Everyone’s a Senior: St. Mary’s Lacrosse

Everyone’s a Senior


With a whisper, the Saint Mary’s College Athletic Department announced the “reclassification” of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse program to a club program following the 2017 season.  The decision, the announcement, and the communication to the community have been unimpressive at best, but this program deserves much more after the blood, sweat, and tears the student-athletes on the teams over the years have put into representing their college.  

This 2017 team is resilient in a way that the first Saint Mary’s Lacrosse teams had to be, and everyone should know what this program has been about from the very beginning.  This class of 2017 is a special group that has been through a great deal of adversity in their four years, including 3 coaching changes, reduced scholarships, and a number of issues both on and off the field.  Now their teammates join them as honorary seniors in their final three games, as many of them are now playing their final season of college sports.  

In our Tenacity programs, we talk to the girls about doing their best when no one’s watching- how they train, how they study, how to represent themselves, and how they become a champion.  The 2017 Gaels have often acted more like adults than those who were meant to serve and protect them, and one of the most amazing things to watch has been the way these young women have taken care of each other and remained staunchly loyal to the school.  They have figured out how to separate the injustices they may feel have been done, from their whole experience at the school- and a number of the girls may actually stay to finish their careers as Gaels.  Hopefully ALL of them will have immediate opportunities to find new homes as varsity student-athletes at other institutions if they so choose, but the bond that this year’s team will have- this team of 20 seniors- will be something that lasts them a lifetime.  

There are so many incredible individuals who have been involved in Saint Mary’s Lacrosse who have also been driving forces in the growth of the sport in northern California, including women like Jill Malko, Jenn Morris, Diane Whipple, and Amy Harms.  

In August of 1999, the school announced the elevation of the team from club to varsity status and in articles at the time, the hard work of the athletes is celebrated, “The team has worked very hard for this opportunity and we are very pleased to have the chance to compete at the Division I level,” said club head coach Jennifer Morris. (smcgaels.com, release 8/23/1999)

In January of 2001, the Gaels Head Coach at the time, Dianne Whipple, was killed tragically, and the northern California lacrosse community pulled together to take care of the young women on the team then too.  The alumni from this program- from that era through today- have continued to honor Diane’s memory by coaching, officiating, and contributing to youth and high school lacrosse, but most importantly, they’ve stayed connected with each other.  

I hope that the legacy lives on, and that the current team can once again draw strength from their lacrosse community.  Nothing can take from them the gifts sports and their teammates have given them, because these things last a lifetime.  

So now everyone’s a senior… so let’s celebrate this amazing group of young women. SHOW UP AND CHEER THEM ON this Saturday on Senior Night at 5pm!  2017 schedule

From the Archives:

Varsity Announcement

Diane Whipple hiring

Diane Whipple Death

First Win of 2017

Written By Theresa Sherry
April 12th, 2017

Games to Watch: 4/10 – 4/16

*ALL game times are in PT*


Tuesday 4/11

Johns Hopkins vs. Stony Brook 2pm- ESPNU
Stanford vs. Fresno State 6pm- PAC 12 Network

Wednesday 4/12

Denver vs. Vanderbilt 1pm- Watch Here
Florida vs. Villanova 10am- Watch Here
Maryland vs. Princeton 4pm- Watch Here
Virginia vs. Navy 4pm- ACC Network Extra- ESPN3

Thursday 4/13

Northwestern vs. Penn State 4pm- Watch Here
Michigan vs. Rutgers 4pm- BTN Network

Friday 4/14

California vs. UC Davis 6pm- PAC 12 Network
Southern California vs. Boulder 5pm- PAC 12 Network
Stanford vs. Oregon 6pm- PAC 12 Network
Elon vs. Drexel 3pm- Watch Here

Saturday 4/15

Maryland vs. Ohio State 9am- BTN Network
North Carolina vs. Syracuse 9am- ACC Network Extra- ESPN3
Northwestern vs. Duke 12:30pm- BTN Network
Villanova vs. Denver 10am- Watch Here
Yale vs. Princeton 10am- Watch Here

Sunday 4/16

San Diego State vs. Colorado 12pm- Watch Here
UC Davis vs. Oregon 12pm- Watch Here 

Alumnae Collegiate Game Scores: 4/3 – 4/9

In a Big East match up this past week, Temple pulled out the win over Villanova 13-11. Tenacity Alumnae, Carlin Isaacson, scored 2 goals while notching 1 assist, 1 ground ball, 1 draw control, and 1 caused turnover for Villanova.

Over the weekend, Claremont took on Redlands with a win of 13-7. Claremont’s Evan Murphy scored 2 goals while adding in 1 assist, 3 ground balls, 2 draw controls, and 1 caused turnover. Teammate Kira Weiss added in 5 ground balls.

Stanford fell to #6 ranked Colorado 8-13. Stanford’s Allie DaCar had a stellar day in goal recording 14 saves in 60 minutes of play with a save percentage of 51%. Kyra Pelton added in 1 ground ball for Stanford.

USC defeated San Diego State 15-3. Gabby Klein picked up 2 ground balls for the Trojan’s while also adding in 2 caused turnovers. SDSU’s Morgan Taylor recorded 1 ground ball and 1 caused turnover for her team.

UC Davis beat Fresno State 16-7 over the weekend. The Aggie’s Kate Fellner had a big day against Fresno State scoring 3 goals, 2 assists, 4 ground balls, and 3 draw controls. Also scoring for the Aggie’s was Amanda Outcalt with 2 goals and 1 ground ball.

On Saturday, Longwood lost to High Point 8-19. Longwood’s Cassie Angeles scored 1 goal while recording 3 ground balls and 1 draw control.

Games to Watch: 4/3 – 4/9

*ALL game times are in PT*


Wednesday 4/5

Butler vs. Denver 9am 
Loyola vs. Syracuse 1:30pm Watch Here
Marquette vs. Florida 9am
Virginia vs. Maryland 4pm ACC Network Extra (ESPN 3)

Thursday 4/6

Kennesaw State vs. Notre Dame 10am
Ohio State vs. Northwestern 4pm
BTN Network

Friday 4/7

California vs. St. Mary’s 6pm
Pac 12 Network
Colorado vs. Stanford 2pm
Pac 12 Network
Oregon vs. Southern California 1pm
Pac 12 Network

Saturday 4/8

Boston College vs. Duke 10am  Watch Here
Denver vs. Marquette 12pm
Fresno State vs. UC Davis 5pm
Georgetown vs. Vanderbilt 10am
San Diego State vs. Southern California 6pm  Watch Here

Sunday 4/9

Syracuse vs. Virginia Tech 10am ACC Network Extra (ESPN 3)
JMU vs William & Mary 9am


Alumnae Collegiate Game Scores: 3/27 – 4/2

In USC’s double header this weekend, the Trojan’s, walked away with two wins over Fresno State (21-5) and California (21-4) .The Trojan’s Gabby Klein combined for 3 goals, 1 assist, 3 ground balls, 4 draw controls and 1 caused turnover during the weekend while teammate Ashley Hill added 2 goals, 1 assist and 1 ground ball. California’s Chloe Landry recorded 1 assist, 1 ground ball, and 1 caused turnover in the loss to USC. Kate Mattimore also added 1 assist for California. 

Colorado fell to Stony Brook 6-10 over the weekend. In the contest, Colorado’s Cali Castagnola scored 2 goals.

SDSU took down Brown13-8. Brown’s Kerianne Hunt notched 3 ground balls and 1 draw control.

Rivals Ohio State and Penn State squared off this weekend in an exciting match. Penn State took the win 16-12. Buckeye’s Madi Castalein scooped up 3 ground balls and recorded 1 caused turnover.

Stanford fell to Yale 12-15 during a close matchup this weekend. Stanford’s Allie Dacarr earned 6 saves during 60 minutes of play in the cage.

UC Davis took on Drexel. Drexel pulled out the win 12-8. Aggie’s Kate Fellner scored 1 goal and recorded 2 ground balls, 1 draw control, and 1 caused turnover. Teammate Tess Kevorkian recorded 1 ground ball and created 3 caused turnovers.

Longwood took on Radford University in a high scoring matchup. Longwood won 19-16.  Cassie Angeles scored 3 goals along with 2 assists and 6 ground balls.


Culture is Key: Best Kept Secret in Division I Lacrosse

Culture is Key

The Golden Eagles of Marquette University might be the best kept secret in Division I Women’s Lacrosse.  This program has the best team culture I have seen, and with 3 close losses, their win/loss record is just 4-7, so the team is flying under the radar.  What I saw on the field the other day though was a hard-working, aggressive and sharply executing team.  The chemistry on the field has to be due to what I was lucky enough to observe this weekend.  The staff for this team- from managers to athletic trainers, from conditioning coaches to event staff- everyone was extremely enthusiastic, pumped for game day, sincerely engaged in pre-game activities, supportive pre and post-game, and the players didn’t stop cheering from whistle to whistle.  

The things that stood out to me about this great team culture could fall into these 3 categories for me: Trust, Focus, and Contagious Positivity

Trust- Head Coach Meredith Black clearly had a good game plan, and on gameday she did what all good coaches do- LET GO.  She let everyone do their job-especially the players- and this was key because I’ve always believed the players win the games and any control we have as coaches is done long before the first draw.  Coach Black gave her assistants a voice pre-game, she had a 10-year old girl give a pre-game speech, and her players were empowered to do their own pre-game songs/dances/speeches and prep.  There was strength and calm in that trust, which I think is great for young women who have a tendency towards anxiety under pressure.   This has to be good for players learning to handle everything they face as collegiate athletes.  

Focus-  There were a lot of distractions (or potential distractions) on game day, between a post-game clinic, a fundraiser that evening, a couple guests hanging around pre-game activities, and a parent weekend which brought lots of family and friends to campus.  The team and coaches did a great job focusing on what they needed to- one thing at a time- and they won each small moment before, during, and after the game.  I think the attention to detail in preparation for the day was crucial, so all program participants did a great job working as a team to have things go off without a hitch like that!

Contagious Positivity- EVERYONE had a smile on their face all day!  Players introduced themselves to anyone around the program they didn’t’ know, they engaged with each other in a happy/goofy (but not obnoxious) way, and I didn’t notice much in the way of self-centered behavior.  Usually you can tell who doesn’t get playing time, who is injured, and who is in their own head.  I am sure some of that exists, but it was refreshing to see only positivity, and I think it totally boosted the team’s performance.  There is no need to be “Polyanna-ish,” but I do think enthusiasm is contagious, and it can be the X-factor in performance, AND more importantly, in everyone’s overall experience.  If those of us think about the memories we had as student-athletes, it’s about the connection with our teammates and the positive experiences on and off the field, more than the wins and losses.  

I think every coach and administrator can take a lesson from Marquette.  And high school prospects- YOU should be making team chemistry and program culture a MAJOR factor in your decision.  You aren’t always going to be able to control things like playing time, wins and losses, and injuries- so it makes a big difference if you like the environment you are in for so many hours of your college life.  Start with the alma mater of Dwayne Wade, Chris Farley, and Doc Rivers.  Start with Marquette…


Written By: Theresa Sherry
April 4th, 2017