In 2018, Julie Woodward will begin her 22nd season at the helm of the Redhawk women's soccer program. She has been one of the most successful coaches in the nation in her tenure, guiding SU to four WAC regular-season titles, three WAC Championships, and three NCAA Tournament appearances since 2013.
Woodward oversaw another record-setting campaign in 2017, taking the Redhawks to their fifth straight WAC Championship game-a conference record. With nine wins, Seattle U posted its eighth consecutive season with a winning record. Dealing with numerous injuries throughout the season, Woodward guided SU in a six-game unbeaten streak to close the season. The Redhawks put together a 569:01 scoreless streak, featuring all three of the team's goalkeepers, as they made a run to the WAC final. SU beat New Mexico State, 3-0, in the first round and then knocked off top-seeded Kansas City, 1-0, in the semifinal. The Redhawks held a 1-0 edge for the majority of the title match, but Utah Valley scored in the final minutes of regulation and then advanced in penalty kicks.
Seattle U finished the season with 16 different players tallying an assist-the third-highest total in the nation. Stephanie Spiekerman wrapped up her terrific career with another All-WAC First Team selection, as Jessie Ray and Hannah Carrothers were both selected All-WAC Second Team.
The 2016 campaign saw Seattle U return to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four seasons. SU went 14-6-1, including a perfect 7-0 mark in WAC play. It won a pair of matches at the WAC Tournament, claiming its third championship since 2013. Brie Hooks and Stephanie Spiekerman won WAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. Natasha Howe was named WAC Tournament MVP.
SU has established itself as one of the most successful programs in the country. In the last four seasons, the Redhawks are one of four Division I schools to win at least seven of their last eight possible conference titles. They have claimed each of the last four WAC regular season titles and three of the last four WAC Tournament crowns. Seattle U is also one of just nine non-Power 5 conference schools to qualify for three of the last four NCAA Tournaments and one of 21 Division I programs to advance to the NCAAs three times since 2013.
The Redhawks have gone unbeaten in 23 consecutive WAC regular season matches-the longest such streak in conference history. They have also won 14 straight WAC regular season outings, which marks the second-longest win streak in WAC annals. SU holds the record for longest win streak with 15 consecutive wins from 2012-14. In its last 39 conference regular season games, Seattle U has lost just once.
In the 2015 season, Woodward led the team to a WAC regular season championship win, and also an appearance in the WAC Championship. The team went 14-3-3 overall, and recorded 11 shutouts in the 14 wins. SU posted a 16-match unbeaten streak in the season.
Woodward has earned the respect of her peers with her style of coaching, which has led to 17 winning seasons. With such an accomplished coaching resume, Woodward continues to establish herself as the winningest coach in SU women's soccer history with a 275-104-37 overall record (through the 2016 season).
Woodward led the Redhawks to their second straight WAC Regular Season and Tournament titles in 2014, again defeating UMKC for the championship and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The team took their postseason success a step further with a 2-1 2OT victory at No. 23 Washington State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Academically, Woodward helped lead the Redhawks to their fourth straight NSCAA Team Academic Award for 2013-14. She also coached one of the program's most successful student-athletes in Stephanie Verdoia, who earned Senior CLASS Award and Capital One Academic All-America of the Year honors, among many others.
In 2013, Woodward led the Redhawks to the program's first ever NCAA Division I tournament, the first ever DI tournament for any Seattle U women's team in history. The team, finishing 17-3-2, won both the WAC regular season title, going 12-0-0 in conference play, and the WAC Championship, defeating Idaho, 6-1, and Kansas City, 3-0. The team featured nine All-Conference honorees, including WAC Offensive Player of the Year Stephanie Verdoia and Woodward was named WAC Coach of the Year. With Woodward at the helm, Seattle U recorded seven straight shutouts (Sept. 22-Oct. 18) and scored 25 consecutive unanswered goals from Sept. 20-Oct. 18. The team faced Portland in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2011, Woodward led her team to a 12-6-1 record in their final season competing as a Division I independent. On Sept. 18, 2011, she coached her 200th career victory in a 3-1 win over San Diego State University as part of the UNLV Nike Invitational. Seattle U went a perfect 2-0 over the tournament, also defeating host UNLV. Also in September, the team beat the highest ranked opponent in school history, topping then-No. 8 Portland as part of the Husky NIKE Invitational at the University of Washington. Madison Goverde was named the Defensive MVP for the tournament after recording six saves in the win over Portland. Academically, the team earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award out of 572 women's soccer programs across all divisions throughout the country. Jordan Salisbury and Julia Besagno were named NSCAA Third Team All-Pacific Region. In April 2012, Woodward was honored with the 2012 University Service Award at the Seattle U Annual Alumni Awards Celebration.
Woodward led the Redhawks to a 12-5-2 record in 2010, behind a slew of young talent combined with veteran leadership from the No. 9 all-time goal scorer in SU history Kara Kuttler. In their third season competing as an NCAA Division I Independent, Seattle U posted a seven-game unbeaten streak, posting six victories during that span. The Redhawks won the Inaugural Redhawk Invitational, with freshman Ava Ames taking home MVP honors and Julia Besagno, Monique Escalera and Emma Levy earning all-tournament team honors. The team also excelled in the classroom, led by junior Lauren Munechika's Capitol One CoSIDA All-District selection for her perfect 4.0 GPA.
In 2009, Woodward and the Redhawks played their toughest schedule in the veteran coach's tenure. Twelve of their 18 contests were played on the road and Seattle U squared off with seven squads that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, defeating a pair of tournament teams. SU went 7-11-1 on the year, seeing nine of their losses by one goal edgings. Senior Kate Edstrom capped off her career by being Woodward's 19th ESPN The Magazine All-District Selection. Kuttler also cemented her Redhawk legacy by scoring 10 goals in 2009 to land her on the all-time goal scorers list.
She led the Seattle U women's soccer team into their first full season competing at the Division I level in 2008. In a season of firsts, on Aug. 22, the Redhawks took the field at Weber State to compete for the first time in DI. The 2-1 victory foreshadowed the promising season SU boasted. Seattle U, under Woodward's guidance, went 12-5-3 and had a .675 winning percentage, including 10 victories over fellow Division I opponents. During a season of milestone feats, Woodward reached her 175th career win at home to close out the 2008 campaign with a 3-1 routing of Saint Martin's.
In 2007, the women's soccer team finished with a 17-3-1 record and hosted first- and second-round matches in the Far West Region of the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Tournament. Woodward earned her 150th career victory on Sept. 1, as the team defeated San Francisco State at Championship Field, 4-0.
In 2006, Woodward led the Redhawks to a 15-3-2 record, the program's first conference title since 2001, and its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in three years. A First Team All-American as a player, Woodward is proud to have brought Ashley Porter, the program's-first First Team All-American since 1994, to Seattle University. Her emphasis on defense was very apparent in 2006, as Seattle gave up only ten goals in 20 matches and boasted 12 shutouts.
Woodward took over the program after serving three years as an assistant women's soccer coach at the University of Montana.
While the women's soccer program at Seattle University has always been a successful one, Woodward has clearly taken it to a new level in her time as the leader of the Redhawks. Not only has she compiled the program's all-time best coaching record, she guided the Redhawks to the NAIA regional championship match in five straight seasons before making the move up to the NCAA Division II level.
It didn't take long for that regional success to find its way back to Seattle University after the move in divisions, as Woodward led the SU to the NCAA Division II Far West Region title in 2004 and a trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. That success earned Woodward Far West Region Coach of the Year honors that season. The team returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2006 after finishing a regular season that included a school-record 12-match unbeaten streak.
Seattle U also captured three consecutive league titles under Woodward's leadership from 2000-02, and she was named conference Coach of the Year in all three seasons.
Woodward has guided the team to at least 10 wins in 18 of her 20 seasons, which more than doubles the previous total of wins in the program's 27-year history. She has reached the 15-win plateau nine times. In 2001, her Redhawks finished 18-4-0, the best single-season winning percentage during her coaching career until 2007, when the team posted a 17-3-1 record for an .833 winning percentage.
The women's soccer team also reached 18 wins in 1993, during Woodward's senior season she helped lead Seattle University to an 18-5-1 finish.
Woodward was a four-year starting defender at Seattle University. She was selected to the Northwest Collegiate soccer All-Conference Team four times between 1989 and 1993, and was also a four-time member of the NAIA All-District Team. Woodward was twice selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-West Region Team (1992, 1993) and helped guide Seattle University to the semifinals of the NAIA National Soccer Championship in 1993.
In May of 2008, for her exploits as a player, she was inducted into the Seattle University Athletic Hall of Fame along with teammate Ingrid Gunnestad. The duo was the first two women's soccer players in schools history to earn the honor. In 2012, she earned the University Service Award.
Woodward is not only a skilled soccer coach, but is also experienced at student-athlete recruiting. While at the University of Montana she oversaw a majority of the program's recruiting responsibilities as the assistant coach. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice with a minor in political science from Seattle University, and has completed credits toward her Masters of Science from University of Montana. She added a pair of women's over-30 national titles to her résumé in the summers of 2001 and 2002 playing with Forza, and added her third and fourth over-30 national titles in 2005 and 2008.
Woodward resides in West Seattle with her husband Jason and their four children Jalen, Jaxon, Jarek, and Jayce.
JULIE WOODWARD'S COACHING RECORD