Since day one on the job, VCU Field Hockey Coach Shannon Karl has stressed a new culture for VCU Field Hockey.
In just one season as head coach it is easy to see VCU Field Hockey’s new culture is here to stay.
Karl helped guide the Rams to the third-best single-season turnaround in the country. The Rams’ 13 victories tied for the second most in school history, and VCU qualified for the Atlantic 10 Tournament in their first season of competition. The 13-6 record under Karl and her staff came just one year after VCU finished 5-13.
Individually, Karl, had six student-athletes honored for A-10 post season awards. Senior Kelsey Scherrer and junior Stephanie DeMasi garnered first team honors, while senior Arialle Hess was named to the second team. Freshman Kendall Farino was named to the All-Rookie squad. VCU also placed three athletes on the A-10 All-Academic team (DeMasi, Melanie Marotta and Megan Botteri).
The Rams also posted strong semester in the classroom. VCU, who played 14 matches on the road, boasted a semester grade point average of 3.43, and brought their team cumulative GPA to a 3.48. The Rams had 18-of-20 athletes earn Athletic Directors Honor Roll (3.0 or higher), while 10 of those athletes made the Dean's List (3.5 or higher). VCU also had four individuals finish the semester with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Prior to becoming the head coach, Karl spent five seasons as the Rams’ assistant coach. Karl was a vital part of bringing in some of the best recruiting classes in VCU history. Those recruits were a significant part of the 2010 season, which will go down as one of the top years in program history with 13 wins and a berth in the CAA Tournament.
A native of Centreville, Va., Karl enjoyed an outstanding career as a midfielder at William & Mary, leading the Tribe to a 47-33 record from 2002-05. As a freshman in 2002, Karl was a part of the second team in program history to play in the NCAA Tournament. In 2004, she helped steer the Green and Gold to a 13-7 mark, including a perfect 7-0 ledger in CAA play.
Karl ranks fourth in Tribe history in assists with 18, third in games played with 80 and is second in career starts. In addition, she was selected to the CAA All-Tournament squad in 2004.
In addition to her college exploits, Karl was selected for United States Field Hockey Association's (USFHA) A & B Camps in 2002-04. Those camps serve as a pipeline to the national team, and her presence at the sessions earned her a spot as an alternate for the USA Field Hockey U19 and U21 squads in 2004. Karl was also selected to the South squad for the NFHCA North-South All-Star Game in 2005.
She received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology from William & Mary in 2006 and earned The President's Award for Leadership the same year. She added her master's in sports administration from Louisville in May of 2007.
Karl resides in Short Pump with her fiancee, Sean.