Minneapolis, Minn. - University of Minnesota head soccer coach Mikki Denney Wright has announced another addition to her coaching staff for the 2009 season.
Kelsey Hood, who starred for the Golden Gophers from 2005-08, will make the transition to the sidelines this season. “I have been shaped as a player and a person by the Minnesota Coaching staff,” said Hood. “Now I have the privilege of learning the game from the other side, and the opportunity to give back to the players and the Minnesota Soccer program.”
A volunteer assistant, she becomes the second former player to join the coaching staff, as former teammate Krystle Kallman was hired as an assistant coach last month.
Hood will be remembered as one of the all-time greats to wear the maroon and gold as she capped her stellar career last fall. She earned All-America honors as a senior and was named Big Ten Defensive MVP after leading a resurgent Golden Gopher defense that ranked among the best in both the conference and the nation.
The Ankeny, Iowa native and the Minnesota defense led the Big Ten with a goals against average of 0.45, a goals allowed mark of just 12, and set a new Big Ten record by pitching 17 shutouts last season. The 2008 Golden Gophers rode the defense to a regular season Big Ten Championship, 22 wins and a berth in the NCAA tournament where they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the programs deepest postseason run.
A starter in each game last season, she was in the starting line-up for all but two matches in her entire career. Following her sophomore, junior and senior campaigns she captured All-Big Ten accolades. In addition to the league honors, she was named an All-Region performer following her final three season’s as well, being named to the first team by two separate publications as a senior.
Hood finished with five points last season on a goal and three assists. Her lone goal came at the perfect time as she opened the scoring in the Golden Gophers return to the NCAA tournament, less the eight minutes into their first round match with Marquette. After she sparked the early lead, the Golden Gophers went on to the 2-1 win.
Hood ended her career with 19 points and a bevy of postseason honors in her four seasons, after coming to Minnesota as one of the most highly touted recruits in program history.
Despite finishing her playing time as a Golden Gopher, Hood has continued her playing career, spending the summer of 2009 competing for the Minnesota Lighting of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League. Hood and her Lightning teammates finished the season with a 7-3-2 mark.
“Kelsey has been a tremendous leader for our program for the past 4 years and has been instrumental in building the Minnesota Soccer program,” noted Denney Wright. “We look forward to having Kelsey’s experience on our staff and believe that she will be a great example for our players and recruits.”
Hood will get to work soon as the 2009 edition of Golden Gopher soccer begins practice on August 6.
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