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 Releases and Staff Reports
Marge Watson, a Swarthmnore High alum who started the women’s lacrosse program at Ursinus College, has been named as one of 11 Trailblazers of the sport of women’s lacrosse.
Watson will formally be inducted into the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame class this year. Watson is entering her sixth Hall of Fame, having previously been inducted into the Delaware County Hall of Fame, the Montgomery County Hall of Fame, the Ursinus College Hall of Fame, the US Lacrosse Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Hall of Fame, and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Watson played field hockey, basketball, and softball as a student at Ursinus before being encouraged by the legendary Eleanor Frost Snell to bring a new sport to campus. She got the green light from Dr. Norman McClure, the school’s president at the time, and the Bears began play in 1957.
“I went, he said yes, and the rest is history,” Watson once said.
Watson coached at Ursinus for 25 years, delivering a remarkable run of success that included seven undefeated seasons and runner-up finishes in the 1979 USWLA National Tournament and the 1981 AIAW National Championship. Her 199-19-9 overall record and its .896 winning percentage still rank second in NCAA history, behind only TCNJ coach Sharon Pfluger, who is also among the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees.
In addition to her success on the field, Watson boasts an impeccable record of service. She helped to found the Philadelphia Colleges Women’s Lacrosse Association (PCWLA) in 1970 and received the IWLCA Lifetime Achievement Award (later renamed the Diane Geppi-Aikens Award) in 2000. For more than four decades, Watson has been running both a national lacrosse clinic and the AmLax CHALLENGE invitational high school tournament in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Watson amassed a record of 199-19-9 as the coach from 1957-81. Included in that run were seven undefeated seasons, as well as runner-up finishes in both the 1979 USWLA National Tournament and the 1981 AIAW National Championship. In addition, she was instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia Colleges Women’s Lacrosse Association (PCWLA) in 1970. In recognition, Watson was the inaugural recipient of the IWLCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.