The Youngstown State Athletic Department takes tremendous pride in the success of its 11 women’s athletic programs. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX we are honored to share the history of our programs and look forward to them blazing trails for another 50 years!
This program began in 1996 and has had only two coaches in its existence, Roseann Schwartz (1996-2013) and Nate Miklos (2013-Present). In four years of competition in the Mid-Con, YSU had 10 all-conference selections. Stephanie Matasek was the conference’s Newcomer of the Year in 1999 and was a three-time all-conference selection. Matasek also had two runner-up individual finishes at the Mid-Con meet.
In 2003, the Penguins became the first YSU women’s program to earn a Horizon League Championship winning the inaugural league women’s golf title by 10 strokes over Loyola. Lori Hatcher won the individual championship while Gina Abruzzino placed third and Jennifer Grossi placed fifth.
The Guins won subsquent league titles in 2009, 2015 and 2021. In 2015 and 2021, the conference championships advanced the program to the NCAA Championships. In 2015, YSU competed at Notre Dame while the 2021 Regional was at Ohio State. YSU has finished second on six other occasions.
Taking medalist honors have been Hatcher (2003), Katie Rogner (2008), Samantha Formeck (2009), Allison Mitzel (2013) and Katlyn Shutt (2017 and 2021).
The program is part of the Mid-American Conference. The first year was in 2021 which featured a conference-only schedule. In 2022, the Penguins tied for the MAC title in just its second year of existence. Head Coach Theresa Walton was named the MAC Coach of the Year while Natalie Calandra-Ryan was tabbed the MAC Freshman of the Year.
The program originated in 2016-17 and by the spring of 2021, the Penguins had reached the NCAA Final Four. The Penguins have appeared in two NCAA events in program history. YSU has been ranked in every NTCA Poll since February of 2019.
YSU won its Regional in 2021 beating Southland-rival Sam Houston State to advance to the Final Four. YSU dropped two tough contests in the Final Four. In 2022, the Penguins reached the Southland Conference final before falling to Vanderbilt. At the NCAAs the Guins defeated Alabama State at the Lansing Regional.
Head Coach Doug Kuberski was named the NTCA National Coach of the Year and the Southland Bowling League Coach of the Year in the shortened 2019-20 campaign. In 2020-21, Madyson Marx was the NTCA National Statistical Leader Award in Highest Baker Double Percentage.
YSU began playing competitive soccer in 1996. The program has played more than 400 games since being formed under seven different head coaches. Coach Will Lemke owns the school record for overall victories and conference victories. In 2006, Caitlin Lee was the program’s first-ever first-team All-Horizon League pick. Other first-team selections for the program include Jade Flory in 2012 and Britny Tenis in 2017.
The Penguins played home matches at Stambaugh Stadium and other area venues before moving into the Covelli Sports Complex in the fall of 2013.
Swimming & Diving
This program was reinstated at YSU in 1996 after being halted in 1987. Originally, the program was in operation from 1975 through 1987.
In the early 1980’s the Penguins had a successful Division II program. YSU had numerous All-Americans and in 1983, Janet Kemper won the Division II 50-yard butterfly. As a team, the Penguins’ best Division II finish was 11th in 1984. YSU was also 14th in 1983, 15th in 1986 and 20th in 1985.
In 2004, Erin Carter became the first Penguin to win a swimming individual conference title winning the 400-yard individual medley. YSU has been strong in the diving events since 1999. Brandi Goettsch was a three-time conference diver of the year, earning two Mid-Continent Conference and a Horizon League award. In 1999, she won the three-meters and one-meter competition at the Mid-Con. In 2000, she won the one-meter. In 2001, she won the three meters at the final Mid-Con meet and won the three meters at the 2002 Horizon League meet. In 2003, Kalyn Leveto won both the one and three meters at the Horizon League meet earning Diver-of-the-Year honors. In 2004, she won the three meters and again was the Diver of the Year.
YSU began playing volleyball in 1975 under Joyce Ramsey. There have been 10 coaches in school history, including current Coach Aline Scott who took over the program in 2018. Former Coach Joe Conroy was a four-time Coach-of-the-Year selection in the Mid-Con (1999, 1998, 1995, 1994). In all four of those seasons, the Penguins won 20-or-more matches including a school-record 27 in 1999. That season, YSU tied Oral Roberts for the regular-season Mid-Continent title posting a 13-1 conference mark and a 27-5 overall record. The Penguins played in the tournament championship match in 1999, 1998 and 1994. As a member of the Mid-Con, YSU had 19 all-conference selections. In 1995, Jill Raslevich was selected as the conference’s Player of the Year. In 2001, Kristen Meech was named a third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.
In its Horizon League history, YSU has had nine all-conference selections. Ruth Boscaljon is the Guins’ only two-time first-team All-Horizon League honoree. In 2014, Val Jeffery was named the Setter of the Year and in 2013, Jenna Cavanaugh, was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
The Penguins’ first year of competition was in 1975-76 under Joyce Ramsey, who was also the first coach of the YSU volleyball team. The program has had only had seven head coaches, including current coach John Barnes who took over the program in 2013-14.
The Penguins won five conference championships while in the Mid-Continent Conference. The Penguins won three postseason tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times (2000, 1998, 1996). YSU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1998 beating Memphis in the first round before losing at North Carolina State.
All-time, the Penguins have had five players named Conference Player of the Year – Brandi Brown (2012-13), Brianne Kenneally (1998-99 and 1999-2000), Shannon Beach (1997-98), Liz Hauger (1996-97) and Dorothy Bowers (1987-88).
The program has had 12 20-win seasons, including a school best 28 wins in 1997-98. Coach Ed DiGregorio was a key figure on the sidelines spending 20 years with the program compiling a 319-241 record from 1983-84 through 2002-03.
Most recently, YSU earned a share of the Horizon League Championship and posted 24 wins, its most in a season since the 1997-98 season.
In 1980, the program began under Bill Wolf. There have been seven coaches in school history, including current coach Brian Campbell who took over the program in 2009. The program has been extremely successful in recent history winning at least 25 games in eight of the last 11 seasons.
In 2021, YSU won the Horizon League regular-season title for the first time in program history. In 2006, YSU won the Horizon League Tournament earning the school’s first-ever NCAA bid.
Campbell is a two-time Coach of the Year (2012 and 2021) while Christy Cameron was named the HL’s Coach of the Year in 2003. YSU has had three Players of the Year – Miranda Castiglione (2014), Haley Thomas (2012) and Amanda Berry (2003) and three Pitchers of the Year – Elle Buffenbarger (2021), Casey Crozier (2014) and Kelly Murphy (2003).
In seven seasons of Mid-Con play, YSU had 25 all-conference first or second-team selections. The Guins have had 15 players earn first-team All-Horizon League honors while 23 have received second-team accolades.
The program became a sport at YSU in 1983. The first coach was Rob Adsit. Currently, the women’s program is coached by Mickael Sopel who took over the Penguins in 2013.
Since Sopel has taken over the program, YSU has won six postseason Horizon League titles and three regular-season crowns. The Guins have produced 18 first-team All-Horizon League selections, including three players of the year – Dominika Lackova (2016), Marta Burak (2015) and Paula de Man (2013).
In 1998 and 1999, the Penguins placed third while in 2000 and 2001, YSU was fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference. YSU’s 1996 Santi Nalluri was named the Mid-Con Player of the Year in 1996 and was also named the Mid-Con’s Newcomer of the Year in 1994.
Track and Field
Competitive women’s track and field began in the spring of 1985.
The Penguins earned their first track and field championship in school history winning the 1996 Mid-Continent Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship. In 1997, the women added an outdoor Mid-Con Track and Field crown to their trophy case. YSU had two NCAA National outdoor meet qualifiers in Laura Thomas in 1999 and Mona Jackson in 1994.
In 2004, in the Horizon League, the Penguins won both the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Guins won the outdoor titles in 2005 and 2006.
Since the 2014 campaign, the Guins have won eight of nine indoor conference championships and nine of 10 outdoor titles, including eight straight.
YSU has had two NCAA Championship qualifiers – Jaliyah Elliott in the 60m dash in 2019 (indoor) and Danelle Curry in the shot put in 2010 (outdoor). The women have had six Horizon League Indoor Athlete of the Year selections and three outdoor recipients.
The women’s program competed in the Ohio Valley Conference from 1983 through 1987 and the Mid-Con from 1992 through 2000 before joining the Horizon League in 2001.
YSU earned Horizon League Championships in 2013 and 2014 and had runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2019. Anna Pompeo placed second at the meet in 2013 and 2014 while Lisa Davies was the runner up in 2003.
In 1997, the Penguins won the Mid-Con team championship. The Penguins had 17 Mid-Con all-conference performers, including individual champions Laura Thomas in 1997 and Andrea Cohol in 1999.
Proud Former Sports Programs (Years as Active Sport)
Synchronized Swimming (1974-78)
Field Hockey (1975-81)