Head Coach Joel Bancroft of the Saint Anselm women's soccer program enters his third season on the Hilltop in 2019.
Through his first two seasons at the helm, Bancroft has racked up 15 wins and saw a dramatic improvement in his team's fortune in 2018. The Hawks recorded a 9-7-1 overall record in 2018 alongside a mark of 9-4-1 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents, making their first postseason appearance since 2013. Saint Anselm also posted nine wins against league opponents in 2018, the most in team history.
Following the season, it was revealed that the Hawks had two All-Conference selections (Caly Farina '20, Micaela Pitts '20) with Farina earning All-Region plaudits from the New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA), the United Soccer Coaches and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA). The Hawks also earned placement in the NCAA Division II East Region rankings during the year.
In Bancroft's first season, the Hawks finished 6-8-2 overall and were in the race for a postseason spot until the final week of the regular season, finishing 4-8-2 in Northeast-10 Conference play. Three Hawks landed spots on the All-NE10 teams, led by third-team choice Corey Murray '19. Freshmen Suzanne Cotter '21 and Nicole White '21 earned spots on the All-Rookie Team, with White leading all of Division II in assists with seven in seven games prior to being sidelined with an injury.
Bancroft came to the Hilltop after spending four seasons on the UMass Lowell coaching staff, including three as the program's head coach. In each of his three years, the River Hawks improved their winning percentage as well as outperformed their America East Preseason ranking, culminating with the program's first America East playoff bid in 2016. Bancroft guided the River Hawks to signature wins over 2015 America East Champion Hartford, 2016 America East Champion Albany as well as rival UNH in 2016.
As a proven recruiter, Bancroft quickly expanded the River Hawks' footprint to all across the nation as well as internationally. His recruits included the program's first high school All-American and first club national champion, as well as players that have been involved with their youth national team programs.
Off the field, the program was recognized for its academic work as the 2015 squad posted the highest GPA in the America East Conference, while the team was a two-time recipient of the Bob Griffin Cup, which recognized the UMass Lowell athletic team with the highest overall GPA.
Prior to his time at UMass Lowell, Bancroft was an assistant coach on the 2012 Penn State University women's soccer team that won the Big Ten Regular Season Championship and finished the season as the national runner-up. Bancroft was involved in all coaching facets at Penn State, including individual coaching sessions, scouting, scheduling, budgeting, recruiting, video analysis and community service.
Bancroft also had several other stops at Bates, Saint Joseph's (Maine), the University of New England, Southern Maine Community College and the University of Southern Maine. While serving as the head coach at St. Joseph's, Bancroft led the team to a program-best 12-7-3 finish and an appearance in the GNAC Championship game, improving the team from a 5-11-3 mark in the previous season.
Bancroft earned his U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) 'B' license in 2004. Bancroft earned his Bachelor's Degree in criminology from the University of Southern Maine.
Bancroft resides in Dover, N.H. with his wife, Erin.
|Year||Overall Record||NE10 Record/Finish||Postseason|
|Total (2 seasons)||15-15-3 (.500)||13-12-3 (.518)||--|