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MEREDITH BLACK 

Black Lax Program Director, Marquette University Head Coach

 

Meredith Black completed her tenth season and eleventh year at Marquette in 2021-22. She was named the first head coach in Marquette women's lacrosse history on Feb. 4, 2011, taking over the program prior to the 2012 season, after which time she oversaw its transformation into an NCAA Division I varsity team before leading it into its first season in 2013.

 

The 2021 season ended with Marquette finishing 7-9 (4-6 BIG EAST) and a fifth-place finish in the BIG EAST Conference. The Golden Eagles won three of their six non-conference games, defeating Oregon, Central Michigan, and Kent State to ready themselves for BIG EAST play. MU split with Villanova and won at Georgetown for the first time in program history with a convincing  15-9 victory on April 9. The Golden Eagles closed their season with two wins at Butler. Statistically, MU ranked second in the conference in goals (214), points (303), and assists (89). MU also boasted a top-40 scoring offense nationally (13.38 goals and 18.94 points per game). A consistent theme under Black's watch, the Golden Eagles led the BIG EAST in draw controls (226) while turning the ball over just 15.44 times per game, the lowest figure in the BIG EAST. Coach Black proved to be key in the development of redshirt senior attacker Megan Menzuber, who leaves Marquette ranking No. 2 all-time in points (178) and goals (127) and No. 5 in assists (51).

 

Black's 2020 squad had its season shortened because of COVID-19 and finished with a 6-4 record. The Golden Eagles won four of their five home games and boasted a lineup that featured seven girls scoring between 14 and 23 goals. Jules Horning (2017-20) became the all-time leader in saves at MU (429) while Megan Menzuber became the 10th player in program history to reach the 100-point mark. Junior attacker Caroline Steller led the team in scoring (23 goals, 17 assists) with a breakout season in her third year on campus. She was named BIG EAST Attacker of the Week honors after scoring six goals and dishing out three assists in two games against Arizona State and Fresno State. Hannah Greving led all BIG EAST freshmen with 14 goals and was on her way to becoming MU's second consecutive BIG EAST Freshman of the Year had the season finished.

 

The 2019 season marked significant progress in the seventh year of Meredith Black's tenure at MU. The Golden Eagles made the postseason for the second time in as many years, making the Big East Tournament semifinals. The team earned its highest-ever seed in the conference tournament (No. 2) and hosted a Big East Tournament game at Valley Fields for the first time in program history. On senior night, Marquette set another program record after a 14-12 victory over No. 24 Georgetown, marking MU's first-ever triumph over a top-25 opponent. Also in 2019, senior Grace Gabriel became Coach Black's first player to garner First Team All-BIG EAST honors in three consecutive seasons (2017-19). The 2018 IWLCA Second Team All-American surpassed the school's record for career points in 2019 to own Marquette's points (196), goals (172), shots (428), and draw controls (324) career records. She was also named the conference's Co-Midfielder of the Year for the second consecutive season. A program-record five players were named to the All-BIG EAST first and second teams, while freshman attacker Shea Garcia was named Coach Black's first-ever BIG EAST Freshman of the Year.

 

Black's program had a banner year in 2018 in which it set numerous records and milestones on its way to 10 victories and a first-ever BIG EAST semifinals berth. Collectively, the Golden Eagles set records in every statistical category, including goals (244), which marked an increase of more than three goals per game from the 2016 season. The 13.56 goals per game average finished in the nation's top-30 by year's end. Individually, she had her first-ever IWLCA All-American and BIG EAST Co-Midfielder of the Year in junior Grace Gabriel, who notched a school record in goals (56), points (67), draws (107), and caused turnovers (31). For the second-straight year, three Golden Eagles earned All-BIG EAST recognition.

 

The 2017 season was a year in which the offense took another step forward. Despite a 6-11 overall record with a 4-5 mark in BIG EAST play, the team scored 42 more goals than in 2016 and raised the scoring average by more than five goals per game over the last two seasons. A big factor in all of that was the production of senior attacker Julianna Shearer, who set numerous all-time program records including the single-season scoring mark with a BIG EAST-leading 55 goals. Shearer joined Grace Gabriel (unanimous selection) on the BIG EAST First Team, while Allison Lane earned all-league honors for the second consecutive year as a second-team selection.

 

The 2016 season saw Black’s squad take a giant leap forward offensively, averaging nearly 10.5 goals per game on the way to a program-record seven wins and a tie for third place in the BIG EAST Conference, the program’s highest-ever finish in league play. For the first time, three members received All-BIG EAST honors, including two first-team selections (Allison Lane, Elizabeth Goslee) and a second-team pick (Julianna Shearer). Goslee became the program's first two-time all-region selection after being named to the IWLCA All-West/Midwest Second Team.

 

The 2015 campaign saw some early success, but it remained one of continued development and improvement for the Marquette University women's lacrosse program. Three of the team's first five games went to overtime, including a season-opening 8-7 loss to 16th-ranked Johns Hopkins in the first-ever women's lacrosse game played in Houston, Texas. After dropping its first three contests, MU strung together three-straight wins for the first time in program history with back-to-back overtime wins on the road against Duquesne (8-7) and UC-Davis (5-4) followed by a 15-4 win over St. Mary's. The defense shaved nearly a goal-and-a-half off its goals-against average from the season prior as they held opponents to just 9.97 goals per game, which ranked third in the BIG EAST. Marquette ranked 13th-nationally as a team in caused turnovers per game (9.65) and junior Elizabeth Goslee ranked in the top-20 individually. Goslee, along with Claire Costanza, earned All-BIG EAST Second Team accolades.

 

The 2014 season marked the first season for the Golden Eagles as full-fledged members of the BIG EAST Conference and they picked up a victory in their first-ever league game against Cincinnati on March 28 at Valley Fields. Following losses at a pair of top-10 teams in Johns Hopkins and Northwestern to begin 2014, Marquette reeled off wins in three of its next four contests, including back-to-back victories at Michigan and Detroit. Those consecutive wins were a program first and the 15-9 triumph over Detroit highlighted a season-long improvement on attack. The Golden Eagles increased their offensive output by over two goals per game in 2014 and allowed three-and-a-half fewer goals against while turning the ball over 100 fewer times. Four athletes earned All-BIG EAST Conference Second Team honors during MU's inaugural season in the league with Amanda Bochniak, Hayley Baas, Elizabeth Goslee, and Sarah Priem all earning recognition. Bochniak and sophomore Claire Costanza each posted over 20 goals and 20 assists and the attack will be bolstered in 2015 by the return from injury of Julianna Shearer, who posted 12 goals and three assists before a season-ending injury after just seven games.

 

The women's lacrosse program continues as a shining example in the community for the Marquette athletic department, volunteering countless hours and continuing to raise funds in an inspiring effort in the fight against pancreatic cancer. All told, over $12,000 was raised for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network during the 2014-15 academic year, bringing MU's total during its three seasons of competition to over $30,000 for the organization.

 

In both 2017 and 2019, the Marquette University women's lacrosse team was one of three programs in the nation to earn the IWLCA's annual Team Community Awareness Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions by one team from each division on their campus and in their local community.

 

The former Meredith Simon arrived at Marquette after spending the previous seven years as an assistant coach at Towson, Notre Dame, and the University of California-Berkeley. She helped Towson and Notre Dame to a combined four NCAA Championship appearances and coached one season at Cal where she worked with the Golden Bears' attack and goaltenders.

 

At Notre Dame from 2008-10, she helped the Irish to a 39-19 record in three seasons, including the 2009 BIG EAST Championship and three NCAA Championship appearances. Black coached four all-Americans (Jillian Byers, Gina Scioscia, Caitlin McKinney, and Shaylyn Blaney) during that time and oversaw the 2009 team that set school records for goals (321), assists (150), and points (471), while claiming the BIG EAST title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.

 

She took her first coaching job at Towson in 2005 after a standout career as a student-athlete at Notre Dame and helped the Tigers to their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title and NCAA Championship berth in school history. Following three years at Towson (2005-07) under head coach Missy Doherty, Black returned to her alma mater as an assistant under Tracy Coyne, for whom she played as an undergraduate.

 

During her playing career at Notre Dame, Black helped the Fighting Irish to the first two NCAA Championship appearances in school history in 2002 and 2004. She was also the school's first student-athlete to be named an Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) First Team All-American in 2004 while setting the then-Notre Dame single-season scoring mark with 74 points on 46 goals and 28 assists. Black led ND to the NCAA Tournament that season and became the first ND player nominated for the Tewaaraton Award, honoring the nation's top player.

 

She was also a two-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection (2003 and 2004) and was named the BIG EAST Attack co-Player of the Year in 2004.

 

The Flemington, N.J., native concluded her career with the Irish first in school history in games played (64), third in goals (109), fourth in assists (49), third in points (158), tied for fourth in ground balls (123) and third in draw controls (91).

 

Black graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in American studies in 2004 and was a four-time dean's list selection. She prepped at Hunterdon Central High School in New Jersey, where she was a three-sport standout in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.

 

The former Meredith Simon married Adam Black in October of 2010. They currently reside in Whitefish Bay with their two daughters, Juliet (born January 2015) and Belle (born April 2018).

 

 

MEGAN BIANCO

National 2023 Team Head Coach, Former WNS Head Coach

High School: Moorestown High School, Moorestown NJ

Recognition: Three-time New Jersey group 3 state champion, two-time Tournament of Champions state champion, senior-year team captain

College: Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Recognition: Two-year member of Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Student Athlete Advisory Committee Vice President of Communication, Graduated with a 100% scoring average

Being from New Jersey, lacrosse was one thing that Megan couldn’t go without. She picked up a stick when she was 5 and her stick might have been bigger than her at the time, but her love of the sport only helped her grow into it. She played for Moorestown High School, ranked #1 in the nation during her sophomore season. Went undefeated for her junior and senior year, serving as a team captain, and gained back-to-back New Jersey Tournament of Champions trophies. After high school, Megan took pride in being a part of a Marquette Lacrosse team that was new to Division I competition. Bianco red-shirted two seasons due to injury at Marquette but did not let that stop her from being a competitive teammate in the weight room and supportive teammate for every practice and game. During her senior game having been on crutches the week prior, Bianco went to score her first-ever career goal on her only shot ever taken in college. Bianco is the former Varsity Head Coach for the WNS High School girls team and has coached for MKE Elite in the past.

 

 

MADIE NOWAK

National 2024 Team Head Coach, Carroll University Assistant Coach

 

Madie Nowak (formally Berg) has been coaching Black Lax since 2021. She played collegiately at the Indiana Institute of Technology where she was the starting goalie for one year before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She completed her career at UWL as the women’s club lacrosse goalie and president and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence Education while minoring in English. Madie played high school lacrosse at Arrowhead Union High School where she was a two-time defensive MVP earning All-Conference honors as a senior.

 

She currently serves full-time as the Dean of Instruction at a school on the south side of Milwaukee and part-time as the Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Carroll University. She has been in education and coaching at Carroll since 2016. 

 

Her coaching philosophy reflects the ideas of making practice minutes matter to get better every day, experiential learning, and being open to playing in various positions, having fun, and winning games! Madie is thrilled to be back coaching Black Lax and looking forward to a super fun season of learning and growing together. 
 

 

SARA TUESCHER

National 2025 Team Head Coach, Arrowhead Head Coach

 

High School: Arrowhead Union High School - Hartland, WI

Recognition: Lacrosse:  Captain, 2x State Champ, 1st and 2nd Team All-Conference // Field Hockey:  2x Captain, State Champ (with the game-winning goal!), 2x Midwest National Team Member, Honorable Mention All-Conference

College:  University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Recognition: Played club lacrosse (NCWLL) - 3x Captain, 2x 1st Team All-Conference, set a school record for most career points and most assists in a single season

 

Sara began playing lacrosse on the inaugural team at Arrowhead Union High School.  She went on to play club lacrosse at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse where she turned the fledgling program into a competitive team (now a DIII program!).  As club president and captain, she led her team to a conference championship and set school records for most assists in a single season and most career points.  While living in La Crosse, Sara started a youth lacrosse program and created the first high school girls lacrosse team in Holmen, WI, where she was the head coach for two years. 

 

She graduated from UWL with a degree in Secondary Education - Broad Field Social Studies with a double minor in History and Political Science and began teaching high school government and history. After graduation, she continued her involvement with the UWL Women’s club team as a coach until deciding to move back to the Milwaukee area in 2013.  She began coaching field hockey and lacrosse at Arrowhead Union High School and teaching youth lacrosse. In 2018, she was the assistant coach for the Wisconsin National Team at the US Lacrosse Tournament and began coaching with MKE Elite and Black Lax.  
 

Sara is the current head girls lacrosse coach at Arrowhead Union High School, the head coach of the 2025 Black Lax National Team, the head varsity reserve field hockey coach at Arrowhead Union High School, and assists with the MKE Elite teams. Sara was married in 2016 and she and her husband welcomed their first child, Beau, in 2020.

 

 

MICHAEL HODGE

National 2026 Team Head Coach, Carroll University Head Coach
 

2022 will mark Michael Hodge’s eighth season leading the Pioneers. In 2021, Hodge was chosen as the CCIW “Coach of the Year”. As the program's first head coach, Hodge has led the Pioneers to four straight winning seasons. Most recently the 2021 squad shared a piece of the regular season CCIW championship after a 4-1 league mark. It was the school’s first CCIW championship since 1988 and was the first time a Carroll women’s team had won a CCIW championship in school history.

 

Since 2018, Hodge has led the Pioneers to 38 wins including a program-best 13 straight to open the 2018 season. The 2018 season also saw significant growth as they finished the season leading the country in ground balls per game. The 2019 team earned Carroll University’s Athletic Department “Team of the Year” award. After a shortened 2020 season, the 2021 team reached new heights with a final NCAA West Regional ranking of no. 2 and an At-Large berth into the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.

 

During his tenure, Hodge has guided 11 all-conference selections, 1 IWLCA All-Regional selection, and 1 CoSIDA Academic All-district athlete. Hodge’s teams have also been successful in the classroom. The Pioneers have earned IWLCA’s Academic Honor Squad every year (no awards given in 2020) and 14 have been named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll.

 

Prior to Carroll, Hodge spent two seasons with the State University of New York in Canton. He served as the primary defensive coach for the Roos. Hodge began his coaching career in 2008 with Holy Cross College (Notre Dame, Ind.) after a three-year playing career. Additionally, he serves as the girls' lacrosse director for the Nike Xcelerate Lacrosse Camp at Carroll University and has worked with numerous club programs throughout southeast Wisconsin.  

 

Hodge resides in Waukesha with his wife Meghan and 2 daughters Hannah and Henley.

 

 

BECCA CONGEL

Black Lax Select Team Head Coach, Carthage University Assistant Coach

 

Congel comes to Carthage after spending two seasons as the head coach for the Summit Lacrosse club team. During her time there, Congel implemented practice plans and game strategies, assisted in recruiting with college coaches, evaluated prospective athletes, maintained communication with athletes and current staff, and held yearly evaluations of players.

 

Prior to the Summit Lacrosse club team, she was the assistant field hockey and lacrosse coach at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. where she successfully ran the program's freshman team improving the season's record to 5-6-1 from a 2017 season record of 0-12. Congel organized practice plans, created a conditioning program, and managed the team schedule in regards to games, training, and off-field activities. Congel also assisted the head coach with practice, games, scheduling, and program events as needed.

 

Congel, a two-sport athlete at Syracuse University, played field hockey and lacrosse. While on the field hockey team from 2013-15, the team made two NCAA and ACC tournament appearances while making it to the National Championship game in 2015.

 

As a member of the lacrosse team from 2015-17, the team made an NCAA and ACC tournament appearance. Congel graduated from Syracuse with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies in 2017 and is currently in the Pre-Nursing program at Metropolitan State University.

 

 

GRACE GUNNESON

Regional Black Team Head Coach, Milwaukee School of Engineering Head Coach

 

Prior to becoming the Head Coach at MSOE, Gunneson spent 5 years playing Division II lacrosse at the University of Indianapolis. During her time there, she helped lead her team to 3 conference championships and 3 straight NCAA tournament appearances. Throughout her career, she was named a first-team GLVC and All-Region attacker, along with receiving second-team IWLCA All-American honors. She is currently the only player in program history to eclipse 300 career points. Gunneson graduated from UIndy with a master’s degree in Sport Management.

Gunneson was born and raised in Rockford, Michigan, and won 3 consecutive state championships during her time as a Ram. She also spent time coaching for Michigan Elite Lacrosse.