P.J. Soteriades enters her 25th year as the Head Field Hockey Coach at Denison University in 2023.
Since taking over the program in 2000, Soteriades has won 225 games and has advanced to the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament 16 times and has secured the league leading fifth NCAC tournament title. Denison claimed the 2023 Coaching Staff of the Year honor, the sixth coaching award in program history.. She is the program’s all-time leader in wins and is the longest-tenured coach in Denison field hockey history.
In 2023, the Big Red finished their 24th season under Coach Soteriades 13-6 overall and 9-1 in the NCAC while winning the fifth NCAC Tournament in program history and making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019. The stingiest defense in the conference sent the Big Red to the NCAA tournament and ended the undefeated season for rival Ohio Wesleyan University. In the NCAC Tournament Championship, second-seeded Denison took down the top-seeded Battling Bishops by a final score of 1-0 in overtime thanks to the game-winning goal by freshman Emma Gebhart. The victory capped an extraordinary run of defensive dominance in which the Big Red did not allow a single goal in 12 NCAC games, including two in the tournament. (Denison’s lone regular-season conference loss to Ohio Wesleyan came in a shootout after a scoreless 80 minutes). Fittingly, the air-tight defense was led by a Lock. Senior Grace Lock became the sixth Denison player to earn NCAC Defensive Player of the Year while fellow senior defender Cary Mauck was named First-Team All-NCAC for the third straight season. In addition, Lock and Mauck both earned NCAA Division III regional honors - Lock on first-team and Mauck on the second-team for the second time in her career. The senior tandem anchored a Denison backline that allowed just 16 goals on the season and earned 14 shutouts during the season. The Big Red defense allowed no more than four shots on goal in all 10 NCAC games, which included not allowing a single shot in three conference matchups.
Denison finished its 2022 season 11-6 overall while qualifying for the NCAC Tournament for the 13th season in a row. The Big Red also finished 6-2 in the NCAC and earned the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament for the second year in a row. Denison received five All-North Coast Athletic Conference selections while senior Madeline Hunt was named both the NCAC Midfielder of the Year and Second-Team All-Region after ranking second in the conference in goals (14) and points (28).
After their 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coach Soteriades and the Big Red returned to the field in 2021 and finished 10-8 overall and 6-2 in the conference while tying for second place in the NCAC regular-season standings and reaching the NCAC Tournament championship game for the fourth season in a row. Sophomore defender Cary Mauck was the lone Denison selection to the all-conference first-team, and was also named second-team all-region.
Closing out the 2019 season at 17-4, the Big Red also finished at 7-1 in the NCAC and captured their third-straight NCAC regular-season and tournament championships. The season was also highlighted by Coach Soteriades' 200th career win when Denison defeated Wittenberg 1-0 on October 29. The Big Red also turned in NFHCA All-American selections for the fourth straight year as Abby Scully was named to the second-team and Rachel Kelsey earned third-team honors.
In 2018, Soteriades received NCAC Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in her career after going undefeated in the conference (14-0) for the third time in program history. After locking down their second-straight NCAC Tournament crown in 2018, Soteriades guided the Big Red to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999-00. DU finished their season at 18-3 overall, which matched the school record for single-season wins set in 2011 and 1984. Along with her assistant coach Kellie Jasinski, the Big Red duo was also named the NFHCA's Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
In 2017, the Big Red went 17-4 highlighted by a 15-game winning streak that was capped off by a 2-1 victory over Wittenberg in the NCAC Tournament championship game. The conference title earned Denison an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. First-year defender Michelle Kabaira was named a DIII All-American as well as being named NCAC Defensive Player of the Year, NCAC Newcomer of the Year, and was a first-team All-NCAC selection. Charlotte Godfrey and Jen Durbin were also named to All-Great Lakes Region teams.
In 2014, the Big Red posted a 13-7 record highlighted by wins over No. 15 Rochester and an upset over No. 19 DePauw in the semifinals of the NCAC Tournament. Denison would advance to the NCAC Tournament championship before falling to Kenyon, 1-0. Three players were named to the all-region team.
In 2012, Soteriades and the Big Red posted a 15-6 record while placing second in the NCAC with a 10-4 league record. The 15 wins were the second-most in her tenure at the time.
The 2011 season will go down as one of the most successful seasons in Denison field hockey history. Soteriades was named the regional and conference Coach of the Year after leading Denison to an 18-2 record, its first NCAC title since 2000, and its first-ever NCAC Tournament crown. After receiving a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament, the Big Red suffered a 4-1 setback to MIT in the second round. Goalie Brittany Benson was named NCAC Defensive Player of the Year to highlight seven all-conference honorees. In addition, six athletes earned all-region honors, including sophomore Katie McMahon who received All-American recognition.
Soteriades also spent the Spring of 2011 as the interim women's lacrosse coach. After the team was predicted to finish sixth out of seven teams in preseason conference poll, Soteriades guided the team to a 6-0 record in conference play and the program's first NCAC Tournament Championship since 2006. The team qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in school history.
A 2000 graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor of science degree in organizational communication, Soteriades has gained considerable field hockey experience at the college level. After competing for Mid-American Conference champion and NCAA Tournament participant Ball State University as a first-year student, Soteriades completed her collegiate career as a three-year member of the Ohio University Bobcat varsity squad.
Included among her honors at Ohio U. was being selected to serve as team captain during her senior season. A Dean's List student, Soteriades was also the recipient of OU's Scholar-Athlete Award. She also earned membership in Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society.
Soteriades and her husband, Jason, live in Upper Arlington with their two children.