LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates AD Kevin McHugh announced on Friday the appointment of Maine native and former Bates assistant coach Kelsy Ross as the women's soccer team's seventh head coach.

Ross's appointment comes after a month-long national search that drew more than 100 applicants.

"We are thrilled to welcome Kelsy Ross as Bates College's new women's soccer coach," McHugh said. "The search committee did a superb job with the process and narrowed down a very competitive field of more than 100 applicants to three outstanding finalists. Through the interview session, Kelsy established herself as the clear choice to be the new head coach. She has a unique combination of coaching experience and considerable soccer knowledge, competitive zeal and infectious energy that promises to lead the program to new heights."

With her coaching savvy, drive and enthusiasm, Ross made an immediately strong and positive impact on the team in the 2010 season, assisting former head coach Jim Murphy in his final season of leading the team after 17 years. Under Murphy and Ross, the Bobcats finished the season 6-8-2 overall and made it to the semifinals of the NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship for the first time since 2006.

"It's hard to think of what, at this point in my life, could be more exciting than to be able to come in and bring my experiences to build on the success that Jim Murphy has had, and to do all of that here at Bates," Ross said. "There's been a natural tradition of excellence here at Bates from the beginning of the women's soccer program [in 1980], and over the past 17 years Coach Murphy has done fantastic things. It will be a challenge to continue and go beyond the fantastic things that have been done. Doing that on a consistent basis is what I'm most excited about."

A graduate of Greely High School in nearby Cumberland, Maine, Ross played varsity soccer and basketball at Roanoke College in Virginia. At Springfield, Ross worked as a graduate assistant in the athletic department and was head coach of the Pride's junior varsity women's soccer team, which as the runner-up for the NEWMAC conference championship in 2009.

Ross also served as assistant coach of the women's basketball team at Bates this past season, helping Murphy coach the Bobcats to a 17-8 record, their best since 2006.

Ross has two younger sisters, both involved in Bates athletics as well: Hayly Ross, the assistant coach of the field hockey team, and Mackenzie Ross, a junior at Bates who plays on the field hockey team.