Women's Soccer Head Coach

The 2019 season will mark Stefanie Golan’s eighth year at the helm of the Golden Gopher women’s soccer team. During her time as head coach, there has been consistent growth including an incredible 2018 season.

Golan led the Gophers to the 2018 Big Ten Tournament Title by running through the tournament without allowing a single goal after entering as the seventh-seed. With qualification secured for the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota upset Auburn 2-0 in the first round before falling to the UCLA Bruins in the second round of play.

In 2017, Golan reached 100 career victories in her young coaching career that has spanned just nine seasons. The Gophers finished in at least second place in the Big Ten for the second straight season with an 11-5-3 record. Golan helped Minnesota finish with three All-Big Ten players, which included Sydney Squires on the First Team. Golan led the Gophers to a second straight season of at least seven conference victories.

Golan was named the 2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Minnesota to a 16-3-4 record, and winning both the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles for the first time in program history. Minnesota made its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, qualifying as a No. 4 seed. The team also reached its highest national ranking in program history at No. 8, and finished the year in the top-15. The team also boasted the Big Ten Forward of the Year (Simone Kolander) and Big Ten Defender of the Year (Rashida Beal). Beal was also an All-American and drafted by FC Kansas City.

In 2015, Golan lead the team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, with an overall record of 12-7-3. The program was ranked as high as No. 11 in the regular season. Simone Kolander was named the Big Ten Forward of the Year.

The Gophers posted a winning record, both overall and in the conference, as the team advanced to the 2014 Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

In 2013, the Golden Gophers earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, only the program's third appearance since 1999. The Golden Gophers earned two signature wins in their 11-8-2 season with upsets over then-No. 13 Michigan and No. 7 Penn State. It was only the fourth time in the history of the program that Minnesota beat Penn State, its first victory over the Nittany Lions since 2007. The team once again earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award with ten student-athletes named Academic All Big Ten. In addition, Freshman Tarah Hobbs earned a pair of invites to the U20 Women's National Team Training Camps after a season where she was honored with NSCAA Second Team All-Great Lakes, 2013 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year, All-Big Ten First Team and Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors. Junior captain Katie Thyken was honored as an NSCAA Scholar All-American and NSCAA Second Team All-Great Lakes. Freshman Josee Stiever was also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.

Golan arrived in Minneapolis two weeks before preseason started in 2012 and led the Golden Gophers to a fourth place finish in the Big Ten and 11-7-2 overall record. The 2012 team was awarded the NSCAA Team Academic Award and twelve student-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten. Sophomore Taylor Uhl was named to the First Team All-Great Lakes, First Team All-Big Ten and Third Team All America teams during Golan's first season. Freshman Haley Helverson was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team while senior Allie Phillips earned Academic All-America honors, the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship and was joined by sophomore Katie Thyken on the Academic All-District Team.


Prior to Minnesota, Coach Golan spent five and a half years at the United States Military Academy. She led the program to a 33-18-10 record in her three years as a head coach and second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in her final season in 2011. Two student-athletes were named to the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region Team while sophomore Molly McGuigan was named Patriot League Defender of the Year for the second season. Six student-athletes received All Patriot League honors and seven student-athletes received Patriot League Academic Honors.

In 2010, Golan received Patriot League Coach of the Year honors after going undefeated in the Patriot League and sharing the regular season title. The team led the nation in three defensive categories, two student-athletes were named to the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All Region Team, eight student-athletes received Patriot League Academic honors, freshman Molly McGuigan was named Patriot League Defender of the Year and freshman Kim An was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year.

In 2009, six Army student-athletes earned Patriot League Academic honors while senior Liz Betterbed graduated ranked No. 1 in the class as a First Team Academic All-American and Rhodes Scholar. Golan joined the Army program as an Associate Head Coach for the 2007 and 2008 seasons where she worked with head coach Gene Ventriglia, who spent 24 years on the sidelines for the Black Knights, and together they guided the 2008 team to the program's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Golan also had stops as an assistant coach at PITT and the University of Evansville. Coach Golan started her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Mercer University.

Golan is an NSCAA member and the Chair of the NSCAA Great Lakes Region for the All-America Committee. She attended the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy in 2009.

Golan received her BA in Political Science from Duke University in 2001 where she was a scholarship soccer player (Stefanie Kraay). She received her Master's in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University in 2012.

She married Dave Golan, a former Division I men's soccer coach, in Jamaica on December 31, 2004. Dave and Stefanie have two sons, Travis and Max. The family currently resides in Woodbury, MN.

Women's Soccer Assistant Coach

Fletcher enters her second season with the Golden Gophers in 2019. Fletcher was hired in May of 2018 as an assistant coach after stops at Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee Tech and her alma mater Erskine College.

In only her first season with the Gophers, Fletcher helped lead the team to a Big Ten Tournament title and a second round finish in the NCAA Tournament.

In her five years at Ole Miss, the Rebel defense saw improvement in each year. In 2013, she helped the Rebels host their first ever NCAA Tournament match in school history. She also coached numerous All-SEC defenders. At Tennessee Tech as the head coach, Fletcher led them to back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference tournaments, which included a run to the OVC Tournament championship game in 2009, its first appearance since 2000. Fletcher’s five year span at Auburn were eventful, with three SEC West titles, four trips to the NCAA Tournament and a record of 58-32-11 (.617).

“I feel incredibly honored and blessed to be joining the Gopher family,” Fletcher said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Stef both as a coach but more importantly as a person. I am excited to be a part of this special program that she has built and look forward to being a part of this incredible University.”

The Columbia, S.C. native started as an assistant at her alma mater, Erskine College in 1998 and has also served as a member of the Olympic Development Program staff for Region III since 1997, helping develop some of the top soccer talent in the Southeast.

Fletcher is a 1998 graduate of Erskine with a degree in physical education. As a player, she helped lead the team to its first conference title by scoring the game-winning goal in the championship game. A team captain her junior and senior seasons, Fletcher was also a two-time CVAC All-Tournament team member. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education along with a master’s in health and physical education from Tennessee Tech.


Women's Soccer Assistant Coach

Maya Hayes is in her first year as assistant coach for the Gopher Soccer program, having assumed her current duties in July of 2020.

Hayes comes to the U after spending the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the Auburn women's soccer program. During her Auburn tenure, the Tigers posted a combined 19-16-4 record, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018 that highlighted a 12-win campaign.

Prior to her time with Auburn, Hayes played professionally in the National Women's Soccer League as a member of Sky Blue FC from 2014-18. Hayes was the sixth overall pick of the first round in the 2014 NWSL Draft after a historic career with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

From 2010-13, Hayes excelled on the field as a four-year starter for Penn State, earning All-America honors in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In both 2011 and 2012, Hayes was named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year. 2011 proved to be especially historic for Hayes, as she set Penn State's all-time single season record with 70 points, while also scoring 31 goals (second all-time). Both marks paced the entire nation in 2011.

Over the course of 89 career games, she tallied 71 goals and 163 points, both of which rank third all-time at Penn State. In January of 2020, named Hayes to their Best XI of the 2010s.

Not only does Hayes bring experience as both a successful player and coach to Minnesota, but she also arrives with a track record of excellence off the playing field. Hayes was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree from 2011-13.

Director of Goalkeeping

Alli Lipsher enters her first season as the Gophers' Director of Goalkeeping Lipsher most recently was an assistant coach at Trinity College and spent time as the goalkeeper coach at East Carolina University (ECU) and Arizona.

In her four seasons at Trinity College, the Bantams saw their goals against average drop from 1.38 to 0.90 including 30 shutouts over the stretch. She also worked with the forward to develop training sessions aimed to advance the productive of the attacking play.

"I am so excited to be joining the Gophers,” said Lipsher. “After getting to know Stef and her staff over the summer, it is obvious that this program does an incredible job of facilitating growth and success for student-athletes. It's even more impressive that they manage this while also being a high-performing program in a top conference. Stef has put together a team of coaches and players that have the experience, knowledge and drive to do very special things, and I can't wait to contribute and be a part of it."

Lipsher was a standout player at Duke before entering the professional ranks in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).  Known as one of the top goalkeepers in the nation during her time with the Bluedevils, Kipsher totaled 33 career shutouts and a goals against average of 0.87, both rank second in program history.

Following a stellar career at Duke, she led Ajax America to the 2008 WPSL National Championship where she was named to the WPSL All-Tournament Team. Lipsher also played professionally for the New Castle Jets (2010-11) and Sydney FC (2011-12) of the Australia Women’s League. Lipsher spent three years on soccer’s biggest stage playing for the Boston Breakers (2009-10) and Atlanta Beat (2011) in the WPS. While with the Breakers, she played in 11 games, starting in 10 and led all goalkeepers in minutes played with 928 allowing six goals in 11 games and recorded a league fourth-best five shutouts. In Atlanta, Lipsher started seven games, collected 47 saves and had one shutout. In 2012 she secured a roster spot in the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL) Elite with the Western New York (WNY) Flash playing alongside US National Team members Megan Klinginberg and Lori Lindsey, where they captured the 2012 league title.

Lipsher is a 2008 graduate of Duke with a degree in history and earned her master’s degree in public policy from Trinity College in 2017.


Director of Operations

Minnesota Women’s Soccer alumna Sara Johnson joins the Gophers’ staff after serving as the Graduate Assistant Director of Operations for the Indiana University’s women’s soccer program in 2015 and 2016. Johnson was a three-time letter winner at Minnesota from 2004-07. She was given the team’s Spark Award in 2004 and 2006, as well as the Rose Grim Heart and Soul Award in 2007.
Johnson has more than 13 years of coaching experience at a variety of levels in Minnesota youth soccer and has been very involved with the soccer community.
Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing Education from Minnesota in 2008 and a Master’s Degree at Indiana in Athletic Administration and Sport Management in 2017.