IWLCA Recognizes 2022 Division III Coaches of the Year
The IWLCA has recognized the 2022 National and Regional Coaches of the Year in Division III. All winners will be honored at the IWLCA Convention scheduled for November 16-18, 2022 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.
Kate Livesay, Middlebury College
Livesay, along with assistant coaches Dani Ellis and Amy Patton, led the Panthers to a perfect regular season (15-0, 10-0) and a victory over Amherst in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. Although Middlebury fell to Tufts in the NESCAC championship game, they avenged the loss in the NCAA tournament, defeating the Jumbos 13-5 to claim the 2022 NCAA Division III Championship. Livesay was tabbed NESCAC Coach of the Year for the sixth time in her career and contributes to an impressive 71-1 combined record for women’s stick sports at Middlebury (field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse). Under the direction of Livesay, eight Panthers collected IWLCA All-Pilgrim region accolades and four were named IWLCA All-Americans this season, including Jane Earley, who was named the IWLCA Attacker of the Year and the National Player of the Year.
Anne Versprille, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Despite not competing in 2021, Versprille led MIT to a 12-5 record and an 8-1 NEWMAC ledger, resulting in a three-way tie for first place. As the No. 3 seed, the Engineers advanced to the NEWMAC Tournament semifinal for the fifth time during Versprille's six-year tenure. MIT led the conference in assists (121), goals per game (16.29), and goals against (162), ranked second in goals (277), draw controls per game (15.82), and goals against average (9.52), and fourth in draw controls (269). The Engineers went undefeated in April and put together a nine-game winning streak, which tied the program record for consecutive wins. Versprille was named the 2022 NEWMAC Coach of the Year and three players were selected to the IWLCA All-Region Second Team, including NEWMAC Rookie of the Year Sydney Pyon.
Sharon Pfluger, The College of New Jersey
Pfluger was named NJAC Coach of the Year after guiding the Lions to another undefeated league campaign. Her 555 career wins are the most in NCAA history at any level and she also ranks near the top at all levels for career winning percentage. Under her guidance, TCNJ has won 10 NCAA Division III Championships, six NCAA runner-up finishes, and seven third-place finishes. Her teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of her first 35 seasons, remarkably making it to at least the Elite Eight round every season. Since lacrosse was introduced as an NJAC sport in 2009, Pfluger has led the Lions to 11 conference championships out of the 12 won in the league.
Jim Nestor, Salisbury University
Boasting one of the toughest schedules in the country this season, Jim Nestor and the Salisbury coaching staff earned their second consecutive Coast-to-Coast Athletic Coaching Staff of the Year honor. Salisbury defeated eight ranked teams, four of which were top-10 wins. The Sea Gulls went 2-0 in C2C play, outscoring opponents 36-14 in those two games and finished the regular season at 14-2. Jim Nestor was also named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Coach of the Year.
Anne Phillips, William Smith College
Phillips guided the Herons to an 18-2 record and their sixth consecutive Liberty League title in 2022. Entering the year, William Smith needed to replace half of its starting lineup, including the two-time Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year. With an infusion of youth, the Herons rattled off four straight wins to start the year. After falling to then No. 1 Salisbury, William Smith won 14 straight games, advancing to the third round of the NCAA tournament. The 18 wins this year are the second most in a season in program history. Herons were 10-0 in Liberty League play. Phillips’ charges earned a league- high six All-Liberty League honors including the Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year and The Rookie of the Year. The Herons finished the year sixth in the nation in winning percentage, 14th in scoring defense (7.45 gpg) 17th in scoring margin (+8.55) and 19th in assists per game (7.80).
Great Lakes Region
Kate Robinson, University of Chicago
Head coach Kate Robinson continued UChicago’s upward trajectory as the Maroons qualified for the NCAA postseason for the second-straight season in the program’s fourth year as a varsity sport. The Maroons posted an 18-2 overall record, reached the NCAA Round of 16 and finished the season ranked No. 16 in the IWLCA national poll. The team made a perfect run through the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW), going 8-0 against conference opponents to grab both the regular season and conference tournament titles. Robinson was subsequently named CCIW Coach of the Year. The Maroons tallied nine All-CCIW selections and six All-Region honorees. The offense and defense were both nationally-elite units, ranking 10th in scoring offense (17.5 goals/game), seventh in scoring defense (6.55 goals/game), seventh in scoring margin (+10.95/game), seventh in points (26.8/game) and 15th in draw controls (17.3/game).
Carole Cantele, Gettysburg College
Cantele was named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year for the third time in her career with the other awards coming in 2013 and 2015. Despite playing a schedule that included eight-straight games against nationally-ranked teams, Gettysburg continued to hold its status as one of the premier teams across the country. The Bullets posted 10 consecutive wins and owned a 16-3 overall record before entering the NCAA Tournament. Cantele led Gettysburg to a perfect conference regular season (9-0) and the Bullets captured the CC championship on their home turf with a win over Franklin & Marshall. Gettysburg advanced to the NCAA semifinals before falling to the eventual champions Middlebury. Cantele completed her 30th and final season at the helm with a 443-114 (.795) career record at Gettysburg.
See bio above.
Sarah Queener, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Sarah Queener led her staff to SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year honors with assistants Brian Eisenberg and Sylvia Queener. Queener's Sagehens finished first in the SCIAC with an undefeated record of 15-0 and 12-0 in SCIAC play. The Sagehens earned the SCIAC Regular Season Title and reached the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Championship before concluding its 2022 campaign with a 18-1 overall record.