Assistant coach Justin Zoslow is entering his fifth year with Rice soccer. Each of his previous four seasons working with the Owl goalkeepers produced some eye-opening results and a steady stream of attention for the program throughout Division I soccer.
Last season Zoslow did a sensational job preparing not one, but two freshmen goalkeepers in their first season at the Division I level. The result was one of best goals-against averages in Conference USA (1.06), a .758 save-percentage and seven shutouts. Rookie keeper Meghan Erkel was named to the C-USA All-Freshman team and the Owls' Player of the Year. It's success to be sure, mixed with a pattern of consistency.
Justin Zoslow on Rice soccer in 2008...
"This is a pivotal moment as we transition one championship era out and usher in a new era. Ideally when we look back five years from now, this season sets the standard for an era of national success."
In 2006 a Zoslow-trained goalkeeper became the first Rice soccer player to be selected as the National Player of the Week. Amy McClintock earned the honor from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America after a brilliant 10-save night in a shutout win over eighth-ranked Texas. The feat is even more dramatic when considering McClintock joined the Rice program as a walk-on and trained under Zoslow's meticulous eye. The Owls went on to finish second in the conference in goals-allowed per game (1.00) and third in goals-against average (0.97).
In 2005 Zoslow worked with a true freshman keeper in her Division I debut. It was a challenge, but his professional approach and attention to detail helped Rice lead C-USA in goals-against average (0.93) and have the fewest goals allowed per game (0.95). By the time the C-USA tournament rolled around, Rice posted three consecutive shutouts to win the championship and his pupil was selected as the tournament's most valuable defensive player.
His approach was no different than what he did in 2004 with Lauren Shockley, the Rice keeper who was named the Western Athletic Conference player of the year. Zoslow's work with Shockley helped the Owls finish tied for third in the nation in shutouts (14) and shutout percentage (0.64). Rice was also sixth among all Division I soccer schools in goals-against average (.524). Shockley was selected to two all-region teams and she was the player of the Year. It wasn't until Zoslow joined the WAC that a goalkeeper was named as the player of the year for the first time in that league's history.
Working with the goalkeepers remains Zoslow's primary coaching focus, but at Rice he has a myriad of duties. His responsibilities also included helping develop offensive and defensive schemes, recruiting, administration and organizing the popular Rice Owls soccer camps.
Zoslow had similar duties in his previous post as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech. In four years at Tennessee Tech, the Golden Eagles' soccer team set high-water marks for wins, shut outs and fewest goals allowed.
Prior to his tenure at Tech, Zoslow spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach with the University of Miami (Fla.) women's soccer program. Zoslow has also been very active in youth coaching for many years with the nationally recognized Team Boca soccer club in Boca Raton, Fla. In addition to being a Team Boca youth coach, Zoslow also coached their women's amateur squad for two years, reaching the state tournament both years.
Additionally, Zoslow has been with the Cardinal Gibbons High School varsity soccer program in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Cardinal Gibbons is recognized state-wide for its excellence in academics and athletics. He spent several years teaching high school economics, psychology and history.
Zoslow is a USSF "B" licensed coach and has earned the NSCAA Advanced National and Level III Goalkeeping Diplomas. In addition to having been on ODP State Staff for both South Texas and Tennessee, he is now on staff with the Houston Dynamo Academy and working with their keepers. Zoslow brings with him almost a decade of coaching experience, ranging from college, amateur, club and high school with both men's and women's teams. He is a ten-year veteran of the Ralph Lundy Soccer Academy, recognized as one of the premiere soccer programs in the Southeast.
Zoslow received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in 1986, with a major in history and a minor in economics.
Got a question for the coach? E-mail Justin Zoslow here.