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Ursinus is first women’s lacrosse program to reach 500 all-time wins

Saturday, 28th February 2009

Categories College, Girl's/Women's  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 2/28/09

    Ursinus College became the first women’s lacrosse team in any division to reach 500 all-time wins Friday when it defeated host Eastern, 16-6, in a non-conference opener.

    The Bears now stand at 500-160-12 as a program all-time.

    “We would not have achieved this mark without the hard work and dedication of all the players who are apart of our program’s history,” said Ursinus head coach Erin (Fitzgerald) Stroble, who played for Ursinus herself and was a two-time All-American. “We look forward to continuing the tradition here at Ursinus.”

    Ursinus won national titles in Division III in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and has made six national championship game appearances since the tourney was started in 1985.

    The program began its excellence under its first coach, Marge Watson, who recently was elected to the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Watson amassed a remakable record of 199-19-9 in her 25 years as Ursinus coach from 1957-81.

    Watson had seven undefeated and untied seasons (before national championship games were held) and none of her teams ever lost more than three games. Additionally, her 1979 and 1981 teams advanced to the USWLA and AIAW Championship games.

    Watson played lacrosse on two undefeated teams for Swarthmore High’s scholastic dynasty. Ursinus did not have a lacrosse program in her years there, so Snell – who was credited for developing all the major sports programs at Ursinus – asked her to start lacrosse shortly after Watson graduated.

     “I am very proud of the record,” Watson, who resides in Phoenixville and still follows the team closely, said of the 500 wins. “We had about four or five people become All-Americans that had not played in high school. But they were athletes, and it’s easy to use talent.”

    Watson credited Smell for getting her lacrosse career started and for making it popular to come to Ursinus to be a student-athlete.

    “It was a tradition that started even before me, with Miss Snell,” she said. “And if you went there and they kept score, you had to win.

    “Three or four years ago, they dedicated the new (hockey and lacrosse) turf field at Ursinus as the Eleanor Snell Alumni Field. To me, this is a legacy for Miss Snell and all the alumni that contributed. Anybody that plays and coaches there has the pressure to add to that legacy.”

    Other notable Ursinus players who have gone on to become members of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame include Enid Clinchard Russell, Janet Smith, Judy Wolstenholme, Feffie Barnhill, Marge Garinger, Susan Lubking and Sue Stahl, who coached the US National team for many years and is currently the coach at Old Dominion.

     Also in the Eastern Pennsylvania Hall of Fame are Vonnie Gros, who enjoyed great success as a lacrosse and hockey at West Chester; and Gail Brinton Allebach. Other Ursinus Hall of Fame members who palyed lacrosse include Beth Anders, Sally Beth Anderson, Karla Poley Andre, Elizabeth Burr Armstrong-Keefe, Judith Turner Baxter, Nancy Burn Bernardini, Beth Bingaman-Hook, Joan Broderick, Kimberly Brown, Gina Buggy, Maureen O’Connell Burger, Natalie Spahr Bush, Robin Cash, Margaret Tomlinson D’Antonio, Laura Haig Darling, Anita Deasey, Donna Wurzbach Dickinson, Faye Bardman Donovan, Anne Sansenbach Gasser, Claudia Bloom Handzlik, Jackie Keeley, Karen Kohn, Ellen Cosgrove Labrecque, Laura Letukas, Janet Lippincott, Janet Luce, Jewell Malick, Suzanne Honeycutt McKinny, Joan Moser, Devin Murphy, Margaret Olmedo, Kellee Whiteley O’Malley, Candis Russell Parry, Kim Piersall, Elizabeth Meng Ramsey, Jill Johnson Redfern, Lynn Crosley Reichert, Melissa Magee Speidel, Carolyn Downes Stake, Sally Starr, Susan Hawes Stewart, Suzanne Thomas, Antoinette Wenger Tucker, Amy Ward, Sandra Wilkes, Teresa DeVincent-Winslow, and Patricia Woodbury Zelley,

    Three Bears, junior midfielder Elizabeth Cannon (four assists), sophomore attack Lindsay Urban (three assists) and freshman midfielder Kristen Wampole, scored hat tricks in Friday’s game. Senior midfielder Lisa Clark added two goals.

    Defensively, Ursinus forced 20 Eagle turnovers. Freshman midfielder Kim Peifer had three caused turnovers for the Bears, and five draw controls. In goal, junior Alex McBride made nine saves in 60 minutes of work.

    Ursinus will next play Vassar in Florida as part of their Spring Fling road trip on Tuesday, March 10.



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