Laura Cook - Head Coach - 15th Season - 131-106 Career Record
Head Coach Laura Cook has built the Sacred Heart women’s lacrosse program into one of the top-teams year in and year out in the Northeast Conference. Cook is entering her 15th year on the Pioneer sidelines and has guided Sacred Heart to three Northeast Conference Championships in over the last six years. Having directed her teams to a 131 wins at SHU, Cook continues to have the Pioneers positioned as a perennial favorite in the NEC heading into 2014.
Cook has guided the Pioneers to seven double digit win seasons in the past 13 years (2010, 09, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001) and 10 NEC Tournament appearances in her tenure. After the program’s first-ever title run in 2008, Cook took the Pioneers back to the NEC Tournament in 2009 and successfully defended the championship on their home field. She and the Pioneers answered the bell once again in 2010 as SHU put together an unblemished 9-0 conference mark earning the #1 seed for the second-straight season. Sacred Heart became a three-time champion after defeating Quinnipiac for the third-straight season for the title, 12-7, on Campus Field.
After leading her team through a perfect regular season in 2010, Cook took home her second-consecutive NEC Coach of the Year honor, an award she has won three times (2010, 2009, 2006). The 2010 Pioneers finished the year with a school record 14 wins.
The recent magical run began in 2008 when Cook guided the Pioneers to a 7-1 NEC mark and a share of the NEC Regular Season Championship, a program first. SHU owned the #2 seed and went on the road to claim the 2008 title, beating the Bobcats with a thrilling 12-11 win at Quinnipiac for the program’s first ever title. The 2009 season saw Cook earn her second Coach of the Year honor after leading her team to a 7-1 mark in the NEC, another share of the regular season title and the program’s first ever #1 seed in the NEC Tournament.
Sacred Heart earned the right to play host to the four-team postseason tournament and SHU mirrored their 2008 run with a win over Monmouth in the semifinals, 13-7, and an 11-6 win over rival Quinnipiac in the Championship game. The Pioneers posted a then school record 12 wins on their way to the titles in both 2008 and 2009.
Her best coaching performance arguably came in 2006 when SHU battled back from a 0-7 start to rattle off seven wins in the final nine games of the regular season, including five-straight. The Pioneers finished with a 7-1 mark in NEC play, earning the second seed in the tournament and advancing to the NEC Championship game, a feat that earned Cook the 2006 NEC Coach of the Year award.
The 2009 season saw another first as senior attacker Amanda Williams was the first Pioneer to win the Northeast Conference Player of the Year award. With a break-out season, she emerged as the league’s most prolific scorer leading the NEC with 57 goals and 80 points. Both marks set new single-season school Division I records and boosted her career totals to 136 goals and 179 points. Williams ranked 15th nationally in goals scored (57) and 14th in points (80) last season.
The Pioneers have had 41 All-Northeast Conference players under Coach Cook and has coached three of the Pioneers most prolific scorers in Mary Montesarchio, Williams and Hauser, all in the top-five all-time at SHU in points. Goalkeeper Ginny Capicchioni, a three-time All-NEC player, played for the coach in 2000 and 2001 and became the first female goalkeeper in the National Lacrosse League when she played for the New Jersey Storm in 2002.
The Media, Pennsylvania native came to Sacred Heart after a standout playing career at the University of Massachusetts, where she graduated in 1999 with a degree in exercise science. She was a four-year starter at UMass and ranks among the program’s top ten in scoring, goals and assists.
During her senior season, she was named co-captain and was a preseason All-Atlantic 10 selection. She was also named to the 1999 A-10 Championship tournament team, 1999 Northeast Regional All-American and placed on the 1999 IWCLA Academic All-American team.
Cook along with her husband Andy and their son Cole reside in Fairfield, CT.