AU Press Releases

Aileen Ascolese appointed women’s soccer coach at Alfred University

ALFRED, NY — Paul Vecchio, director of athletics at Alfred University, announces the appointment of Aileen Ascolese as the Saxons’ new women’s soccer coach.


Ascolese, who served the last two seasons as a full-time assistant at Division III Brandeis University, replaces Jen Enke, who resigned her position in December after eight seasons at the Saxons’ helm. Ascolese’s appointment is effective March 4.


“Aileen has in abundance all of the attributes we were seeking in our next women’s soccer head coach," Vecchio said. “She was a fantastic scholar-athlete in her playing days so she understands the balance between academics and athletics. While she was a Division I athlete herself, she has spent time as an assistant at three Division III programs, including two schools in RPI and Brandeis, that like Alfred, boast outstanding academic reputations and have similar program offerings.”


Ascolese comes to AU after serving as an assistant at Brandeis for the 2011 and 2012 seasons under head coach Denise Dallamora. During her two years at Brandeis – a member of the University Athletic Association (UAA) located in Waltham, MA – the Judges went 22-16-4; the team went 16-5-2 last fall, advancing to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Division III championship tournament. Ascolese also served as an assistant coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute two seasons (2009 and 2010) and was a graduate assistant at Elmira College for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, serving as interim head coach at Elmira during the spring of 2008.


She was a four-year starter at Division I Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, serving as team captain her senior year and twice earning NCAA scholar-athlete honors before graduating in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. While serving as graduate assistant at Elmira, she earned a master’s degree in general education (2009).


Ascolese said her time as an assistant has prepared her well for her first head coaching opportunity.


“I’ve been a full-time assistant for six years, working under four different coaches,” she said. “I’ve had the chance to work with four people with different ideas, and that has helped me mold my coaching philosophy.


“I’m thrilled to be coming to Alfred. I’m leaving a very special place in Brandeis, and I get the same feeling with Alfred. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for my first head coaching job. I want to thank Paul and the rest of the search committee for making me Alfred’s next head women’s soccer coach. I am ecstatic about the position and incredibly thankful for the opportunity.”


Vecchio pointed to Ascolese’s success as a coach and her “passion” for the game as making her the right person to lead the Saxons’ program. He noted, too, that her first collegiate coaching position came at fellow Empire 8 Conference member Elmira.


“She is familiar with the Empire 8, having started her coaching career at Elmira, but most importantly she has an incredible passion for the game and for the experience her student-athletes have while playing for her,” said Vecchio. “She has a proven track record as a recruiter and as a coach she made each program she has been a part of better, including helping Brandeis to the NCAA “Elite Eight” last season. I am very excited to have Aileen on our staff and look forward to success both on and off the field with our women's soccer program under her leadership.”


Ascolese said her hope is to instill “energy and passion” in her players, and drive them to succeed on and off the field.


“I had an exceptional experience as a student-athlete, and my coach had a profound impact on my life as a soccer player,” she said. “I want my players to have the tools to be successful on the field, but I also want them to enjoy a satisfying experience as student-athletes and enjoy their time at Alfred University.”


Ascolese said her immediate goals for the program include being more competitive against teams in Western New York, which she hopes will translate into improved recruiting success in the region. “I want to compete with schools in the area, and become a more viable option for student-athletes when it comes time for choosing a college,” she said.