One of the nation's top goalkeeping coaches, Laurie Pells joined the Maryland women's soccer program on April 27, 2007 and is now in her second season in College Park.
In her first season with the Terps, Pells was instrumental in helping bring along freshman Yewande Balogun, who earned All-ACC Freshman team honors and Freshman All-America honors by Soccer Buzz. But Balogun was injured in the Terps' 15th game of the season and Pells helped sophomore Mary Casey, a one-time top goalkeeping prospect who had played much of the past two seasons as a defender, make the transition back into the goal, which included a 2-0 shutout of NC State in the season finale.
Pells came to Maryland after spending the previous six years as an assistant coach at Clemson. During that time, the Lady Tigers reached the NCAA tournament each year, including the 2006 Elite Eight and the 2001 Sweet 16 and a No. 11 final ranking.
Clemson's defense was outstanding while Pells coached the goalkeepers. During her six seasons there, Clemson registered 53 team shutouts and allowed just over one goal per match.
Prior to coaching at Clemson, Pells was an assistant coach at the College of New Jersey for three years. While there, the Lions won the 2000 NCAA Division III National Championship. The College of New Jersey was a semifinalist in 1999 and finalist in 1998 at the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Pells graduated from Georgian Court College (Lakewood, N.J.) with a B.A. degree in elementary education and psychology in 1998. At Georgian Court College, she was a starting goalkeeper for four seasons and was a three-time NSCAA All-America goalkeeper. While at Georgian Court College, she led her team to the NAIA Final Four in 1994 and 1995 and the quarterfinals in 1997. In her senior season in 1997, the two-time team captain was selected as one of the top 16 players in the nation by being named to the Umbro Select Elite 16.
During her time at GCC, she set the NSCAA national record with 57 career shutouts as a goalkeeper and was named conference player of the year as a senior. Pells was also named the New Jersey Woman of the Year after her sophomore season.
Pells graduated with a master's degree from the College of New Jersey in the spring of 2001 from the School of Counseling.
Pells played two years in the W-League with the Delaware Genies. Pells was drafted by the Philadelphia Charge in the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) Professional League and played one season in the summer of 2001.
Pells is a director for former US National Team coach Tony DiCicco with SoccerPlus Goalkeeper Camps. She is a member of the ODP Region I coaching staff.
Pells has been a part of the US U14 and U15 Girls U.S. National Teams since 2006. She has her USSF "A" Coaching License and NSCAA Advance National Goalkeeper License.
Pells was inducted into the inaugural Hillsborough (N.J.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame on March 22, 2003. In her free time she trains for sprint triathalons and has competed in seven during the past six years.