Head women's soccer coach Stephanie Erickson completed her new coaching staff on July 26, 2006 with the addition of Danielle Slaton, a highly decorated All-American and Olympian defender, as assistant coach. Slaton came to Northwestern after playing for five years in the professional ranks, as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team and with the Olympique Lyonnais in France. She enters her third season with the Wildcat program.
"Danielle is one of the best defenders this nation has produced," Erickson said. "She has had an amazing playing career as a collegiate athlete, in the former women's professional league (WUSA) and with the U.S. National Team. Danielle has incredible tactical knowledge and is instrumental in recruiting as well. She adds a wonderful dynamic to our staff and we are extremely fortunate that Danielle decided to start her coaching career here at Northwestern."
Northwestern's defense has seen amazing improvement under Slaton's tutelage, posting 13 shutouts over two seasons. In 2007, the Wildcats posted a streak of over 388 minutes of shutout soccer and put up six shutouts in Big Ten play.
Slaton was a five-year member of the U.S. National Team from 2000-05 that won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and a member of the third place 2003 World Cup squad. In 2005 she went on to play for the Olympique Lyonnais in France where she was a starting defender on the French First Division team and a member of the runner-up French Cup Tournament team in 2005.
As a collegian at Santa Clara University, Slaton was a four-year starter, a three-time first-team All-America defender and team captain for the Broncos from 1998-2001. She helped lead the Broncos to the 2001 NCAA Championship as a senior and was named the NCAA College Cup Defensive MVP that same year. She was a four-time first team all-West Coast Conference selection, the 1998 WCC Freshman of the Year and 2001 Defender of the Year. Slaton started 79-of-84 games during her college career, scoring 50 points on eight goals and 34 assists.
Also a standout performer in the classroom, Slaton was named the 2001 NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year and graduated magna cum laude with a 3.74 grade-point-average.
After her collegiate career Slaton went on to play professionally when she was the first overall draft pick in 2002 by the Carolina Courage of the Women's United Soccer Association. That year she led the courage to the WUSA Championship and was named the league's defender of the year.
In 2005, Slaton served as an assistant coach at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, Calif,. where she helped lead the team to its first county tournament win in school history. She took her services back to Raleigh, N.C., where she spent six months as assistant and head coach for the Capital Area Soccer.