NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College athletic department has announced that Kelsey Russell has been named head women's lacrosse coach, effective immediately.
A Laser assistant field hockey and women's lacrosse coach the past three years, Russell takes over for Cait Connolly, who has stepped down after nine seasons as head coach. Connolly will remain at Lasell as head field hockey coach, and will serve as an assistant on the lacrosse staff in 2019-20.
"I am pleased to announce that Kelsey has stepped up to take over as head coach of our women's lacrosse program," said director of athletics Kristy Walter. "She has been a valuable assistant under Coach Connolly the past three seasons, and is ready to move into the top position. The student-athletes have shown great respect to Coach Russell and I am confident that she will continue leading an outstanding program that Coach Connolly has built."
A 2016 graduate of Salem State University, Russell was a team captain of the field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse teams for the Vikings. She was a team MVP in both field hockey and lacrosse and was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection in lacrosse. She has coached club field hockey and lacrosse for several years in addition to her three seasons on the Lasell staff as a field hockey and lacrosse assistant.
A native of Arlington, Mass., Russell helped the Lasers to a 39-14 overall record the past three seasons, including a 24-6 mark against Great Northeast Athletic Conference teams. She helped coach 17 All-Conference selections.
"I knew right away that I wanted to pursue a career of coaching at the collegiate level," said Russell. "Fortunately I was able to connect with Coach Connolly right after college so I was able to get right into the swing of things. I learned so much from her over the last three years, and I am truly so grateful or her. She is a very talented, smart, competitive coach and I admired those qualities about her from day one. I didn't know how long I would stay at Lasell but between Cait, the girls, and Lasell's competitive athletics I found it hard to leave a place I now call home. I look forward to growing with this program, and am forever grateful for the opportunity it has given me."
Connolly finishes her lacrosse coaching tenure at Lasell with a 114-50 overall record, including a 69-15 mark against GNAC opponents. The Lasers won conference championships and advanced to the NCAA National Tournament in 2013 and 2016, and finished as GNAC runner-up in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2018. A two-time GNAC Coach of the Year (2012, 2013), Connolly coached 41 All-Conference selections and eight GNAC Players of the Year.
"I have had the pleasure of coaching the women's lacrosse program for the past nine seasons," said Connolly. "We have had wonderful success and I am proud of the hard work current and past players have put in to create a successful program. Kelsey has been part of Lasell lacrosse for the past three seasons, and I am thrilled to see her take over the team and continue to build a competitive lacrosse program."
"We are very proud of the success that Coach Connolly has achieved with our women's lacrosse program," said Walter. "We have had a winning season in all nine years that she's been here, advancing to six Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship games and winning two titles. She is very respected by her peers as well as her student-athletes, and we're very happy that she will remain here to coach our field hockey program."
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