Cato Steps Down As Saint Martin's Women's Soccer Coach
Heather Cato (left) compiled a 21-73-6 record in her six seasons.
Heather Cato (left) compiled a 21-73-6 record in her six seasons.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
by Saint Martin's Athletic Communications

LACEY, Wash. – After six seasons at the helm of the Saint Martin’s women’s soccer program, head coach Heather Cato has announced her resignation due to personal and family reasons.

“First, I want to thank the Saint Martin’s athletics administration, especially Bob Grisham, Chris Gregor, Austin Byrnes and Emily Podowicz, as well as my assistant coach, Paige Pontarolo, and past and present players for their support, belief in me, and the ability to coach at Saint Martin’s University,” said Cato. “My experience in Lacey has been incredibly fulfilling and will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though I didn’t work with our new Director of Athletics, Steve O’Brien, for long, I appreciate his support and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Saints athletics and SMU soccer under his leadership.”

Cato produced several All-GNAC and Academic All-GNAC selections in her time with the Saints. The program finished the 2022 season with a 5-10-2 overall record and narrowly missed a berth in the GNAC women’s soccer championships. This season alone, she also had three All-Conference selections while 14 of her student-athletes were named to the All-Academic team, including half of the conference’s 4.0 GPA students.

“Although our respective tenures did not allow for much overlap, I would like to thank Coach Cato for her contributions to the women's soccer program and her commitment to our student-athletes, Saints Athletics and Saint Martin’s University,” said O’Brien.

Saint Martin’s University has already started a national search for a new head women's soccer coach, the third ever in the school's history.