The quest for the 2011 WCC women's soccer title begins this week as the Lions open conference play at San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 7. LMU returns home Sunday, hosting Gonzaga at 1 p.m. at Sullivan Field. That match also serves as LMU's women's soccer Centennial Celebration Game.
No coach in the history of LMU women's soccer has won as many games in his first four seasons as Joe Mallia. Entering his fifth season in charge of the Lions, Mallia has posted double-digit victories every year at LMU and helped the Lions to turn in top-three finishes in the West Coast Conference in two of his first three seasons.
On June 4, 2007, Loyola Marymount University Director of Athletics Dr. William Husak announced that Mallia had been named the head coach of the women's soccer program. Mallia came to LMU after spending the previous two seasons as the assistant head coach at UCLA. Prior to his time with the Bruins, Mallia served as the head coach of Loyola College (Md.) for seven years, leading the Greyhounds to conference championships and the NCAA Tournament in five consecutive seasons.
Mallia's 43 victories in his first four seasons at LMU are the most ever by a coach in his first four seasons in the program's history and the second-most over any four-year span. Additionally, his .626 winning percentage is the highest among the four coaches who have taken the helm at LMU.
In his first season on The Bluff, Mallia took the Lions within a whisker of an NCAA Tournament spot as they sought an at-large bid. LMU went 12-6-1 in Mallia's first year, posting the most victories since 2000 and the second-most wins in school history. It was also the most wins ever by an LMU first year head coach. The Lions were particularly fierce at Sullivan Field, going 10-1 and setting a new school record for home wins in a season. In WCC play, the Lions were 4-3-0 and finished in a tie for third while having a record seven players named to the all-conference squads. On the way, the Lions set single-game records for most goals (nine vs. Lamar) and had a nine-match winning streak that was the longest in program history.
Year two under Mallia saw the Lions post face six teams from the top-25 but still amass double-digit victories, finishing at 10-6-3. LMU also turned in its second-highest outright WCC finish, placing third with a 5-2-0 mark, losing only to nationally-ranked Portland and San Diego. In the process, Mallia reached a personal milestone when LMU's 3-1 victory over UC Irvine on Sept. 5 gave him his 100th career coaching victory. His 22 wins in his first two years at LMU were the most-ever by a women's soccer head coach.
The 2009 campaign saw the Lions post their third-consecutive 10+-win season, marking just the second time that feat had been accomplished, following the four straight seasons from 1997-2000. The Lions went 11-6-2 overall and notched the program's first win over a ranked opponent since 2006 by knocking off #26 Missouri 1-0 on September 18.
In 2010, LMU posted 10 wins for the fifth consecutive season and fourth in a row under Mallia. The season saw many exciting games, including a 2-0 away win at #10 Santa Clara and a narrow 1-0 home defeat to eventual national champions Notre Dame. Along the way, the Lions rode the offense of freshman Tawni Martino, who earned First Team All-WCC honors and was a TopDrawerSoccer.com All-Rookie All-American. In total, a school-record eight players gained All-WCC accolades.
Mallia spent two years as the assistant head coach at UCLA, helping the Bruins to consecutive appearances in the NCAA College Cup. UCLA appeared in the national championship game in 2005, and advanced to the semifinals in 2006. In two years with the Bruins, UCLA compiled a 43-6-2 record with two Pac-10 championships. Mallia served as the recruiting coordinator for the Bruins, bringing in the #1 and #2 recruiting classes in the nation during his two years.
Prior to his time at UCLA, Mallia was the head coach at Loyola College (Md.) for seven years. He compiled a 87-45-9 record, leading the Greyhounds to five MAAC Tournament Championships and five trips to the NCAA Tournament. In addition, he led Loyola to five regular season conference championships and was named the MAAC Coach of the Year in 2000. During Mallia's final season in 2004, the Greyhounds outscored conference opponents by a 26-1 margin, breaking the school single-season record for most wins (16), highest winning percentage (.800), most points (160) and goals (59). Mallia joined the Loyola staff in 1994 and was an assistant coach for four years prior to becoming the head coach.
Mallia served as the Goalkeeper Coach for the U-21 Women's National Team from 2003 to 2006, helping the United States to the finals of the Nordic Cup Championship in 2006. In addition, he was a USYSA Region I staff coach for six years.
An accomplished goalkeeper, Mallia is a 1992 graduate of Old Dominion University. A member of the ODU Athletics Hall of Fame, Mallia was named the ODU Male Athlete of the Year in 1991 and is the school's leader in saves and shutouts. He was ranked among the top five in NCAA history in career goals against average and was an Academic All-Conference honoree. He played with the US U-20 National Team from 1985-87.
After his collegiate career, Mallia played professional soccer for six years as a member of the Baltimore Spirit, Dayton Dynamo and Harrisburg Heat. He led his teams to league playoffs in five of his six seasons.
Joe and his wife, Amy, live in Redondo Beach with their three daughters, Kaitlyn (9), Reagan (6), and Addison (2).