Phil Sykes

Phil Sykes enters his 14th season as head coach of the University at Albany field hockey program in 2018.

In his tenure, Sykes has guided the Great Danes to five of the last nine America East Conference Championship titles (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015) and five NCAA Tournament berths. With his efforts, Sykes has been named America East Conference Coach of the Year three times (2008, 2009, 2014).

At the helm over the past 13 seasons, Sykes's Great Danes are currently riding a streak of 12 winning seasons. UAlbany has posted double-digit wins the past 11 seasons, including its highest total of 20 in 2014.

In 2016, UAlbany earned its third consecutive America East regular season title with a 7-1 tally in the East Division and its 12th straight winning season, finishing 14-6 overall. The team defeated UC Davis in the America East quarterfinals before falling to Pacific in the next round. Paula Heuser was a Honda Award finalist, being named one of the top-four players in the country, as well as an NFHCA First Team All-American and America East Midfielder of the Year, finishing in the top-20 in goals, assists and points per game. Heuser and Maxi Primus were each NFHCA All-Americans while Frederike Helmke and Jaclyn Hibbs were each placed on the NFHCA All-Region Team.

The 2015 Great Danes returned to the NCAA Tournament after allowing just one goal in the new-look America East Tournament, and compiling an overall record of 19-3. UAlbany downed UC Davis 7-1 in the quarterfinals, Pacific 5-0 in the semifinals and No. 19 Maine 2-0 in the championship. The 2015 senior class of Liza Morgan, Laura Page, Fiori Van Rijswijk and Emily White graduated as the winningest four-year group in program history under Sykes's guidance.

Sykes once again had outstanding individual play, as Paula Heuser garnered her second NFHCA First Team All-American honor. She is also the first Great Dane to be honored as an All-American three times. Heuser was selected as the NFHCA Northeast Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons after ranking third nationally in points per game and goals per game. Entering her junior year, Heuser is the current active career leader across all three NCAA divisions in points (194) and goals (80).

Joining Heuser in the national offensive ranks was Van Rijswijk, finishing as the national runner-up in assists per game (0.94). Sykes also led a program-record six Great Danes to NFHCA All-Region teams in Anna Bottino, Paula Heuser, Jaclyn Hibbs, Laura Page, Maxi Primus and Van Rijswijk.