By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/27/15
Former Upper Merion standout and Haverford College and Arcadia assistant coach Lauren Mateja has been named head girls’ lacrosse coach at Upper Dublin.
Mateja replaces National Hall of Famer Dee Cross, who retired from coaching this spring.
Mateja was a Longstreth/Phillylacrosse.com Scholar-Athlete pick in 2009 as a senior at Upper Merion when she earned Second Team Suburban One American Conference honors as a goalie. She played one year at Mercy College (N.Y.) and three years at Millersville where she started for two seasons before graduating in 2013. Mateja was an assistant at Haverford College in 2014 and an assistant at Arcadia University this spring.
Mateja answered these questions:
What attracted you to the position?
Mateja: “As a local kid I knew Upper Dublin was a strong program and it gets great support from the community. I am really excited to continue the winning tradition.”
What short-term goals do you have?
Mateja: “We are working on the team emphasis to get everyone clicking. We want to get a more flowing offense and continue to build the defense.”
What long-term goals do you have?
Mateja: “I’m lucky enough to inherit a young and a strong team. We have two seniors that were all-conference and we are also also returning two all- conference players that are underclassmen. I see us improving every year and getting back to the top of the Suburban One American Conference. If we are winning our conference, we’ll be making some noise in districts.”
What coaches have had an impact on your coaching career?
Mateja: “I have been lucky enough to have a variety of coaches in my playing career. Some that have helped me are Mia Hall at Millersville and Lauren Wray at Haverford. They get a lot of respect and their programs run practice with an up tempo style that creates smarter lacrosse players. Their team bonding is awesome and I plan to take that to Upper Dublin to build powerful young women who are confident.”
How will your college coaching experience help you?
Mateja: “Coming from college, I know what good, fast paced offenses look like. I want to have confident girls who enjoy the sport. High high school can be a drain so I want to make sure lacrosse is a fun experience and that the girls are passionate about it. I want them to be willing to put in the work to play at that level and see them constantly improving every day. That’s what will make them successful in college.”
What is your general coaching philosophy?
Mateja: “As I mentioned before, I want to build teamwork while also building strong players individually and as part of the unit. One girl may do the work, but she needs girls beside her to get better and push her farther. That translates outside the field. Sports is a metaphor for life; sometimes you win and sometimes you lose; it’s about how you handle yourself.”