The Aggies add players from three different states.
Aggies Will Play Seven Matches In Spring Schedule
Defender Natalie Norris is invited back to compete for a roster spot.
Aggies add players from three different states.
Senior defender Natalie Norris becomes the first Aggie soccer player to earn the prestigious honor.
Utah State Soccer vs. Washington
Entering her 10th season at Utah State is Heather Cairns, who became the winningest soccer coach in school history after recording her 27th career victory on Sept. 30, 2006, defeating Eastern Washington 1-0. In her nine seasons at the helm of the Aggies, Cairns has compiled a 90-75-19 (.541) record passing former head coach Stacy Enos (1996-2000) who went 26-59 (.306) in five seasons with the Aggies. Cairns' teams have also recorded a school-record 68 shutouts in the last nine seasons. USU recorded a total of just 16 shutouts in the six years prior to Cairns' appointment as head coach.
During her tenure, the Aggies have earned seven player of the year honors. Forward Shantel Flanary earned WAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2011, while defender Natalie Norris was named WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011. Lindsey Smart in 2006, Flanary in 2009 and Taryn Rose in 2011 were all named WAC Freshman of the Year, while Cairns earned WAC Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2011. Under Cairns, Utah State earned 22 all-Big West honors and has garnered 32 all-WAC awards. In the classroom, USU has been strong as well with 55 Big West academic honors and 106 WAC academic awards.
Last season was a historic year for Utah State as the Cairns-led squad won its first WAC Tournament title and reached its first NCAA Tournament. USU also won its third WAC regular-season title in four seasons. The Aggies ended the year with a school record 15-5-2 mark and a 5-1-1 record in league action. USU swept the WAC awards with Flanary earning Offensive Player of the Year honors and junior Norris being named Defensive Player of the Year, both winning the honor for the second time. Taryn Rose was named Freshman of the Year, while Cairns captured her second Coach of the Year honor. After winning the WAC Tournament, 1-0, against Fresno State, senior Molli Merrill was named WAC Tournament MVP.
In 2010, Cairns and the Aggies won their second WAC regular-season title when USU tied San Jose State. USU ended the season with a 9-7-5 overall record and a stellar 5-2-1 WAC record. Sophomore defender Natalie Norris was the first Aggie to earn WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and was joined on the all-WAC first team by Salmon-Christensen and Flanary. Salmon-Christensen became the first USU player to earn first-team all-conference honors her first three seasons.
In 2009, Utah State had its fourth-straight 10-win season, finishing 10-9-2 overall and a 5-2-1 conference record. The Aggies ended the season second in WAC play. Sophomore Chandra Salmon-Christensen earned first-team all-WAC honors for the second-straight year, while Flanary garnered WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Cairns and the Aggies had a breakout season in 2008 with a 13-8-1 overall record and a perfect 7-0-0 WAC mark. The 13 wins was the most ever by an Aggie squad, and the team set another record when it won eight-straight matches. USU was the first WAC team since SMU in 2001 to go undefeated. Utah State had a historic seven players named to the all-WAC team, including Shantel Flanary earning Freshman of the Year honors. Cairns also earned her first WAC Coach of the Year honor, leading the Aggies to their first WAC Tournament championship match.
The 2007 season saw Cairns bring similar results as 2006, as USU posted a 10-11-0 record, tying the most-ever wins in the program's 12-year history. The Aggies' 5-2-0 conference record tied the previous program-record mark of five league wins set in 2006. In 2007, USU also set records for most points in a season (114), most goals in a season (40) and most assists in a season (34). Utah State also captured its first conference tournament victory as it shutout San Jose State, 4-0, in the first round of action before falling to the eventual tournament champion Hawai'i in the semifinals, 1-0, in double overtime.
In 2006, one player earned the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete Award, as Cairns coached the 2006 WAC Freshman of the Year, Lindsey Smart, who also garnered second-team all-WAC honors. Two more Aggies earned first-team and second-team all-WAC accolades with Charity Weston and Dana Peart earning those honors, respectively. USU had 15 players named to the fall academic all-WAC team with two newcomers honored in the spring for a total of 17 players recognize by the conference, the most in the league.
The 2005 season saw Cairns and the Aggies amass a 7-9-4 ledger in their first season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Cairns and USU recorded a 4-2-1 WAC record, tying for second-place in the conference standings and advancing to the WAC Tournament, where the Aggies lost in the first round to eventual tournament champion Fresno State.
In 2004, she led USU to a 6-11-1 mark, becoming the only Aggie coach to reach 16 wins in their first two seasons. Additionally in 2004, Cairns coached three all-Big West selections, two NSCAA Regional Scholar-Athletes and saw her team grab the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the second-straight year. The Aggie soccer team also led USU for the second consecutive year in its number of fall academic all-Big West honorees, garnering eight.
In her first year at Utah State, Cairns led the Aggies to a then shcool-record 10 wins and its highest conference winning percentage (.556, 4-3-2) in the program's eight seasons. Utah State also garnered school-records in its number of all-Big West (5) and academic all-Big West (13) selections.
Utah State soccer recorded one of its best seasons in 2006, posting a 10-8-2 overall record and went 5-0-2 in conference action. The 10 wins tied the school's record for the most wins in the program's 11-year history. The Aggies' 5-0-2 conference record topped the previous record for conference wins (4) and the .750 conference winning percentage was also a school record.
The Aggies received the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the ninth-straight season in 2011, and Norris earned NSCAA Scholar All-American honors. Cairns also had 11 players earn academic all-WAC honors in 2011.
Cairns holds a 36-9-6 (.765) record in WAC action, giving her the highest winning percentage among the nine current league coaches in conference matches.
Before becoming Utah State's third soccer coach, Cairns spent four years as an assistant coach at Creighton University. At Creighton, Cairns worked with all aspects of the program. In her time at CU, the Bluejays went from a 7-13-1 record in 1999 to winning the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference championship with a 12-8-2 overall record. Additionally, Creighton qualified for the 2002 NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program's history. From 1999-2002, the Bluejays produced a NSCAA regional All-American, 18 all-conference players, six freshmen all-conference honorees, 13 academic all-conference selections and 11 NSCAA regional scholar-athletes.
The Erie, Pa., native spent two years as an assistant at New Mexico from 1997-98 and worked as a graduate assistant coach for three years (1994-96) at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
Cairns earned her bachelor's degree in biology in 1994 from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., where she was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain of the women's soccer team. She completed her bachelor's of education while at St. Ambrose. She holds a "B" license from the United States Soccer Federation and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Cairns' Record Year-by-Year