University of Maryland appoints Meghan Ryan Nemzer as women’s soccer head coach
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland native, 2021 Big Ten Champion and National Semifinalist Meghan Ryan Nemzer has been named the new head coach of the University of Maryland women’s soccer program by Barry P. Gossett Director of Athletics, Damon Evans.
Nemzer, a native of Crofton, Maryland, who graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis returns to her home state after spending the last 14 years on the coaching staff at her alma mater, Rutgers University.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be returning home to serve as the head coach of the Maryland women’s soccer program,” said Nemzer. “I am so thankful for Damon Evans, Shawn Flynn and the search committee for their time and effort through this entire process. What got me excited early on through this process was the vision and values we all share for this program. Our goal will be to lead a championship vision culture and focus on the process to achieve this goal. The University of Maryland is a world-class institution and I am so lucky to be back home and can’t wait to get started.”
Nemzer spent the last eight seasons as Rutgers’ Associate Head Coach, helping the Scarlet Knights to the 2021 College Cup, which they played in last weekend, and a final ranking of No. 3 in the nation. Rutgers captured the 2021 Big Ten Championship, going undefeated in conference play (10-0) and posting an overall record of 19-4-2.
“Meghan is a proven winner, a champion, who was born and raised in Maryland,” said Evans. “We are excited for her to lead our women’s soccer program as we enter a new era with the Terrapins. Meghan had all of the attributes we were seeking: someone who has won at the highest levels in the sport; someone who understands what it takes to build a program; someone who has outstanding recruiting connections and contacts; someone who knows the Big Ten Conference and someone who has tremendous pride for the state of Maryland. She was the total package for us and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Meghan, her husband Joe, and their daughter, Bethany to the One Maryland family.”
This past season, the Scarlet Knights earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on the way to the College Cup, where they dropped a narrow 1-0 decision to eventual champion Florida State. With Nemzer, Rutgers earned bids in the last 10 NCAA Tournaments and 12 times in her 14 years on staff with two NCAA College Cup appearances. In 2021, the Scarlet Knights posted the first undefeated season in Big Ten conference play since 2005.
Nemzer was part of the 2021 North Region Staff of the Year, led by head coach Mike O’Neill. In 2018, she was named one of the Top 5 Associate/Assistant Coaches in the NCAA by Top Drawer Soccer.
Over the last 14 years with Nemzer on staff, Rutgers posted 12 seasons with double-figure victories. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, the Scarlet Knights have a 111-32-29 overall record for a 73 percent winning percentage, the second-best record among all Big Ten schools during that time. In Big Ten games, they compiled a record of 56-15-18, also for a 73 percent winning percentage. The 15 conference losses are the fewest by any Big Ten team since 2014.
Throughout Nemzer’s coaching tenure with the Scarlet Knights, the program has produced eight MAC Hermann Trophy candidate selections, 13 United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) All-American selections, 35 United Soccer Coaches All-Region honorees, 34 All-Big Ten selections, including 14 first-team honorees.
This season, Rutgers had two semifinalists (Gabby Provenzano and Frankie Tagliaferri) for the MAC Hermann Trophy and has had a semifinalist for the National Player of the Year award for three straight seasons and fourth in the last five years – Amirah Ali (2020), Amirah Ali (2019), Casey Murphy (2017).
Rutgers also earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 season, marking the 11th consecutive year the Scarlet Knights have been awarded.
With Nemzer as the orchestrator of the RU defense, the Scarlet Knights have not posted a goals-against average higher than 1.06 in Nemzer’s coaching career (since 2008), 10 times recording a GAA under 1.00 and nine times posting a GAA under 0.68 – including the College Cup season of 2021.
Under Nemzer’s guidance, eight Scarlet Knights went on to play professional soccer over the last six seasons with six being drafted into the NWSL.
On the club level, Nemzer has excelled with Players Development Academy (PDA) as the head coach of PDA the Arsenal and assistant coach of the PDA Slammers. Nemzer coached the Arsenal to a 2015 U17 ECNL National Championship, and has won two other ECNL national titles as an assistant with the Slammers (2014, 2013). She was the first female head coach in ECNL history to win a national championship.
As head of the Arsenal, Nemzer has guided the club to continued success. The Arsenal finished 2016 third at the U-18 ECNL National Championships, capturing the ECNL Northeast Conference title. The team ended the 2014 season in first place in the ECNL Northeast Division en route to a No. 5 national ranking. In 2012, Nemzer coached the Arsenal to the No. 2 spot in the nation and won the ECNL Northeast Conference U14 Championship. The squad finished third at nationals that year.
Nemzer served as a co-captain for the Scarlet Knights for three consecutive seasons (2005-07), starting with her sophomore year. After an injury caused her to miss her freshman campaign, she started 67 of 75 games through the rest of her career. Nemzer was a key figure on a defense that allowed 0.85 goals per match in 2004 and boasted a 0.88 goals-against average in 2005. That season the team post clean sheets against eight opponents. In 2006 Nemzer anchored a defense that was arguably one of the best in the country. The team finished 16-3-4, allowing a mere six goals and posting 16 shutouts, the most in the program’s history.
Nemzer was a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, an Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Defensive Player of the Week and a SoccerBuzz Elite Team of the Week honoree once. After her junior year, she was named Second Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region by SoccerBuzz magazine in 2006, and after her senior year in 2007, she was given an All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Rutgers in 2008.
Meghan and her husband, Joe Nemzer, welcomed their daughter, Bethany, in September 2020.