DURHAM, N.H. – Sarah Albrecht has been hired as the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse head coach effective immediately as announced Tuesday by Deputy Athletic Director Steve Metcalf, who also served as chairperson of the search committee.
"We are thrilled to have Sarah join us as the head coach of our lacrosse program," Metcalf said. "Obviously she has impressive playing credentials, but she also has great teaching and leadership skills. This is an exciting day for our program and we are confident that she will lead our team to new heights.
"I especially want to thank the search committee for all their efforts in the process," he added.
Albrecht, whose impressive playing pedigree includes two collegiate national championships at Northwestern University and six years on the U.S. women's national senior team, has a broad-based coaching résumé.
"I'm extremely excited for this opportunity to be a part of the UNH family," Albrecht said. "UNH is an extremely attractive school given its academics, athletics, location and the family atmosphere. I'm excited to get started with the current team and push the student-athletes to be the best they can be on and off the field. I look forward to rebuild the program to compete for an America East title.
"I want to thank Steve Metcalf, Marty Scarano and the members of the search committee for giving me this amazing opportunity," continued Albrecht. "I would like to thank Angela McMahon, Jaime Seguin and the entire UMass family for the wonderful experience the past two years."
Albrecht comes to UNH following her second stint at the University of Massachusetts in which she served as associate head coach for two years. The Braintree, Mass. native helped lead UMass to an Atlantic-10 championship and the NCAA tournament in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
She worked specifically with the defensive unit, which was ranked No. 10 in the nation both years, and the goalkeepers, who ranked ninth nationally in goals-against-average in 2011 and 12th in GAA this past year. Her other duties as the Minutewomen's associate head coach included assisting the head coach in all aspects of daily operations, including recruiting, practice planning, development of lacrosse fundamentals, administrative duties and video editing of game and scout films.
In three years (2008-10) at Harvard University, Albrecht helped the Crimson to its best three-year record since 1994-96. Harvard boasted two Ivy League Rookies of the Year and had the league's leading scorer two consecutive years under her tutelage of the offensive unit.
Albrecht began her collegiate coaching career as a UMass assistant coach and the team went 8-9 in that 2007 season.
Through her coaching career, Albrecht has demonstrated an affinity for community outreach programs. At both Harvard and UMass, she fostered a relationship with the "Friends of Jaclyn Foundation" and the lax programs. Albrecht was also heavily involved in community projects as a student at Northwestern University, where she volunteered with Special Olympics, the athletic department's field day for low-income children and Northwestern Natural Ties, an organization creating and supporting friendships between people with and without disabilities.
Albrecht spent five seasons at Northwestern, where she served as a team captain every year, missed the 2003 campaign due to injury and graduated with a degree in Psychology. She concluded her collegiate career in 2006 with a second consecutive national championship and recorded three goals as well as four assists in the '06 title game to earn the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player honor.
Albrecht finished her career ranked fourth all-time at Northwestern in assists (71), sixth in points (199) and seventh in goals (128). In both 2005 and 2006, she was an IWLCA All-America selection, all-tournament pick at the NCAA Championship and All-Conference First Team honoree.
In four years on the field, Albrecht led the Wildcats, who gained varsity status in 2002, to a 58-15 record. In 2006, she received the N Club Scholarship and Lisa Ishikawa Award for her leadership.
Albrecht remains active as a player and was one of 24 players on the U.S. women's national senior team that competed at the North American Challenge Cup this past weekend (July 13-15) in Oshawa, Canada. In June 2008, she was one of the top scorers at the Prague Cup and the midfielder was named to the FIL All-World team for her efforts in helping Team USA win the gold at the 2009 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup. Albrecht recorded 14 goals and three assists in seven games. She scored the game-winning goal in the USA's first victory over Australia and scored four goals in a win over England.
Albrecht is the ninth head coach in the 37-year history of the New Hampshire program. She succeeds Michael Daly ('90), who compiled a 23-27 record in three years. UNH is the third program at which Albrecht has coached that has won an NCAA women's lacrosse championship (only 10 schools have won an NCAA title); UMass won it all in 1982, followed by New Hampshire in 1985 and Harvard in 1990.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT SARAH ALBRECHT
Angela McMahon, UMass head coach and teammate at Northwestern
"It has been a pleasure working with Sarah the past two years. She is an exceptional coach, mentor, and friend. I have no doubt that with her work ethic, knowledge, and passion for the sport, she will have New Hampshire lacrosse competing at a very high level very quickly. I wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors."
Kelly Amonte-Hiller, Northwestern head coach
"Sarah is a very special person and a tremendous leader and coaching talent. There is no doubt that Sarah will create a tremendous environment for the student-athletes at the University of New Hampshire. It has been my honor to mentor Sarah over the years and I am looking forward to seeing her excel as a head coach."
Ricky Fried, U.S. National Team head coach since 2009
"Sarah is one of the up and coming young coaches in the game and will be bring a spark to the UNH program. She is a great teacher of the game and is a tremendous competitor. She will be able to relate well to her players and I think they will respond to her quiet intensity. Sarah has a great passion for the game and for winning and I expect her to be very successful as a head coach."
Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers President and Chief Executive Officer, and former Northwestern Director of Athletics
"Sarah Albrecht is a great hire for UNH. I have tremendous respect for Sarah. She was a gifted athlete, but, more importantly, is a quality person, and was a coach on the field for Northwestern's national championship teams. I'm confident that she will build UNH women's lacrosse into an outstanding program."