Twenty-four years ago, Margaret Tietjen was lighting up the soccer field at Huntington High School as she helped lead the Blue Devils to a New York State title and would later be named state Co-Player of the Year with her twin sister, Jennifer.
Today, the now Margaret Rodriguez has taken her next step in the world of soccer as the newly named head coach of the University of Connecticut’s women’s soccer team. She replaces Len Tsantiris who retired in November after 37 years as the school’s women’s soccer head coach.
“Over the past 10 years, Mags has demonstrated extraordinary passion for UConn women’s soccer and dedication to our student-athletes,” said David Benedict, UConn’s director of athletics. “I feel that she is the perfect person to lead our program into the future.”
“I am incredibly honored and humbled about this opportunity to represent a program and University that I care so deeply about,” said Rodriguez. “I want to first and foremost thank David Benedict, Beth Goetz and the entire search committee for giving me this opportunity. I would be remiss if I also didn’t thank Len Tsantiris because without his role in my career, playing and coaching, I would not be where I am today.”
Since Rodriguez joined the UConn staff 10 years ago, the Huskies have won 114 games, made five NCAA tournament appearances and won a pair of American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships. Three players earned All-American status, including multiple All-American seasons from Rachel Hill and Stephanie Ribeiro (2015 & 16).
A 1999 Connecticut graduate, Rodriguez played for the Huskies from 1995-98. She is sixth on the all-time Husky scoring list with 128 points. Her 43 goals and 42 assists make her one of only four UConn alumni to be a part of the elite NCAA “40-40” Club. She played in 99 games, making 91 starts, and her teams had an overall record of 85-12-4. Rodriguez led her team to three NCAA quarterfinals and one NCAA final appearance in 1997.