HEAD COACH JOE ALIANIELLO
Joe Alianiello has quickly transformed the culture of UMC soccer in his four seasons leading the ship in Crookston. Alianiello inherited a slim roster his first season but has quickly instilled a system that has found success in the NSIC. He will be entering his fifth season at UMC heading into the 2015 campaign.
Alianiello's teams at UMC have become known for their defensive prowess over his four seasons with the Golden Eagles. Both his 2013 and 2014 teams shattered records for least goals allowed and shutouts. Alianiello looks to build on that philosophy moving forward while also improving the team's offensive prowess, which did show during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The Golden Eagles have scored 23 goals each of the last two seasons, up from just 10 in 2013 and nine in 2012.
UMC's fourth season with Alianiello leading the squad in 2015 would be the program's most successful, as the team would finish just one spot shy of a berth in the NSIC Tournament for the second season in a row. The Golden Eagles set the program record for wins and conference wins with seven on the season. UMC would also set a record for consecutive conference road wins with victories over Minnesota State University Moorhead, Northern State University and Upper Iowa University. UMC was led by Courtney Armborst and Delaney McIntyre earning All-NSIC Third Team honors.
The season before, Alianiello led his squad to a a 6-6-6 mark and they were just one spot out of going to the NSIC Tournament. The 6-6-6 mark serves as the first time the Golden Eagle program has had a record of .500 or better. UMC would pick up their first-ever win of the year with 1-0 victory over Augustana College (S.D.). The Golden Eagles were led by Rachelle Alcini earning an All-NSIC Third Team nod, while Delaney McIntyre was an All-NSIC Honorable Mention selection.
The Golden Eagles' 2013 season would also show improvement. UMC would finish with a 3-11-4 record with a young squad. The Golden Eagles picked up two positive results on the road for the first time in program history with a win over Minnesota State University Moorhead and a tie against Northern State University in 2013. In addition, UMC showed rapid improvement against two strong programs in U-Mary and Minot State who they lost by a combined score of 10-1 in 2012 but were able to earn a pair of 0-0 overtime draws against in 2013. Alianiello has become known as a defensive-minded coach in the NSIC and it showed in 2013 as the Golden Eagles set the school record for least goals allowed with 25 and tied the school record for most shutouts with five.
Alianiello would help two players (Rachelle Alcini and Nikki Hammond) to All-NSIC accolades in 2013. Alcini was the first player to earn anything higher than All-NSIC Honorable Mention honors, with All-NSIC Third Team accolades, since 2009 when Justine Jones earned the honor.
In his first season leading the ship, Alianiello would inherit a small roster of only 15 players and would guide the Golden Eagles to a 2-15-1 record including wins against Northern State University and University of Sioux Falls and a hard-fought tie against Augustana College. The Golden Eagles would have junior Rachel Halligan earn All-NSIC Honorable Mention accolades at the conclusion of the season.
Alianiello has also been responsible for marked improvement in the classroom. The Golden Eagles had a record 10 student-athletes earn All-NSIC Fall Academic in 2014 and they would have nine the following year in 2015, up from seven in 2013 and four in 2012. Cayla Bendel was an Myles Brand All-NSIC Academic with Distinction with Recipient in 2014, for having a 3.75 GPA of better and being a graduating senior.
Alianiello was no stranger to the NSIC before taking over the Golden Eagles. He came to UMC from NSIC rival Winona State University, where he served as an assistant coach for the Warriors for one season under Ali Omar. In his one season, Winona State went 14-4-1 with a 12-1-0 mark in conference.
Prior to Winona State, he spent five seasons as head coach at another NSIC rival, Concordia University, St. Paul (2006-10) and left as the school's all-time winningest soccer coach. Alianiello inherited the program at just 25 years old on an interim basis and would be named NSIC Coach of the Year in his first year after leading the team to an 11-11-1 (6-3-0) mark in his first season including a 5-1-0 record in the final month of the season.
Alianiello would go on to lead the Golden Bears to NSIC Playoffs bids during the 2006, 2007 and 2009 seasons.
A native of Altoona, Pa., he graduated from St. Francis University of Pennsylvania in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in history. Alianiello was a starting goalie for the Red Flash during each of his four seasons. Alianiello is still ranked in the top five all-time at St. Francis for shutouts, save percentage and goals against average.
He is currently working on finishing his master's degree in leadership and management at Concordia University-St. Paul. Alianiello possesses multiple licenses through the NSCAA and the USSFA. He lives in Crookston.