The nation's women's lacrosse coaches have spoken and they have tabbed Gettysburg College Head Coach Carol Cantele '83 the 2011 Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) NCAA Division III Coach of the Year.
Cantele was recognized for the second time as the nation's top coach by her peers after guiding Gettysburg to its first NCAA championship this past spring. It seemed a long shot for the Bullets to contend for the national title when the season started after losing a deep and talented class in 2010, but Cantele molded a youthful squad into the nation's top team by season's end.
Gettysburg finished with a 19-4 overall record this season, including an 8-1 showing in the Centennial Conference. After finishing runner-up to Franklin & Marshall College in the conference tournament, the Bullets put together a remarkable run in the NCAA Tournament, mowing down Adrian College (25-10) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (18-11) before knocking off defending national champion Salisbury University 14-13 on its own turf.
In the national semifinals, the Orange and Blue put a halt to SUNY Cortland's 19-game winning streak to reach the championship game for the second time in program history. Gettysburg completed the run with the biggest win in the finale since 1994, defeating Bowdoin College 16-5.
Overall, Gettysburg finished as the nation's top-ranked team and it defeated eight top-20 programs this year. Cantele coached a pair of IWLCA All-Americans, including Defender of the Year Becky Lutz '11. Cantele, who was IWLCA Coach of the Year in 2006, was also named Metro Region Coach of the Year for the sixth time since 2000.
In her 19 years at Gettysburg, Cantele has compiled a record of 267-88 (.752 winning percentage). The team has won six Centennial titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 11 of the last 12 seasons. Gettysburg has advanced to the national semifinals in five of the last six years. Overall, Cantele ranks seventh among all women's lacrosse coaches with a career record of 291-111 (.722) over 23 seasons.
Photos by David Sinclair
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