Jessica Clinton, former women’s soccer associate head coach at Boston University, was named head women’s soccer coach at Fordham in January of 2014.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Coach Jessica Clinton to Fordham,” said Fordham director of athletics David Roach. “After an extensive search it became clear that Jessica was the individual we wanted to lead our women’s soccer program. Her experience, passion and drive make her the ideal person to coach our soccer student-athletes. I look forward to working with Jessica and anticipate a bright future for women’s soccer here at Fordham.”
In her first six seasons at the helm, Clinton has put the Rams in the Atlantic 10 Championship hunt, making the title match for just the third time in team history in 2015, while qualifying for the championship in 2016, 2018, and 2019. During the 2015 run, Fordham won 13 games, just one shy of the program record, and set team marks for shutouts (11) and goals against average (0.84). The team was also listed in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings for most of the year, finishing the year tenth.
Individually, five Rams received postseason honors, led by Jessica Widmann, who was First Team All-Atlantic 10, First Team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Kristina Maksuti, Nicole Bates, and Ally Doyle each earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Brooke Salmon receiving All-Rookie Team accolades.
In 2016, four Rams received postseason honors, highlighted by Bates, who was First Team All-Atlantic 10 and ECAC All-Star, Third Team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Doyle also earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Bates, while the duo also received NSCAA Scholar Athlete All-East Team. Salmon also earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Margaret Roughley being placed on the conference’s All-Rookie Team.
2017 saw more awards for Fordham, as the team was once again a recipient of the United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) Team Academic Award and the Ethics & Sportsmanship Award. Salmon earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors for the second straight season, while Clara Gastaldi earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team. In addition, the Rams set a new school record for team goals against average at 0.82.
The Rams matched that goals against record again in 2018 at 0.82, while also setting a new shutout streak record at 416 minutes, which included four consecutive shutouts. Three Rams earned All-Atlantic 10 accolades, as Salmon was a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, while Gastaldi and Roughley were both named to the Academic All-Conference Team. Gastaldi received additional academic honors as a Google Cloud/CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District selection.
In 2019, Fordham saw two players selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in Danielle Etienne and Kristen Cocozza, marking the first time since 2003 that the Rams had multiple All-Rookie selections. In addition, Etienne made her first appearance the the Haitian National Team, appearing in the Caribbean CONCACAF qualifiers for a spot in the Olympic qualifying tournament.
In her first full year at the helm in 2014, Clinton led Fordham to eight wins overall, which began with a 6-1 start, the team’s best-ever start through seven games. The team also tied a program record by recording six consecutive victories.
In addition, Fordham was recognized three times by the NSCAA, receiving the Team Academic Award for the sixth straight season, while also earning the Ethics & Sportsmanship Award for the first time in 2014, which recognizes teams that exhibit fair play, sporting behavior and adherence to the laws of the game, as reflected by the number of yellow caution cards or red ejection cards they are shown by referees throughout the season. Fordham was one of 82 teams that claimed the Silver Award, which is given to teams that accumulate no red cards and a maximum of five yellow cards. The Rams were the only Atlantic 10 team among the 125 honored schools.
Clinton arrived at Rose Hill after serving on the staff of her alma mater, Boston University, for six years, first as an assistant coach from 2008-2012 and then as the associate head coach in 2013.
In 2013, Clinton helped the Terriers to the Patriot League regular season and tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Boston University, who entered the NCAAs ranked 25th in the nation, defeated Harvard University in the first round before falling to ninth-ranked Santa Clara, 2-1, in the second round. Nine members of the team received All-Patriot League honors while four received NSCAA All-Region accolades.
As an assistant coach, Clinton guided Boston University to America East Conference regular season titles for five straight years (2008-2012) and four consecutive tournament championships (2008-2011). The Terriers received NCAA Tournament bids each season from 2008 through 2011. The 2011 season was the best in program history as Boston University went 19-3-1 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after claiming their fifth straight America East title. The Terriers had a program-best 14 game winning streak that fall en route to securing the most victories in a single season (19).
Prior to her stint at Boston University, Clinton served as an assistant coach at St. John’s from 2007 to 2008. Clinton has also coached within the youth club NEFC since 2009.
Clinton has been a member of the U13 and U15 Region 1 Olympic Development Staff since 2009 and a Senior Staff member for the U15 age group.
As a player at Boston University, Clinton was one of the Terriers’ most accomplished keepers. She sits at the top of the school record books in saves in a season (98) and saves in a career (312), while also ranking seventh in career goals-against average (1.10) and sixth in career save percentage (.802).
The 2003 America East Goalkeeper of the Year, Clinton was a member of three AE championship teams (2000, 2001, 2003). She was an America East All-Conference First Team honoree in 2001 and 2003, while collecting NSCAA All-Northeast Region Team honors as a senior. In addition, Clinton trained with the Boston Breakers of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) for one season in 2003.
Clinton is a holder of NSCAA National and Advanced Diplomas, as well as a USSF “B” and “C” Licenses. She also received the Bob McNulty award which is named in honor of Bob McNulty, a former national staff coach, who instructed “C” courses for many years. The award is given candidates who best represent coaching and the important role it plays in the development of young people.
The Valley Stream, N.Y., native graduated from Boston University in 2004 with a degree in hospitality administration.