Kevin Sherry will begin his 12th season as head coach
Lady Techsters went 14-3-5 on the season
Season ends at 14-3-5
Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. CT on Friday
Will face No. 8 seed Charlotte on Friday
Down a goal with 30 minutes to go, Louisiana Tech netted two goals in the span of 96 seconds to defeat Old Dominion.
After 36 fouls, seven yellow cards, two red cards and some crazy weather, Lady Techsters and Monarchs tie, 1-1.
Lady Techsters tie Mean Green, 1-1, in Sunday showdown
Lady Techsters get golden goal from Nomvula Kgoale in overtime for 3-2 win
Lady Techsters score two goals off set pieces in 2-0 shutout win over Gamecocks
Just like the previous three years in the very strong league that is Conference USA, the Lady Techsters were picked preseason to finish close to last place and outside of tournament qualification.
And just like those three years, the team has been fearless in proving all of the voters wrong.
LA Tech ended up winning a program-record six conference games to finish fifth and qualify for the league tournament for a third straight year. The team ended the season with a 14-6-1 record, the second most wins in school history, helping Sherry earn the Louisiana Coach of the Year award by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) for the third time in his career.
One of those 14 wins was more special than the others for Sherry. That was the 2-1 road win over Nicholls State on Sept. 11 which marked career victory No. 100 at LA Tech.
Another win that was extra special came the previous year in the regular season finale versus North Texas who had already clinched the conference title. The Lady Techsters ended up pulling off an upset for the ages with a shutout victory over the Mean Green to punch a ticket to the league tournament.
There were plenty of other memorable moments in 2014 as well, including the team's first ever appearance in the C-USA Tournament where they claimed their first-ever postseason victory which was an upset of the No. 3 seed UTEP on penalty kicks to reach the semifinals.
Sherry was named the Louisiana Coach of the Year that season as well, leading the Techsters to a 13-6-3 record.
These firsts were a culmination of the hard work and determination which carried over from year one in C-USA, a season which produced a solid 9-10-1 record and four league victories despite having a roster of 18 freshmen.
The underdog story was mostly the same in 2012 in what was the final year in the Western Athletic Conference with LA Tech being picked dead last in the preseason. The Lady Techsters responded with a 12-5-4 overall record, including an 11-game unbeaten streak and a 1-1 tie with No. 19-ranked Denver, to finish in fourth in the league while setting records by allowing only 15 goals and recording 12 shutouts along the way. For that year as well, Sherry was named Coach of the Year for the state of Louisiana.
Of course the passion has not only been seen on the pitch, but in the classroom as well. Since the native of Grantham, England arrived in Ruston, LA Tech has consistently been recognized for its excellence in education as they were awarded the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Adidas Team Academic Award for nine consecutive school years. The award recognizes teams that have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better.
Most recently, the team had a league-best 31 student-athletes that were recognized by being named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll during the 2016-17 academic year, maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Of those student-athletes, 15 also received the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal which is given to those who achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better.
Since joining C-USA, 23 Lady Techsters have earned a total of 42 Academic Medals. One of those players was Kathryn Sloan who was named the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year for Division I Women's Soccer, becoming the first ever student-athlete at Louisiana Tech to earn this honor.
The third pillar -- respect -- has been acknowledged through their sportsmanship as the team has been awarded multiple times with the NSCAA Ethics/Sportsmanship Award. The award recognizes teams with less than five yellow cards throughout the season.
The biggest impact of the program most often comes from the fourth pillar - Service. Community service has been demonstrated year-round in Sherry's 10 years as head coach. At the third annual Techspys, the soccer team took home the SAAC award (second time) for the team that best represents the commitment to promoting a positive image in the community.
In 2010, Sherry's Lady Techsters finished with a record of 15-6 overall, a school record for most wins in a single season, and a third-place finish in the WAC.
That same year, LA Tech qualified for the WAC Tournament for the first time in the program's young history with the event held at the Lady Techster Soccer Complex.
In 2009, after winning their first 11 games, Sherry led Tech to a 12-7-1 record, including the program's first-ever league win. Tech scored the most goals (54), assists (45) and points (153) ever in a single season.
In 2008, the Techsters were recognized for their significant improvement from their 2007 campaign when they went 2-14-1. Sherry and Co. posted a 10-5-5 record, an eight game improvement that the NCAA recognized along with three other schools, as one of the most improved teams in the nation.
Shortly after the conclusion of the 2008 season, Sherry was selected to serve as U.S. Youth Olympic Development coach. Sherry was given the responsibility of coaching the Louisiana U-16 team and was also selected to instruct a coaching clinic for all high school coaches in the state of Louisiana.
In his 10 years at LA Tech, he has coached nine players who were selected All-Conference, two of which also earned Louisiana Player of the Year honors.
Sherry spent 2005 and 2006 as head coach at Western Illinois. He inherited a program that was 24-111-7 over its history, having never experienced a winning season. Between the two seasons, he compiled a 20-13-4 record, and the program was recognized as one of the NCAA's most improved.
He led Western Illinois to its first Mid-Continent Championship finals in 2006. Even though the Westerwinds lost the conference championship, they finished with an 11-7-1 record. Their 11 wins were the most victories in a season in school history.
Sherry turned around another losing program as head women's soccer coach at Graceland University. Prior to his arrival, the Yellowjackets never had a winning season in its history. That changed as well. He coached Graceland to records of 12-7-1 and 16-2-3 before he led the team to an 18-0-5 record in his final season. Their success equated to the school's first undefeated season, the school's first-ever Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Championship, an appearance in the NAIA Final Four and its highest national ranking of seventh by the NSCAA.
For Sherry's efforts, he was named NSCAA Central Region NAIA Women's Coach of the Year.
While being head coach at Graceland, Sherry also served as head coach of the Des Moines Menace U-15 Boys Super Y League and worked with the Iowa Olympic Development program.
Sherry has international coaching experience as well as he was the head men's soccer coach at Nagoya Gakuin University and the Aichi F.C. Nagoya junior youth head coach in Japan prior to his four-year stint at Graceland. He also worked as the director of soccer coaching and player youth development for the Al Nahda national schools organization in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 1992-93.
Sherry got his first-ever head coaching job at Burlington Danes High School in London in 1987. During his five years at the institution, the school won the West London Area Cup at every age level and also won the prestigious London Championship two straight years. One of his former players, Danny Dichio, formerly played for the MLS club Toronto FC from 2007-09. Sherry also headed the West London Schools F.A. select teams from 1989-92. He served as the head coach for the U-16 select team from 1991-92 and the U-15 select team from 1989-90.
As a student-athlete, Sherry played for the West London Institute of Higher Education and won the British National College Championship in 1987. He was selected to play for the FISEC Great Britain U-18 team and went on to play for Bangor City in the United Kingdom and Morning Star in Hong Kong.
Sherry earned degrees in physical education/sports science and sociology from Bangor University in Wales, along with his master's from Leicester University in England. He possesses the United States Soccer Federation's "A" license and the U.E.F.A. "International" coaching license from England.
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