Nikki Elsaesser was named the fifth coach in women’s soccer program history in May 2019.
Elsaesser comes to Houghton from Messiah College, one of the winningest programs in NCAA Division III history. She was a four-year starter for the Falcons and served as an assistant coach with the program for the 2018 season as the team finished 19-1-2 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA National Tournament.
Elsaesser holds additional head coaching experience with Keystone FC Elite, and served as an assistant for Christian Heritage High School in Trumbull, Conn. She also taught and served as head athletic trainer during her time there.
A 2016 Messiah graduate, Elsaesser had a decorated career with the Falcons. She was a three-time NCAA Division III All-America selection and capped her career as the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year after tallying 31 goals and 15 assists in 2015. She earned MAC Commonwealth First Team All-Conference honors all four seasons and was the conference Offensive Player of the Year three-straight years.
She was a part of Falcon teams that made the NCAA Tournament all four seasons, reaching the sectional semifinals in 2013, sectional final in 2014, final four in 2015, and winning the program’s fifth and most recent National Championship as a freshman in 2012. During her four seasons, Messiah sported a record of 88-4-8 overall and a 33-0-1 mark in the MAC Commonwealth.
Elsaesser developed a passion for sports ministry at Messiah and served a summer with Missionary Athletes International and the Charlotte Eagles soccer ministry. For the past year, she has served as a graduate assistant with Messiah’s AROMA sports ministry program, where she has organized summer sports camps, planned campus events and mentored student-athletes. She has also participated in and led trips to Uganda, Zambia, Guatemala and Thailand.
“I am especially excited that this position allows me to unite together many of my passions. I have a genuine love for the game of soccer and a desire to see sports, in general, redeemed and used for the glory of God,” said Elsaesser. “I am eager to help my future players maximize their potential tactically and technically. I am equally as eager to use our time together to help them develop as disciples of Jesus Christ that will go out from Houghton College to transform their communities. There is an alignment between the values held within the Houghton Athletics Department and my own coaching philosophies. Furthermore, Houghton is a unique place conducive to developing deeply invested relationships.”