From Players to Coaches, Bullets Lead Next Generation of Lax

GETTYSBURG COLLEGE

Since its first varsity lacrosse season in 1971, the women’s lacrosse program at Gettysburg College has developed hundreds of young women into leaders on the field of play. Many of those former student-athletes have returned the favor, investing their own time and energy as coaches and guiding the next generation of lacrosse players.

Only three women have held the mantle of head women’s lacrosse coach at Gettysburg College – Grace Kenney,, Lois Bowers, and Carol Cantele ’83 – maintaining a steady and impactful presence on campus over the last 50 years. The cycle of leadership began early and Cantele is a prime example, learning the coaching trade from Bowers and embarking on her own record-setting career, all the while developing a new generation of coaches.

There are many, many former student-athletes that have used the experiences from their days wearing the orange and blue to become top-tier coaches on all levels of competition, including middle/high school, club, and all three NCAA Divisions. Below is a small sample of Bullets carrying on the legacy of lacrosse leadership found at Gettysburg.

Carol Daly Cantele ’83
Head Coach, Gettysburg College (1993-present)
Head Coach, Plymouth State University (1989-92)

“Having had so many incredible female coaches and physical education teachers growing up in DelCo [Delaware County, PA], I was extremely influenced by these mentors. They brought passion and life to the sport activities and inspired many of us to play hard and see the joys of competition. Sport was a place where you were permitted to be fierce and competitive and strive to win. It was through sport where I gained my confidence and courage. I loved this arena and it was just a given that I would stay in the field and hopefully become a positive mentor to others. I am forever grateful to the women pioneers in sport that opened the door for so many of us. When you ‘see it’ you can become it!!”

Kristen Stuckel ’95
Head Coach, Muhlenberg College (2001-present)
Assistant Coach, Gettysburg College (1998-00)

“Gettysburg shaped me in many ways, first as an athlete then as a coach. I was fortunate enough to work with Carol, who is an amazing mentor to this day. Learning to coach the X&Os was just a part of my duties; knowing how to cultivate the culture of a program, have athletes build confidence, all while challenging them made an everlasting impression on my coaching style. Through my Gettysburg years, I developed the understanding that the platform which sports provides helps the athletes take life lessons into their future.  Gettysburg helped prepare me to be able to meet challenges in my life, but coach also instilled in me to have fun while doing it. For all this guidance, there is eternal gratitude!”

Megan Murphy Borman ’03
Director of Sales, Direct Fundraising (2010-present)
Director/Co-Founder, Fun in the Sun Lacrosse (2004-present)
Head Coach, Loomis Chaffee (2015-19)
Head Coach, Weston High School (2011-14)

“Gettysburg had a strong impact on my desire to coach following graduation. There is no secret I had amazing coaching role models in Coach Cantele and Coach Jordan but I do think it went beyond that. I have always loved everything about sports since I was little, but Gettysburg gave me a unique experience. Being a part of the women’s lacrosse team that made such incredible achievements in my four years there, allowed me to see how programs can be shaped and rise. Since graduating in 2003, it has continued to amaze me what heights the program has reached and I know so much of that is because of the knowledge, dedication and perseverance of the coaching staff. As a coach myself, I know that I can help shape or build a program with my experiences and knowledge. It’s so fun watching something grow and the most rewarding part is witnessing how that rise effects the athletes. My hope is, like me, years down the road they can look back and be so happy and proud remembering their achievements.”

Julika Blankenship ’04
Head Coach, Winthrop University (2017-present)
Head Coach, Queens University (2014-16)
Head Coach, Washington College (2009-13)
Assistant Coach, Washington College (2006-08)
Assistant Coach, UC Davis (2005)

“During my senior year, I spent the fall studying abroad in Spain. It was absolutely amazing and the SECOND best experience of my college career. My number one experience was being a member of the women’s lacrosse team under Coach Cantele’s direction. I realized when I spent a fall away from the game that the game was absolutely the greatest passion in my life and didn’t want to spend another semester away from it. Here we are, 17 years from my senior season. I still refuse to miss a semester of lacrosse. I absolutely live for the relationships the game gives us all and not just the great ones, but the challenging ones too! I love to compete but I also love the life lessons that are taught through competitive sport.”

Kate Murphy Bashaw ’05
Associate Director of College Counseling, Suffield Academy (2012-present)
Head/Assistant Coach, Suffield Academy (2012-present)

“My experiences as a student-athlete solidified my love for lacrosse and desire to stay active through coaching at the high school and, now youth level with my daughter. Playing lacrosse at Gettysburg was such a wonderful experience, not only to have an impact on the program but to have made life-long friendships with coaches and teammates. As a coach, I hope that I can foster a similar sense of camaraderie and spirit in my players as they develop their skills and, hopefully, win some games along the way.”

Katie Hagan ’07
Assistant Athletic Director, Episcopal Academy (2020-present)
Head Coach, Ursinus College (2012-20)
Assistant Coach, Gettysburg College (2009-11)

“The athletic fields/courts were some of my favorite playgrounds and most impactful classrooms. Countless life lessons, memories and friendships can be traced back to these fields and courts. They were always the space I felt most comfortable and confident in my own skin. I was fortunate to play for a ton of different coaches with varying styles, temperaments and philosophies so of course I learned what I liked and what I didn’t like but the common thread among all of my coaches was passion. There was never any shortage of passion. Every single coach, whether I realized it in the moment or not, has had a major impact on my life and has stretched me to be a better thinker, listener, learner, teammate, person and coach. So, coaching felt like a no brainer to me because it’s a role in which you get to share your passion for the game and have a major, hopefully positive, impact on young people.”

Laura McIntyre ’11
Head Coach, California Lutheran University (2019-present)
Assistant Coach, Sewanee University (2015-18)
Assistant Coach, McDaniel College (2012-14)

“I look back now at all the strong women who impacted my life and it’s easy to see why I wanted to be like all of them, from elementary school through high school and college. Each one showed how to bring out the best in people and were incredible teachers. They all demonstrated such empowerment for us and I knew I wanted to do just that for other people. I wanted to make a positive impact on someone else, and this was a perfect way to do that. I love the sports, but more than that I love the connections that I’ve been able to develop with my coaches, teammates, players and administrators. I have so many great mentors I know I can reach out to at any time for support if I need it and that gives me confidence to take on challenges like a brand new team! There’s just something about seeing my teams reach their goals through challenges that makes all of the struggles worth it and here I am 10 years later!”

Maddie Coleman ’12
Associate Head Coach, Denison University (2014-present)

“My Gettysburg experience was instrumental in helping guide me as a coach on and off the field. I had some really great professors that not only took interest in the sport I played but really cared about my performance in the classroom, which was impactful. With lacrosse, I had some of the greatest coaches in the game, and to be honest I’m not sure I fully realized that until starting this career. Carol Cantele, Barb Jordan, and our assistants were not only immensely knowledgeable about the game, but they also made it fun and intense at the same time, and the balance was super important to team dynamic and performance. Reflecting on my time as a Bullet, the environment they created for us as individuals and a team lead to our success and development as stronger women.”

Lindsay Menton ’13
Student Success Advisor, 2U (2019-present)
Head Coach, Mt. Hebron High School (2015-19)

“My experiences at Gettysburg really shaped who I was as a coach and educator. One of my favorite sayings is that ‘people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’ I was so fortunate to have such amazing coaches and teammates at Gettysburg that reminded me daily that relationships matter. To that point, I tried to really take time to cultivate strong relationships with the colleagues, players, parents, and students I interact with on a daily basis. I think this is an essential component of establishing a strong team morale and culture.”

This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

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