former member of the U-20 Mexican National Team in Vivian Vega, the program’s first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-American in Krista Fitzpatrick, the first-ever two-time America East All-Conference First Team player in Alexa Schneider, two America East Rookies of the Year in Vega in 2014 and Meghan Cavanaugh in 2016 and 12 total all-conference selections.
Associate head coach Nick Bochette will take over as the interim head coach. A national search will take place for the UAlbany women’s soccer head coach.
“The growth and success of UAlbany women's soccer during Cucchiella's tenure is unparalleled in our program's history,” said Bochette. “We, as a program, are incredibly grateful for the leadership and service she has offered over the past four seasons.”
“I have valued my time at UAlbany and I truly feel that the women’s soccer program will continue to grow and prosper under the helm of Nick Bochette,” said Cucchiella.
In 2016, the UAlbany women’s soccer team won its second consecutive America East Tournament, becoming the league’s back-to-back tournament champion since 2011. UAlbany drew Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament, becoming the first team since September 29th to put two goals on the Huskies in a 4-2 defeat in the NCAA First Round. UAlbany earned 11 victories, tying a program single season record for wins in a year.
Cucchiella came to UAlbany after serving as the head coach of the Sage Colleges and a three-year assistant at Goucher College.