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Lessa Named as Lady Panthers New Head Soccer Coach

Lessa Named as Lady Panthers New Head Soccer Coach
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on August 13, 2022

Christiane Lessa, has been named the new head coach of the Prairie View A&M University women's soccer team announced by the Director of Athletics Dr. Donald R. Reed.

"I am excited that coach Lessa has accepted the position as the head women's soccer coach here at PVAMU," Reed said. "She's and outstanding coach and an outstanding person, who has a passion for soccer with an international soccer experience not only as a coach, but as well as a player. Coach Lessa has a wealth of knowledge to teach the skills that are necessary for to continue the trajectory that we are on. She has expressed her goal to be a perennial conference champion and advance to NCAA competition, which a lines with what my vision is for the soccer program. Overall she's a great addition to the Panther family."

"I would like to thank the administration, staff, and especially Mrs. Alicia Pete, Senior Associate Athletic Director for this opportunity to work at a college with such amazing success in every aspect," said Lessa. "Prairie View A&M University has all the resources that a coach would need in order to make it one of the best in the nation. It is an honor to be in charge of the women's soccer program and I am extremely anxious to get started. This is a perfect fit for anyone that strives to accomplish amazing things, and I look forward to helping our student- athletes both on and off the field to achieve excellence."

Coach Lessa comes to the "Hill" with a wealth of experience. She has coached at every level from high school, college, club soccer, professional men's, professional women's, and even a national team. Her coaching has taken her to places as far as Iceland, Norway, China, Canada and Brazil and she's worked with the some of the best players in the world, including U.S. Women's National Team co-captain Carli Lloyd, Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, and Cameroon defender, Estelle Johnson.

Lessa most recently worked as the Director and Head Soccer Coach of FC Austin Elite, an American women's soccer team affiliated with United Women's Soccer. In addition to her impressive resume, she also holds F, E, D, C, and B USSF Coaching licenses, FIFA and CONCACAF coaching licenses, and is currently working on her A International FIFA license. She is also fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

In 2020, Lessa returned to Brazil to take over Foz Cataratas, but left the club amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. On January, 25, 2021, she was named in charge of Santos. On June 9, 2021, Lessa resigned from Santos despite having seven wins in 13 matches.

In 2019, after a short period as a head coach of Shandong Luneng's youth sides, Lessa joined Denise Reddy's staff at Sky Blue. She later became the first woman to take part of a men's team's squad, after being named Roberto Neves' assistant at Atlanta SC.

On 21 January 2016, Lessa was appointed the head coach of Young Harris College's Young Harris Mountain Lions. On 20 October of the following year she took over Washington Spirit's Academy, before moving back to Iceland as the coach of Avaldsnes.



Prior to her stint at Young Harris College Lessa spent a year at Enchanted Valley and prior to that she was the head coach of the Iowa Central Community College women's soccer program for the past four seasons (2012-15). Lessa led the Tritons to a 19-1-0 record in 2015 as Iowa Central captured the program's first National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Women's Soccer National Championship as they defeated Eastern Florida State College 1-0 in the title match. Lessa was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer Coach of the Year in 2015.

In 2012, she was named head coach of the Iowa Central Community College's women's soccer program. Lessa led Iowa Central to a 54-14-3 ledger (.793 winning percentage) during her time in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The Tritons finished ranked in the top 20 in the NJCAA in each of the past three seasons. Iowa Central was ranked 15th during the 2013 campaign while the Tritons were ranked 20th in 2014 before finishing third this season. The Tritons advanced to the NJCAA Region 11 finals in both 2013 and 2014 before winning the national championship this year.

Student-athletes from Iowa Central have gone on to play at four-year institutions such as Florida Atlantic University (NCAA Division I), Barry University (NCAA Division II), the University of Louisville (NCAA Division I) and the University of Kentucky (NCAA Division I).

Lessa holds her USSF National "C" License and FIFA/CONCACAF beach soccer license. While at Iowa Central she was involved with the Iowa Olympic Development Program, helping with the Iowa Girls under-13 State team. She also worked as a Student Development Assistant at Iowa Central, guiding students as an academic advisor in the admissions department.

Prior to Iowa Central, the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, native spent three seasons (2009-2011) at Florida Memorial University, a NAIA program in Miami Gardens, Florida, where she started the program from scratch. Lessa also started the women's soccer high school program at West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. She saw success instantly as they went 16-3-2 in her first season.

On 28 June 2006, Lessa joined Fylkir still in Iceland. She returned to the US in 2007 with Plantation FC, being later a part of Miami Kickers' squad before leaving in 2010.

Lessa also enjoyed a soccer career that began in her native Brazil with Fluminense and Vasco da Gama, as well as Team Chicago Brazil, one of the top clubs in Brazil. She subsequently turned down a call up from the under-17 national team in order to move to the United States and play college soccer. After leaving Brazil she spent two years playing and coaching professionally in Iceland for Haukar and Fylkir Football Club in the summer of 2005 and 2006. She then played for the Miami Kickers of the Women's Premier Football League in Miami for four seasons.

Lessa got into coaching after a stellar playing career that took her all over the globe. Her college career began at Union (Ky.) College in 2002 where she helped the Bulldogs earn their first-ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament after winning the Region XII Championship. That team was inducted into the College's Hall of Fame in 2009 as a Team of Distinction. She finished her career with three seasons at St. Thomas (Fla.) University in Miami where she graduated with a degree in religious studies and a minor in sports business.


SOURCE Prairie View A&M University
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