The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) honored 11 women – six of them from Philly – as Trailblazers this past weekend at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. A group plaque, and individual plaques for each Trailblazer, were formally dedicated and the plaques were placed along the walking path that winds around the south end of Bill Tierney Field, which was formally dedicated as “Chris Sailer Trail.” This is one of a series on these legendary Trailblazers.
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/26/17
From Press Release
Former Temple assistant and Old Dominion head women’s lacrosse coach Sue Stahl (Upper Darby, Ursinus alum) was honored by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association as a Trailblazer – and current ODU coach Heather Holt (Radnor) is in her corner.
Stahl spent 21 years as the head coach at Old Dominion, serving from 1990-2011. With 142 wins, Stahl has been winningest lacrosse coach in school history.
According to IWLCA, Trailblazers are women who were instrumental in leading the transition of the collegiate game of women’s lacrosse from the physical education departments to varsity status beginning in the late 1960s through the 1980s. As pioneers, they laid the foundation for women’s lacrosse before Title IX, and then, with the support of that law, they promoted the growth of the sport and the advancement of women in college athletics.
“I have grown to be a better person, coach, and mother because of Sue and her strength. Sue Stahl is a true Trailblazer in all senses of the word,” said Holt.
Among 10 other trailblazers awarded, this recognition honors Princeton’s Chris Sailer Trail, a 2008 National Lacrosse Hall of Fame recipient.
Prior to her time at ODU, Stahl spent time leading as assistant lacrosse coach at Ursinus and NCAA power Temple University, starting her illustrious career at the former Lansdowne-Aldan High School.
Stahl spent 16 years as the coach of the United States National Team bringing home an unprecedented four World Cup Championships in five appearances.
Prior to joining the Lady Monarchs, Stahl won two USWLA National Championships as the head coach of the Philadelphia Women’s Lacrosse team. She also served as a basketball coach at Haverford College in Pennsylvania during that period.
From 1983-90, Stahl helped the Owls reach the NCAA Championship semifinals seven times, advancing to the finals four times and winning the National Championship in both 1984 and 1988. Holding the position of defensive coordinator, Stahl was an innovator in the use of zone defenses in women’s lacrosse.
Stahl was recognized on the All-Century Women’s Lacrosse team in 1999, perhaps the biggest honor anyone could receive, but it is just one of many coaching distinctions that she has earned throughout her career.
Stahl was honored as the Outstanding World Cup Coach by the IFWLA in 1997. Stahl coached the U.S. World Cup Team to four consecutive championships in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001. Inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1999, Stahl was awarded with the Diane Geppi Aikens Award by the IWLCA and the Nancy Chance Award by US Lacrosse.
Stahl’s tenure at Old Dominion led to multiple national recognitions including the 1997 International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year. She’s also been inducted into the Virginia Lacrosse Hall of Fame as well as the United States Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
At Old Dominion, Stahl led her team to three regular season championships and one tournament championship. She also coached the US National Team for 17 years.
Throughout her time at ODU, Stahl received CAA Coach of the Year five times.
“I am honored to call Sue Stahl a friend, mentor, and coach. Sue Stahl lead the way for me and many other women in the sport of Lacrosse. She is one of the most honest, humble, and strongest women I know,” said Holt.