Today's Leaders Compete Here: Jessica Shufelt, Keuka College

Women's Soccer | 10/13/2020 9:58:20 AM

Jessica Shufelt enters her fourth season as head women's soccer coach at Keuka College in 2020-21. She has 34 wins in her first three seasons at Keuka, including an incredible 27-3-2 mark in league play.

Shufelt's student-athletes excel in the classroom as well, combining to post a school-best 3.76 grade-point average in 2019-20. In just three seasons, 44 of her players earned NEAC Scholar-Athlete honors. On the field, she has coached 12 All-NEAC selections and was herself named the 2018 NEAC Coach of the Year.

A Rochester, NY native, Shufelt led Greece Arcadia High School to the 2007 New York State Class AA Championship and was named the New York State Player of the Year. She played four years of collegiate soccer at the University of Connecticut, serving as a two-year team captain, while helping lead the Huskies to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010. Shufelt also played professionally in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Jessica Shufelt - Today's Leaders

Institution: Keuka College
Title: Head Women's Soccer Coach
Year at Current Institution: Entering her fourth season at Keuka
College Attended/Class Year: University of Connecticut '12
Playing Career (collegiate or professional): I played four years at Division I University of Connecticut and played three seasons of professional soccer. I was drafted to the Portland Thorns in the NWSL in 2013. I signed with Mallbackens IF in Sweden at the end of the 2013 season. After one season in Sweden, I signed with Mallbackens, a Division I team in France.

Favorite Professional Athlete: Mohamed Salah

Favorite Professional Pro Team: Liverpool (Premier League)

Favorite Movie: Free Willy

Favorite TV Show: Chopped
Last TV Show You Binge Watched: Ozark
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Cotton Candy

Recent Community Service Projects Your Team Has Completed: Our women’s soccer team greeted and guided veterans as they arrived on campus for the annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Keuka College.

How Does The Empire 8 Stand Out Among Other Conferences: The Empire 8 is unique in the fact that all teams a part of the conference are in New York State. The conference also consists of all prestigious private schools. It has developed into one of the most well-known and established conferences in New York, and continues to not only pursue academic excellence, but remains an outstanding NCAA DIII conference in athletics as well. 

Favorite Memory as a Administrator at Keuka: Earning the 2018 NEAC Women’s Soccer Regular Season Title, along with being named Coach of the Year that same season, as it was my first season as a Head Coach at the college level.
Who Was Your Biggest Mentor and Why: My parents. They have always, and continue to be there for me since I stepped foot on the soccer field at age six. Whether it be to listen, give advice, or cheer me on as a player and now coach, I can always count on them.

Most Rewarding Aspect of Being a Coach: The ability to make a difference in the lives of all my student-athletes, and the relationships I am lucky to develop with each and every one of them. It is so much fun teaching valuable life lessons through the beautiful game. 

What Have You Learned About Yourself as a Leader and In Your Role: That it is important to listen to my student-athletes, and that it is a team effort that goes into making a program successful.

What Type of Leader Are You: I would consider myself the type of leader that leads by example. I am a mentor to my student-athletes, and am someone who is approachable, organized, motivating, and positive.

What Are Some Positive Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic You Have Experienced? The pandemic helped me to make the most out of any situation presented. It also taught me to value time, whether it be in person or virtual, with family and friends, and my student-athletes and coworkers as well.
How Have You Had to Adjust as a Coach or Administrator to the Pandemic? I had to become more creative with bringing the team together to become a close knit family. Training sessions and meetings looked a lot different, but I am lucky to have a group of girls who are willing to do whatever it takes to adjust to a “new normal,” and hopefully get back to playing our season in the Spring.
One Thing Most People Do Not Know About You: My nickname in high school and college was “Shoey.”

Advice for First-Year Student-Athletes: Value the time you have in the classroom and on the soccer field, value every minute, because it goes by too fast.
Advice for Graduating Student-Athletes: Use the life lessons you learned over the last four years on the playing field and take them with you into the next phase of your lives.

The Empire 8 Conference's “Today’s Leaders Compete Here” Series features a coach or administrator from one of its member institutions who exemplifies leadership.

The members of the Empire 8 Conference are committed first and foremost to the pursuit of academic excellence and the league is regarded as an outstanding NCAA Division III conference. The membership has distinguished itself among its peer group for its quality institutions, spirited and sportsmanlike competition, outstanding services and highly ethical policies and practices. Its commitment to serve the educational needs of its student-athletes is the hallmark of the E8. For more on the Empire 8 visit