Wendy Elles heads into her seventh season as the Saint Michael's women's soccer head coach in 2019. She is also the Intramural co-director for the College.
Saint Michael's had a pair of 1-1 comeback ties in 2018, while a third deadlock was a scoreless draw on home turf against 11th-ranked Franklin Pierce University. Four contests went down as 1-0 setbacks during the fall.
The Purple Knights started 3-3-1 in 2017, with each of those contests being decided by one goal or less. Saint Michael's later lost only 1-0 to No. 8 Adelphi University, one of their 13 instances of yielding two goals or fewer. The Purple and Gold posted its best save total in eight years, highest save percentage in seven, and lowest goals-against average in five.
Thirteen players in their first season of college soccer dominated the roster in 2016, and four veterans held down key roles for the first time. Two of the Purple Knights' victories came against regionally-ranked squads, as they shocked Merrimack College, 2-1, with two goals in the final 46 seconds before blanking American International College, 1-0, in overtime. AIC had been perfect in Northeast-10 Conference play entering the game. Seven of the Purple and Gold's setbacks came by two goals or less, including in five straight decisions in the latter portion of October.
In 2015, the Purple Knights held foes to two goals or less on eight occasions, with narrow 1-0 losses coming against regionally-ranked opponents University of New Haven and Southern New Hampshire University. Six losses came by one goal, including in overtime versus SNHU and Bentley University.
Saint Michael's tied for the eighth-best turnaround in Division II women's soccer in 2014, improving five games over its 2013 record thanks to such positive results as a 1-0 win over 2013 NCAA Tournament Final Four qualifier American International College, which was regionally ranked, and a scoreless draw with regionally-ranked Saint Anselm College. The Purple Knights also downed Merrimack for the first time since 2002. At 5-11-1 overall and 4-9-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference, Saint Michael's was one league win shy of matching its highest total since 2002. Elles' charges matched their greatest shutout (5) figure in six years, which had been the last time the Purple and Gold accumulated more than the 13 assists they dished out in 2014.
In 2013, the Purple Knights held opponents to two goals or fewer on 12 occasions, playing to seven one-goal decisions.
During four years as the head coach at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, between 2009 and 2012, Elles led the Hornets to North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament appearances twice, including while hosting their first postseason contest to cap a 9-8-1 campaign in 2011. Following the 2012 campaign, the team earned a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Gold Medal Award for Team Ethics after not being assessed a single card during the fall. The Hornets earned the NAC Team Sportsmanship Award in 2009.
Prior to her time at NVU-Lyndon, Elles was the assistant coach for four years at Endicott College, helping the Gulls go 67-17-5 overall and 46-3-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Gulls qualified for the NCAA Tournament each year, advancing as far as the Sweet 16 in 2006, while winning three CCC Tournament crowns.
Elles was the assistant coach at the University of Vermont from 1997 until 2003, as the Catamounts earned nine wins in each of her first two seasons, as well as qualifying for an America East Championship semifinal in 1998. During the 1996-97 school year, Elles served as an assistant coach for both women's basketball and soccer at Fairleigh Dickinson University's College at Florham.
Since 2001, Elles has been heavily involved with youth coaching in Vermont, including working with the Far Post Soccer Club since 2006. As a coach each year during that time, Elles guided her squads to 10 state crowns and US Youth Soccer regional tournaments. Previously the director of education for four years, Elles has been the director of coaching since 2008. Between 2001 and 2010, she was the head coach for Vermont's Olympic Development Program girls' team.
Elles has worked summer camps for Far Post since 2002 after previously serving a role during camps for the University of Vermont, Gettysburg (Pa.) College and Millersville (Pa.) University. She aided the Girls of America Love Soccer (GOALS) Camp in Blairstown, N.J., between 1994 and 2001, and the Champ Soccer Camp in Burlington each year from 2004 until 2010. Elles also developed and directed the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program in Vermont for five years, guiding an organization that works with youth athletes with disabilities.
During her career, Elles has earned coaching certification on three occasions. She garnered a NSCAA National Diploma in 2001, an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma a year later while passing with distinction, and qualified for her NSCAA Premier Diploma in 2006.
A 1996 graduate of Gettysburg with a degree in sociology and a concentration in French, Elles earned her master's in interdisciplinary studies from Vermont in 2004. A 1995 NSCAA All-America selection and the Centennial Conference Player of the Year from the backfield, Elles was named all-region four times while helping the Bullets go 51-21 overall and 28-3 in the league. Gettysburg qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1993 and 1994. Elles went on to play three years in the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues' (USISL) W-League, and alternatively and often simultaneously played in and helped develop the Vermont Amateur Soccer League since 2001. In 2014, Elles was inducted into the North Branford (Conn.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame before being chosen for Gettysburg's Hall of Athletic Honor in 2017. Elles was chosen for the Centennial Conference's Silver Anniversary team in 2018 thanks to her collegiate playing career.