William & Mary

Jill Ellis '88, U.S. Women's National Team win back-to-back World Cup titles

  • Jill Ellis in a soccer stadium
    Jill Ellis '88:  Originally from Portsmouth, England, Ellis played forward for the Tribe from 1984 to 1987.  Courtesy photo
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Former William & Mary women's soccer standout Jill Ellis '88, L.H.D. '16 and the U.S. Women's National Team won the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands on Sunday afternoon in Lyon, France.

With the victory, the United States won its fourth FIFA World Cup, the most-ever, and joined Germany as the only team to repeat as champions in Women's World Cup history. The U.S. rolled through the tournament as it went a perfect 7-0-0 and only surrendered three goals, while it scored a World Cup record 26 goals. Ellis has now been at the helm of the last two World Cup titles and is the first coach in Women's World Cup history to win back-to-back World Cup titles and just the second-ever to accomplish that feat in FIFA history (Vittorio Pozzo, Italy 1934 and 1938). Furthermore, she has 102 wins as the manager of the U.S. side and has not lost a match in a major tournament (Olympics and World Cup).

Originally from Portsmouth, England, Ellis played forward for the Tribe from 1984-1987. She finished her career with 32 goals and 19 assists and ranks ninth in career points with 83, while earning Third Team All-America honors during her senior season. She helped the Tribe to the NCAA tournament all four seasons, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 1987. Ellis earned her degree from William & Mary in English literature and composition.

Ellis has remained closely connected to W&M since graduating. In 2016, she returned to campus to speak at Commencement and receive an honorary doctorate.