Zoe Almquist – Head Coach
Zoe Almquist was hired as head coach of the Davidson field hockey program in March, 2019.
Almquist is a former standout player at Northwestern University, where she also spent five seasons as an assistant coach. The head coaching job is her first at the college level.
“I am thrilled to join the Davidson College Field Hockey family,” she said. “I would like to thank director of athletics Chris Clunie, associate director of athletics Scott Applegate, and the rest of the search committee for their assistance and trust in me throughout this process. I am anxious to get on campus and begin working with the young women on the team. I know that the future of the program that we will build together is bright.”
As an assistant at Northwestern, Almquist helped the Wildcats to a 72-33 record, two Big Ten championships (2013, 2014), the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title (2014) and an NCAA postseason bid. She coached five All-Americans.
Almquist was a four-year letterwinner at Northwestern, where in 2011 she earned her degree in mathematics. She started the final 60 games of her career and served as a senior captain. She played defender, but finished with 10 career goals, including four game-winners her senior season. Almquist was a two-time winner of the Sannie van Dijck Players’ Player Award, as voted by her teammates, and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
“Coach Almquist brings a great balance of both high-level playing and coaching experience to Davidson,” said Clunie. “She understands the importance of academics as well as building a competitive and winning culture. Additionally, her work with USA Field Hockey has helped her to develop a strong background in recruiting and administration. We are excited that she has joined us, and we are confident she will lead the women’s field hockey program to future success.”
Almquist was an assistant coach on an interim staff at UMass in 2016, when the Minutewomen won the Atlantic 10 title and beat Monmouth in an NCAA Tournament game before losing to overall No. 2 ranked Maryland in a shootout.
Almquist has worked with USA Field Hockey since 2011, including selecting and coaching players for the futures program on the local and national levels, and holds USA Field Hockey Level II accreditation.
She has spent the last 10 years as a coach with the Windy City Field Hockey Club, coaching players of all ages and skill levels, including 19U travel athletes and future college players.
Having spent much of her time at Northwestern, Almquist sees many similarities between her alma mater and Davidson and not just because the two programs have Wildcats as their mascot.
“It takes about one minute of being on campus to know that you are in a very special place,” she said. “I was immediately drawn to the close-knit community that Davidson College fosters. The combination of fabulous academics and high-level athletics sets Davidson apart, and Davidson’s academic environment truly prepares students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers and engaged global citizens. Being a part of the Atlantic 10 Conference allows us to compete against some of the country’s great field hockey programs and will continue to facilitate our work toward becoming a contender on the national stage. My family and I can’t wait to make Davidson our home, and coming from Chicago, we won’t complain about the change of temperature, either.”
Almquist is a native of Ann Arbor, Mich. She and husband, Keith, have a son, Cyrus, and daughter, Hazel.
Stephanie Hussey – Assistant Coach
Stephanie Hussey joined the Davidson field hockey staff in July, 2019.
She came to Davidson after spending the previous three years as an assistant at UC Davis and will draw on her experience playing on all three lines around the globe. A native of Argentina, she moved to Miami as a teenager and played for the U16 and U19 U.S. National Teams. She then played collegiately at Syracuse and Penn State.
In two years at Syracuse, she helped the Orange win Big East tournament and regular season titles and reach the NCAA Final Four in 2012. At Penn State, she scored a career-high six goals as a senior.
Hussey has also coached with Club Deportivo Terrassa in Barcelona, Spain and USA Field Hockey’s U18 Futures program in Florida.
Jenny Rizzo – Assistant Coach
Recently named to the U.S. Women’s National Team, standout goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo is returning to Davidson’s field hockey program as a full-time assistant coach.
Rizzo served as a volunteer assistant with the Wildcats during the 2019 season and spent last year as an assistant coach at Lafayette College. A former Penn State standout, Rizzo was one of three goalkeepers named to the U.S. National Team in June. While at Davidson, she’ll also train with the national team with hopes of playing in the next Summer Games.
Rizzo started 79 games as a Penn State goalkeeper, spending more than 5,400 minutes in the cage and posting a .749 career saves percentage. She helped the Nittany Lions to three NCAA Tournaments (2016-18), the 2016 Big Ten Tournament title and was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team in 2017 and 2018.
She played on the U19 and U21 U.S. National teams and the U.S. National Development Team, then played with the Beeston Hockey Club in England in 2019 and 2020, while earning an advanced degree from Nottingham Trent.