Mariana Sanchez joined the Fighting Leatherneck coaching staff in 2010 as an assistant coach with the women's soccer team. Sanchez's duties will include; assisting with and conducting team and individual practice sessions, assisting in recruiting and other day-to-day operations.
She was part of a staff that helped lead the Leathernecks to a 10-6-5 record and an appearance in The Summit League Championship match in 2010 and saw Western Illinois home-unbeaten streak stretch to 10 games dating back to the end of the 2009 campaign.
Prior to her coming to Western, Sanchez played soccer for four years at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. She appeared in 64 matches during her career as a goalkeeper with the Cardinals, earning first team All-MIAC honors during her senior season when she posted a record of 9-7-1, an .833 save-percentage and six shutouts.
The Puebla, Mexico, native ended her career tied for fifth in school history with 12 shutouts. She also earned All-MIAC honorable mention accolades in 2008 and the league's Sportsmanship Award in 2007. In addition, Sanchez was nominated as the NCAA Division III Woman of the Year as a senior and was named as the Oustanding Female Student for the Saint Mary's class of 2010.
Sanchez served as the Cardinals' team captain in each of her final three seasons. A multi-sport athlete, Sanchez played golf for the Cardinals and also played lacrosse and water polo at the club level for Saint Mary's.
In addition to her playing experience, Sanchez served as a coach for soccer club CRUSA in La Cross, Wis., coaching both the U-11 girls and U-15 boys traveling teams.
She also worked as a graphic design intern for both Saint Mary's Press and the university's Kabara Institute for Entreprenuerial Studies. In addition to her graphic design work, Sanchez also worked as a gift officer in the Development and Alumni Relations office at the university.
Sanchez earned her bachelor's degree in graphic design from Saint Mary's in May of 2010 and is currently pursuing her master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Western Illinois.