Lacrosse in Pennsylvania

Lacrosse has been played in Pennsylvania since the 19th century. There are many respected amateur programs at the club, college, and high school level, as well as several respected past and present professional teams in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and Major League Lacrosse (MLL).

College lacrosse in Pennsylvania

College lacrosse beginnings

Intercollegiate lacrosse in the United States can trace its roots to 1877 when New York University beat Manhattan College two to zero. Also in 1877, the Boston Lacrosse Club started up at Harvard, though a true varsity team at Harvard was not established until 1880. In 1879, the United States Amateur Lacrosse Association was formed by John R. Flannery, a well-known Canadian club player to coordinate the efforts of private, amateur lacrosse clubs in several Northeast cities, including one club that formed in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Flannery had grown up in Canada, been a member of the Montreal Shamrocks Lacrosse Club, and subsequently moved to the United States where he played for a number of amateur east coast clubs.[1] In 1878 he organized a game billed as the National Championship between Union Lacrosse Club and Ravenswood Lacrosse Club of New York City. Encouraged by the turnout of some 40,000 spectators, Flannery set about organizing the disparate lacrosse clubs into a cohesive organization.[2] Ravenswood Lacrosse Club with John Flannery went on to influence lacrosse at several other colleges, playing a well-publicized game against New York University in 1879.[3]

In 1881, the first true varsity level intercollegiate lacrosse tournament was held, with Harvard defeating Princeton in the final, 3-0. This series led to the formation of a league in 1882, known as the Inter-Collegiate Lacrosse Association (the ICLA, later the ILA), which included New York University, Columbia, Princeton and Harvard. At the same time, Flannery's United States Amateur Lacrosse Association comprised eleven college and club teams, but by 1886 the number of clubs had risen to greater than 40. College organizations, including a varsity team at Lehigh University, soon were seeking admittance to the ILA. Lehigh fielded its first varsity squad in 1885, with the University of Pennsylvania, and Lafayette College at the club level, following suit in 1890. Lehigh and Swarthmore were accepted as members in the ILA in 1888 and 1891, respectively.

The first tournament for lacrosse supremacy during this period was known as the Oelrichs Cup, sponsored by Hermann Oelrichs, and first offered up in a tournament format in 1881. Oelrichs was the first president of the United States National Amateur Lacrosse Association, a precursor to the USILA, and he was a member of the New York Lacrosse Club. The Oelrichs Cup was played for much of the 1880s, played mostly by amateur non-scholastic clubs though Princeton did field a tournament team. Arnold K. Reese as part of a powerful Baltimore lacrosse club, won the Oelrichs Cup in 1890. At this time also, Reese had been the main force behind starting up varsity lacrosse at Lehigh. Reese's efforts would lead to Lehigh being one of the early college lacrosse powers. Reese played for Lehigh from 1888 to 1891, winning an ILA title in 1890.[4][5][6]

Development of USILA

In 1898 another league, the Inter-University Lacrosse League (IULL) was formed playing with slightly different rules, with Harvard, Columbia and Cornell as charter members. Many of the member teams of both the ILA and IULL joined, dropped out or rejoined at various times over the years. In December 1905, representatives from all the colleges in the two leagues met in New York and formed the United States Inter-Collegiate Lacrosse League, the USICLL initially, soon to be known as the USILL. The colleges entering into this association were Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, Stevens and Swarthmore.[7] The USILL acted as the governing body for lacrosse in the United States until it was replaced by the USILA in 1926.

During the first 40 years of organized varsity college lacrosse, known alternately as the ICLA, ILA, USICLL, USILL and USILA, two Pennsylvania schools, Lehigh and Swarthmore fielded dominant teams. The two teams were voted National Champions of college lacrosse a combined fourteen (14) seasons. Glenn "Pop" Warner, the Hall of Fame football coach at the Carlisle Indian School (PA) from 1899 to 1903, substituted lacrosse for baseball during the spring season because he said, "Lacrosse is a developer of health and strength. It is a game that spectators rave over once they understand it." It is also likely that lacrosse, a contact sport, helped prepare his football players for the fall season.[8] By 1920, the USILL had expanded to include teams from Syracuse, Rutgers, Penn State and, encouraged by Pop Warner, even considered adding a varsity team at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1920, college lacrosse realigned their association, adding a Southern Division, which included powerful teams from Lehigh, Penn and Swarthmore along with traditional Maryland power Johns Hopkins. The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA), the organization still in existence today, officially was formed in November 1925.

As of 1942, the association had only 23 member colleges at that time. The members of the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association for the 1942 season were: City College of New York, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Drexel Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Hobart College, Johns Hopkins University, Lafayette College, Loyola College, University of Maryland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Penn State College, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Swathmore College, Syracuse University, Union College, United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy and Yale University.[9][10]

College lacrosse development in Pennsylvania

Lehigh fielded its first varsity squad in 1885, with the University of Pennsylvania and Lafayette College at the club level following suit in 1890. Penn played intermittently upon starting up lacrosse and so lists 1900 as their first official season of varsity lacrosse. Penn State played its first intercollegiate game against Penn in 1913.[11] In 1917, Lehigh which had gone undefeated for two straight seasons and had won the Southern division that season, won the USILL championship by defeating Penn in overtime 5 to 4 at Franklin Field in a title matchup. Lehigh had beaten Cornell, the Northern division champions, the prior season to capture a share of the USILL national lacrosse title.[12]

Swarthmore won four national titles in the early years of lacrosse. Baltimore Hall of Famer, Philip E. Lamb, led Swarthmore to consecutive titles in 1904 and 1905, "in the days when Swarthmore and Johns Hopkins were the perennial national champs", according to Lamb's Hall of Fame entry.[13] Also, in 1940 Penn State attempted a college box lacrosse league playing top universities including Yale.[14] An appropriately named College Division dominated lacrosse in the early 1950s, consisting of some 20 undergraduate schools from Rensselaer Polytechnic, Army, Virginia, Navy, Hofstra, Yale, Baltimore University, Maryland, Delaware, Drexel, Princeton, Duke, Washington College, Washington and Lee, Johns Hopkins, Loyola, and Western Maryland as well as two club teams from Mount Washington and Maryland Lacrosse Club. Drexel represented Pennsylvania schools well in 1952 reaching as high as number six in the standings. In the latter part of the 1950s with some 60 colleges playing lacrosse, schools were divided into three divisions. While the 'A Division' included traditional national powers Navy and Johns Hopkins, the 'B Division' and 'C Division' consisted of several potent Pennsylvania universities including Penn, Swarthmore, Penn State, Lehigh, Dickinson, Drexel and Lafayette.

1954 College Division -- Final National Rankings (Pennsylvania schools in italics) [lower-alpha 1]
  1. National Champions were declared as Navy, Syracuse & Washington College, and Union, in 1954. Pennsylvania schools were represented in the B and C divisions. Drexel (Drexel Tech at that time) is not listed in the 1954 rankings, though they did defeat Delaware, Lafayette, Dickinson and Lehigh that season. The last "major college" men's lacrosse title for a Pennsylvania school was Lehigh, named the 1959 USILA Class C Division III national co-champion.[15]

University level national titles, post-season NCAA play

In total, Lehigh University has won eleven national titles under various pre-NCAA United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association formats for national championships, while Swarthmore University has won five titles.

More recently under the NCAA tournament format in place since 1971, Pennsylvania based universities have participated in many NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournaments including Bucknell (2), Cabrini (16), Drexel (1), Franklin & Marshall (5), Gettysburg (25), Lehigh (2), Kutztown (1), Messiah College (2), Penn (12), Penn State (4), Swarthmore (1), Widener (6) and Villanova (2).

In the 1988 NCAA tournament, Penn led by Tony Seaman and Chris Flynn were the first Pennsylvania school to reach the semi-finals, losing by one goal to the Gait Brothers led Syracuse Orange, which is as far as any Pennsylvania based Division I school has advanced in tournament play. In all, Penn reached the NCAAs six times in the 1980s, including a quarterfinal appearance in 1987.

For the first time in 2011, a Pennsylvania university or college won the NCAA Division II National Title when Mercyhurst defeated Adelphi 9 to 8. Mercyhurst also played in the 2007 Division II national finals, losing a close contest to LeMoyne 6 to 5. Mercyhurst has been to three Division II finals.

Recent NCAA play

Among recent highlights at the university level, in 2005, Penn State was named to the NCAA tournament after reaching number eleven in the national rankings. In 2006 Penn upset #3 Cornell on their way to getting an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

Gettysburg has had success in Division III, regularly appearing in the top five national rankings and reaching the NCAA title games in 2001, 2002 and 2009. Philadelphia has hosted six NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament in Divisions I, II & III at Franklin Field and Lincoln Financial Field. In 2009, Villanova defeated Towson in the conference finals to gain the team's first ever NCAA tournament bid. In 2009 Chris Bates head coach for ten years at Drexel took the top job at Princeton.[16]

In 2007, Drexel upset number one ranked and defending National Champion Virginia, 11 to 10, scoring the game-winning goal with three seconds remaining. In 2010, Lafayette won their first six games including consecutive upsets over Navy and Bucknell reaching a national ranking of number eight.

In 2011, for the first time, three Pennsylvania schools were represented in the 16 team NCAA tournament. Penn and Villanova were selected as at-large tournament picks. Bucknell made the tournament by virtue of an automatic qualifier, winning the Patriot league tournament, they took eventual champion Virginia to overtime before losing their first-round game. In 2012 Lehigh was seeded number seven in the NCAA tournament, the first seeded Pennsylvania team since Penn was seeded number four in 1988, they took Maryland to late in their first-round game losing on a Terp goal with just six seconds left. Lehigh also won the Patriot League title in 2013, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where they lost to UNC. In 2014, Drexel played in their first NCAA tournament and also become the first Pennsylvania Division I school to win an NCAA tournament game since Penn reached the Final Four in 1988. Penn State has received two NCAA tournament seedings, in 2017 they were the number seven seed and in 2013 Penn State received the number eight seed in the tournament.

Men's university lacrosse titles

NCAA or USILA National Titles - 18
  • Lehigh - 1890, 1893, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1921 USILA Champions, 1959 USILA Class C Division III National Co-Champion - (11)
  • Swarthmore - 1900, 1904, 1905, 1910 USILA Champions, 1953 USILA Division II National Champion - (5)
  • Mercyhurst - 2011 NCAA Division II Champions - (1)
  • Cabrini - 2019 NCAA Division III Champions - (1)

Women's university level

Women's lacrosse started up in Scotland at St Leonards School in the 1890s, but was not introduced into the United States until 1926 at The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. The United States Women's Lacrosse Association was established in 1931. Penn State started up a women's program in 1965 and Lock Haven University in 1969. And in 1971 the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was founded to govern collegiate women's athletics in the United States and to administer national championships.

The most successful programs have been Temple University and Penn State in both the AIAW and NCAA Division I, West Chester University in Division II, as well as Ursinus College and Franklin & Marshall in Division III. Pennsylvania colleges and universities have won a combined 17 USWLA, AIAW and NCAA women's lacrosse national titles.

Temple won championships in 1984 and 1988; Penn State in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1987 and 1989; West Chester in 2002 and 2008; Ursinus in 1986, 1989 and 1990; and Franklin & Marshall in 2007 and 2009. The Penn State Nittany Lions (women) in 1978, 1979 and 1980 went 45-1-3, won the first 3 national collegiate (USWLA) championships in the sport of women's lacrosse, defeating Maryland, Massachusetts and Maryland, respectively, under head coach Gillian Rattray.[17]

Marsha Florio of Penn State and Gail Cummings of Temple are currently the 3rd and 4th all-time highest scoring Division I players with 380 and 378 career points, respectively. Stephanie Kienle and Katelyn Martin both of West Chester are the 1st and 2nd highest all-time scoring Division II players with 390 and 376 career points, respectively.

In 2009 Franklin & Marshall won the Division III national title defeating Salisbury 11 to 10. In 2011 Gettysburg won the Division III national title defeating Bowdoin 16 to 5.[18] Gettysburg won the title again in 2017.

Women's university lacrosse titles

NCAA, USWLA or AIAW Titles - 19
  • Penn State - 1978, 1979, 1980 USWLA Champions, 1987, 1989 NCAA Division I Champions (5)
  • Temple - 1982 AIAW Division I Champions, 1984, 1988 NCAA Division I Champions (3)
  • Ursinus – 1986, 1989, 1990 NCAA Division III Champions (3)
  • West Chester – 2002, 2008 NCAA Division II Champions (2)
  • Franklin & Marshall – 2007, 2009 NCAA Division III Champions (2)
  • Gettysburg – 2011, 2017, 2018 NCAA Division III Champions (3)
  • Millersville State – 1982 AIAW Division III Champions (1)

High school

Lacrosse development at the private preparatory school or public high school level in Pennsylvania by the mid-1950s had progressed more slowly than at the collegiate level. At that time, Lower Merion High School and Swarthmore High School were among only a handful of Pennsylvania schools offering varsity lacrosse as a spring sport at the high school level, usually playing against college level junior varsity squads.[19]

But by 1965, a state high school championship system had been put in place. The Hill School was named the first Pennsylvania prep statewide champion of what became known as the Avery Blake Memorial Trophy. Since 2001, with the expansion of lacrosse programs at high schools throughout the state, a new format, the Keystone Cup, has been played where three state sectional champions meet to determine the statewide champion.[20]

In 1973, Sewickley Academy hosted western Pennsylvania's first high lacrosse championship tournament featuring teams from Philadelphia, Detroit and Annapolis.[21] Peet Poillon along with his father started up the lacrosse program at Seneca Valley High School in western Pennsylvania in 2001, with Poillon also scoring 410 career goals. In 2009, Emily Garrity of Strath Haven High School broke the career scoring record for women with 695 total points.[22][23]

Pennsylvania high schools with the most state lacrosse titles include Lower Merion (7), Ridley (6), Haverford School (5), and Penn Charter (5). In 2008, LaSalle College High won the state title and was ranked fourth in the nation, the highest national ranking of a Pennsylvania prep school up to then. Haverford School regularly appears in the top 15 nationally, and plays recognized programs such as The Gilman and Lawrenceville Schools. Three schools have repeated as champion for three straight years, Harriton High School from 1970 to 1972, Penn Charter from 1974 to 1976 and Ridley from 2001 to 2003. In the 2009 state finals, LaSalle won its second consecutive title in defeating Conestoga High School in its first appearance in the state finals, 7 to 3. LaSalle ended the year ranked 4th in a national poll for the second straight season, while Conestoga finished the year ranked 12th.[24][25]

In 2011, for the first time a Pennsylvania prep school, the Haverford School Fords were named National High School lacrosse champions. The Fords topped the national polls in both the and Inside Lacrosse rankings, while repeat Pennsylvania Public champions Conestoga finished third and fourth nationally, respectively.[26][27]

Haverford was again named mythical high school/prep national champions in 2015.[28]

High School National Titles - 2
  • The Haverford School - 2011, 2015 voted National Prep/High School Champions


In 1974, the original Philadelphia Wings became the first professional lacrosse team to operate out of Pennsylvania. The team included popular Philadelphia Flyer player Doug Favell, and the well-known Gene Hart announcing games for the team, as well as Canadian star John Grant Sr., father of John Grant, Jr. The Wings drew crowds of over 10,000 at the Spectrum and reached the league finals in 1974. The team folded along with the original NLL in 1975.

In 1985, a box lacrosse USA/Canada Superseries, an eight-game series, was played at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. This series revitalized interest in box lacrosse and was a precursor to the Major Indoor Lacrosse League and National Lacrosse League.[29]

The Philadelphia Wings, one of the original NLL franchises was started up again in 1987 by among others Mike French, was subsequently disbanded, and had the most championships of any NLL team with six. Early on the Wings made an effort to connect with the local community by drafting local talent including Scott Growney from Harriton High School; J.R. Castle from William Penn Charter School; Mark Moschella and Scott Carruthers from Drexel; Chris Flynn from Penn and Tony Resch also from Penn Charter.[30] Strong fan support was evident even in the Wings initial season, where the team averaged over 10,000 fans for their home games in 1987. The Wings had an all-time record in 23 seasons of 152-118 during the regular season, and 16-10 in the playoffs. NLL Hall of Famers Gary Gait, Paul Gait, Tom Marechek and Dallas Eliuk are among the notable players who have been a part of the club.[31]

The Pittsburgh Bulls played in the NLL from 1990–1993 including players Dave Pietramala and Kevin Bilger, and the Pittsburgh CrosseFire played a single season in 2000 until they relocated to become the Colorado Mammoth. In 2004, the Philadelphia Barrage of the MLL moved from Bridgeport and played until 2008 when they folded along with three other teams. In five years of operation, the Barrage won three league championships. The team played its home games at United Sports Training Center in West Bradford Township, Pennsylvania.

The NLL once again awarded Philadelphia an NLL franchise for 2018, with this new franchise not associated to the prior Philadelphia franchise, and once more adopting the name Wings.

NLL or MLL Titles - 9
  • Wings - 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001 NLL Champions (6)
  • Barrage - 2004, 2006, 2007 MLL Champions (3)

Notable Pennsylvania lacrosse programs

Today, the national governing body of lacrosse is US Lacrosse. US Lacrosse services the state of Pennsylvania through three local chapters: the Pittsburgh chapter, the Central Pennsylvania Lacrosse chapter and the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. All three maintain the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame, which honors the great players, coaches, officials and promoters who have made significant contributions to the game at the professional, college and high school levels in Pennsylvania.


Pennsylvania based College Lacrosse programs have combined for 37 national lacrosse titles, in Men's and Women's lacrosse, Divisions I, II and III, as well as pre-NCAA titles.

The latest National Champion winners among Pennsylvania universities were Cabrini winning the 2019 NCAA Division III men's title, Mercyhurst with the 2011 NCAA Division II men's title and Gettysburg with the 2017 NCAA Division III women's title.

Lock Haven University reached the women's Division II finals in 2014 and 2015, losing a close match in 2015, 5-4.

Combined men's and women's stats, through 2019.

University NameLocationYear StartedDivisionNCAA-AIAW-USILA
TitlesLatest Title
Bucknell UniversityLewisburg1968I2
Cabrini UniversityRadnor1994III3312019
Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia1941I3
Franklin & Marshall CollegeLancaster1947III2722009
Gettysburg CollegeGettysburg1958III4532018
Lafayette CollegeEaston1926I4
Lehigh UniversityBethlehem1885I2111959
Mercyhurst UniversityErie1997II912011
Messiah CollegeGrantham1997III1
Millersville StateMillersville1967III111982
Pennsylvania State UniversityState College1913I3151989
Robert Morris UniversityMoon Township2005I2
Saint Joseph's UniversityPhiladelphia1993I
Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore1891III151953
Temple UniversityPhiladelphia1975I1731988
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia1900I26
Ursinus CollegeCollegeville1960III1231990
Villanova UniversityVillanova1981I3
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest Chester1939II1222008
Widener UniversityChester1926III6
York CollegeYork1999III5

High school

Notable college players and coaches from Pennsylvania

The players noted below are those players from the Pennsylvania prep and high school system, who have performed notably in NCAA men's or women's lacrosse. Among the criteria for notability include a player elected to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a player elected to the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a player who played a significant role on a national championship team, as well as players who achieved significant statistical measurements at the college level.

Avery Blake Sr.Swarthmore1931–1969Long time Swarthmore - Pennsylvania coach. Coached Swarthmore 1953 squad to USILA Class "B" National title. Blake Sr. and Blake Jr. are both in National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.[32]
Avery Blake Jr.Swarthmore1950–1953Two time 1st team All American midfield and attack, first 4-time lacrosse All-American from Pennsylvania. Avery Blake Sr., long-time coach at Swarthmore and Penn, as well as Blake Jr. are both in National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.[33]
Kyle BarrieJohns Hopkins2002–2005Two time All-American at attack. Key contributor on 2003 Hopkins' finals team. Won national title in 2005 with Johns Hopkins. Among Hopkins all-time leading scorers. Prep All American at The Haverford School.
Eric BishopSalisbury2004–20071st team All-American at attack. Key contributor on 2004, 2005 and 2007 championship teams. Prep All American at Penncrest High School. Assistant coach at Swarthmore.
Karen Emas BorbeeDelaware1980–19833 time All American at University of Delaware. Led Delaware to Championships in 1981, 1982, and 1983. Prep star at Penncrest High School.[34]
Johnny ChristmasVirginia2002–20052 time All-American attackman. Key contributor to the 2003 Virginia national title and 2005 Final Four teams. Prep All American at Lower Merion.
Brian ChristopherJohns Hopkins2006–2009All-American midfielder and key contributor to 2007 Johns Hopkins national title team. Prep All-American at Springfield High School.
Ken ClausenVirginia2007–20103 time 1st team All-American defenseman. Led UVA to 3 straight national semi-finals. Prep All American at The Hill School.
Ralph "Rip" DavyNorth Carolina1976-19791st team All-American defenseman playing under Willie Scroggs, helped develop UNC lacrosse into national power. UNC's first ever 1st team Division I All-American. Prep star at The Hill School.[35]
Brian DoughertyMaryland1993–1996Two-time 1st team All-American and two-time NCAA Goaltender of the Year. Named 1995 NCAA Championship Outstanding Player leading Terps to finals. Prep All American at Episcopal Academy.[36]
Tucker DurkinJohns Hopkins2010–20143 time All-American, 2 time 1st team All American, key to defensive unit that led Hopkins to two NCAA Quarterfinals in 2011 and 2012. Prep All American at La Salle College High School.
James FergusonJohns Hopkins1971–19732 time All-American, key to defensive unit that led Hopkins to NCAA Finals in 1972 and 1973 under legendary coach Bob Scott. Prep All American at Lower Merion, one of the first PA Prep stars to play on top tier college lacrosse program.[37]
Dennis FinkDrexel1976–1978All-American attackman, led nation in scoring in his senior season with 98 points. Among NCAA Division I all-time leading scorers, 1st all-time in single season points-per-game. Prep star at Springfield High School.[38][39]
Candy FinnPenn State1979–19823 time All-American[40] led the Nittany Lions in scoring in each of her four years (1979-1982), with two USWLA national championships. Holds Penn State record for goals scored in a game (14). Ranks second in career points (334) and career goals (265) for PSU.[41] Three sport prep star at Penncrest High School.[42][43]
Chris FlynnPenn1986-891st team All-American midfielder. Prep All-American at Episcopal Academy. Key contributor to Philadelphia Wings from 1990 to 1999, including four NLL championship.[44]
Kathleen GeigerTemple1983–19862 time All American, 1st team All American in 1985. Led Temple to Championship in 1984. Prep star at Lansdowne-Aldan High School.[45][46]
John HaldyVirginia2008–2011Key contributor to 3 straight national semifinal teams and captain of the 2011 Virginia national title team. Prep All-American at The Haverford School.
George A. KruseKutztown1975-77All- American attack and longtime lacrosse official. Among all-time leading Division II scorers. From 1975 to 1977 averaged 7.9 points per game, which is 1st all time in Division II.[47]
Kurt LunkenheimerPrinceton1995–19982 time All-American Defenseman on 1996, 1997 and 1998 national title teams. Prep All-American at Episcopal Academy.
Jeff MacBeanPrinceton1993–1996All-Ivy midfielder on 1994 and 1996 national title teams. Overtime assist to Kevin Lowe in 1994 finals gave Princeton the title. Prep All-American at Episcopal Academy.
David MaguireOhio Wesleyan1995–19983 time 1st team All-American attack including Division III Jack Turnbull Award winner in 1997. Sixth all-time in Division III scoring with 225 goals 96 assists and 321 points. Prep All American at Marple Newtown High School.
Bill McGloneMaryland2003–20062 time 1st team All-American midfielder on three national semifinal teams. Prep All-American at Ridley High School. Professional player for the Philadelphia Wings and Chicago Machine.
Matt McMonagleCornell2005–20081st team All-American goalie, Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award winner on 2007 regular season undefeated Big Red squad. Prep star at Episcopal Academy. Professional player with Long Island Lizards.
Bill MillerHobart1988–19913 time 1st team All-American attack including Division III Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991. Led Hobart to four straight Division III National Titles. Among all-time Division III scorers with 318 points (173g, 145a). Prep star at Episcopal Academy. Professional player with Philadelphia Wings. Miller was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2013.[48]
Brett MoyerHofstra2003–20061st and 2nd team All American defenseman at Hofstra. Won two straight state titles at Ridley. Defensive anchor for 2006 Quarterfinal team. Professional player with Philadelphia Wings and Philadelphia Barrage.
Amanda O'LearyTemple, Yale, Florida1984–1988Hall of Fame player at Temple and coach at Yale and Florida. 1988 NCAA Player of the Year, led Temple to perfect 19–0 record and NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. Spring-Ford High School prep star and All-American in both lacrosse and field hockey at Temple.[49]
Pete OrtaleDuke1984–1987All- ACC midfielder at Duke. Prep All American at Penn Charter and won a state title. 9-11 Casualty.[50]
Austin PifaniNorth Carolina2014–2017Four time All American, 1st team All American in 2017. Key contributor to 2016 UNC national title team. Prep All-American at Abington High School.
Jackson PlaceBucknell2011–2014All-American defenseman, earned Bucknell's Lee "Bud" Ranck Award. Second nationally with 38 caused turnovers in 2014. Prep All-American at Episcopal Academy. Plays for Ohio Machine, led Machine to MLL Finals in 2016.
Peet PoillonUMBC, Ohio State2006–20092nd Team All-American midfielder for UMBC and All-American at Ohio State. Junior College All-American at Howard (Md.) Community. Prep All- American at Seneca Valley High School. Professional player with Washington Bayhawks, was selected 2010 MLL Most Improved Player.
Matt RamboMaryland2014–2017Two time All-American, 1st team All American attack in 2017. Led Terps to three straight NCAA finals including 2017 title. All-time Terps leader in points with 257, all-time leading goal scorer with 155. Three-time Prep All- American at LaSalle College High School. Professional player with Charlotte Hounds, selected as 3rd overall pick.
Tyler RankelRobert Morris2010-2014LSM and Defenseman at Robert Morris and was an All-NEC Rookie pick in 2011 and an NEC Second Team pick in 2014. Rankel amassed 96 ground balls, 60 caused turnovers, 3 goals and 7 assists. Rankel was a member of the NEC All-Academic Team all 4 years.
Tony ReschYale1977–1980Two time All-American defenseman at Yale, long time coach at National Lacrosse League and Major Lacrosse League levels. Won three NLL titles as player with Wings. Prep star at Penn Charter. In NLL Hall of Fame.[51]
Gerald RononPrinceton1982–1985All-American attack at Princeton and Prep All American at Lower Merion. In top twenty all time Princeton scoring. Won two state titles at Lower Merion.[52]
Joe SankeyNorth Carolina2012–2015Three time All-American attackman, 1st all-time in UNC scoring and key contributor to several UNC NCAA Tournament teams. Prep All American at Penn Charter.
Peter ScottJohns Hopkins1981–19841st team All-American attack and key contributor to four straight NCAA final teams including 1984 National Championship team. Among all-time Leading Scorers at Johns Hopkins. Prep All-American at Harriton High School and Avon Old Farms. Played professionally for the Philadelphia Wings.[53]
Ward SteidleNorth Carolina1979–1982Key contributor at midfield to two straight NCAA national title teams including 1981 and 1982 National Champions. Prep star at Harriton High School.
Kyle SweeneyGeorgetown2000–20033 time All-American including 1st team All American at Georgetown, led Georgetown to 3 NCAA quarterfinal appearances. Prep All American at Springfield High School. Longtime MLL player for several teams and 6-year veteran for the Philadelphia Wings.
Glenn ThielPenn State, University of Virginia1968–2010Long time Penn State coach. Won the 1972 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship as head coach of UVA. Among the all-time leaders in college coaching victories with over 300 wins. Prepped at State College High School (PA). Starting midfielder at Penn State playing for his Hall of Fame father, Nick Thiel.[54]
Cindy TimchalWest Chester, Maryland1973–presentPrep and college star at Haverford High and West Chester. Coached Maryland to seven NCAA Championships and an NCAA record 50 straight wins in the 1990s and 2000s. All-time leader in career coaching wins with a record of 349 wins and 90 losses at Maryland, Northwestern and Navy.[55][56]
Greg TraynorVirginia1992–1995All-American midfield and key contributor to 1994 NCAA finals team. Prep All American at Conestoga High School. Professional with the Philadelphia Wings, Boston Cannons, Long Island Lizards, New Jersey Pride. Member of 1998 USA Men's World Championship Team.[57]
Greg WallerPrinceton1989–1992All American midfielder scored go-ahead goal, also won overtime faceoff converted by Andy Moe into title-winning goal in 1992 National Championship game, won by Princeton in two overtimes. Prep star at West Chester East High School.
Kyle WhartonJohns Hopkins2008–20112 time All-American attack, 20th all-time in goals scored at Hopkins and contributor to 2008 NCAA Hopkins finals team. Prep All American at The Haverford School.
Jordan WolfDuke2011–2014Four-time All-American at attack. Led Duke to two straight national championships, 2013 and 2014. Ninth all-time in Division I career scoring with 303 points. Prep All American at Lower Merion.
= in National Lacrosse Hall of Fame
= won NCAA/USWLA National Title
Notable players from Pennsylvania - Sources[58][59]

Notable college teams from Pennsylvania

The teams noted below are for universities based in Pennsylvania, who have performed notably in NCAA men's or women's lacrosse.

College TeamYearRecordComments
Bucknell Bison199612-0Only undefeated Bucknell team, won the Patriot league title in 1996, wins over Penn, Army and Navy. Controversially, did not make 1996 NCAA Tournament despite one of the best records in Division I.
Bucknell Bison201114-3No. 7 ranked team in 2011, won the Patriot league title. Led Virginia in 1st round of 2011 NCAA Tournament 10-6, losing game to eventual National Champion 13-12 in overtime.
Cabrini201922-2Won the 2019 NCAA Division III tournament. 1st PA men's team to win Division III lacrosse title.
Drexel Dragons201413-51st Drexel squad to make NCAA Tournament. Defeated #4 seed Penn 16-11 in 1st Round. Reached NCAA quarterfinals.
Gettysburg Bullets200916-42009 Division III National Finalist. Lost finals to Cortland State 9-7. Bullets made Division III finals three times during the 2000s.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks201214-3Won school's 1st Patriot league title in lacrosse. No. 7 seed in 2012 NCAAs. Ranked 4th in nation. Lost to National Title runner-up Maryland in 1st round 10-9 with 7 seconds remaining in game.
Mercyhurst Lakers201114-2Won the 2011 NCAA Division II tournament. 1st PA men's team to win Division II lacrosse title. Also 1st PA men's team to win a national lacrosse title of any kind since 1959.
Penn Quakers (men)198811-41st PA based Division I team to reach NCAA Final Four. Led by coach Tony Seaman, Chris Flynn was named NCAA 1st team. In 1988 NCAA tournament, lost to Gary Gait led Syracuse team 11-10 in national semifinals, with Gait making the famous "Air Gait" jump shot from behind Penn's goal.
Penn Quakers (women)200817-22008 Women's NCAA Division I tournament finalist, losing to Northwestern 10-6. Won Ivy league title, defeated number one Northwestern during the regular season.
Penn State Nittany Lions (women)1978, 1979, 198045-1-3Won 3 national collegiate (USWLA) championships in 1978, 1979 and 1980, defeating Maryland, Massachusetts and Maryland, with a 3-year total record of 45-1-3 under head coach Gillian Rattray.
Penn State Nittany Lions (women)198717-2Won the 1987 Women's NCAA Division I tournament with a record of 17-2, defeated Temple in title game 7-6, led by leading scorer Amanda Veal.
Penn State Nittany Lions (women)198919-1Won the 1989 Women's NCAA Division I tournament with a record of 19-1, defeated Harvard in title game 7-6, led by 1990 NCAA Player of the Year Diane Whipple.
Penn State Nittany Lions (men)201312-5Seeded No. 8 in the 2013 NCAA Lacrosse tournament, PSU's 1st ever NCAA seeding. Austin Kaut that season became only 3rd PA prep player to win NCAA Goalie of the Year award.
Penn State Nittany Lions (men)201916-2Seeded No. 1 in the 2019 NCAA tournament, 1st ever Pennsylvania team to get number one NCAA seeding, 2nd PA team to make the Final Four.
Swarthmore Garnet19539-1One of the top teams during pre-NCAA season, 1953. Led by National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Avery Blake Jr., one of the top all-time assist men Orville Wright, and National Lacrosse Hall of Fame coach Avery Blake Sr.. Swarthmore's lone loss that season was a 14-13 defeat to Johns Hopkins.
Temple Owls198819-0Won the 1988 Women's NCAA Division I tournament going undefeated, defeating Penn State 15–7, led by National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Amanda O'Leary. O'Leary also won NCAA Player of the Year.
= Won NCAA/USWLA Title
= National Title Finalist
Notable College teams from Pennsylvania - Sources[59]

See also


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  2. "A Lacrosse National Association" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 June 1879. p. 2.
  4. "A Great Boom in Lacrosse: Champion teams to play in this neighborhood this season" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 March 1886. p. 8.
  6. "List of alumni who played for the New York Lacrosse Club". New York Lacrosse Club.
  7. Fisher, Donald M. (14 Mar 2002). Lacrosse: A History of the Game. JHU Press. pp. 64–71.
  8. Scott, Bob (1978). Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-2060-1.
  9. "New Lacrosse League: Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, and Swarthmore in an Association". The New York Times. 6 December 1901. p. 10.
  10. "Lacrosse League Seeks Expansion: Syracuse Is Admitted and Army and Rutgers Will Be Invited—May Change Rules". The New York Times. 11 January 1920. p. 91.
  11. "Lacrosse with Penn". Penn State Collegian. 21 May 1913.
  12. "Lehigh Keeps Its Title: Pennsylvania Beaten In Extra Period Game of Lacrosse". The New York Times. 28 May 1917. p. Sports 14.
  13. "Philip E. Lamb National Lacrosse Hall of Fame entry". US Lacrosse. 2005.
  14. "Nittany Stickmen Win Box Lacrosse Match". Penn State Collegian. 3 March 1940.
  15. "Skull 'em! Hip 'em! Score!". Sports Illustrated. 9 May 1955. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. The interuniversity lacrosse championship cup is now in Ithaca and will be placed in the Trophy room of Barnes Hall next Wednesday. The cup was won in 1903, Cornell defeating Columbia, Pennsylvania and Harvard, which universities make up the Interuniversity Lacrosse league.
  16. "NCAA Men's Lacrosse Records". NCAA.
  17. 2013 Penn State 2013 Women's Lacrosse Yearbook. p. 24. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  18. "Gettysburg Blasts Bowdoin to Claim Div. III Title".
  19. "Fulton Owes Fame to Lower Merion" (PDF). The Daily Collegian (Penn State). May 27, 1954.
  20. "Pennsylvania State Champions Avery Blake Memorial Trophy". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association chapter US Lacrosse. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. "Lacrosse Play Slated". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 23, 1973.
  22. "Manheim Township's Tim Stratton Sets National Career Scoring Record". Central Pennsylvania Lacrosse. June 8, 2007.
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  33. "National Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Avery F. Blake Jr". US Lacrosse. Archived from the original on 2009-08-15.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  34. "National Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Karen Emas Borbee". US Lacrosse. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
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  36. "National Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Brian Dougherty". US Lacrosse.
  37. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: James Ferguson 1999". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  38. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Dennis Fink 2001". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  39. "Fink, Paradis and Mailey ECC All-Stars, Triangle, v. 53, n. 38, Page 16". Drexel University Libraries. May 26, 1978.
  40. 2013 Penn State 2013 Women's Lacrosse Yearbook. p. 27. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  41. "Women's Lacrosse Greats". Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  42. Ottum, Bob (9 Nov 1981). "Outstanding In Her Fields Penn State's Candy Finn sticks out in both field hockey and lacrosse". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
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  50. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Peter Ortale 2003". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  51. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Tony Resch 1998". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  52. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Gerald Ronon 2001". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  53. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Peter Scott 1998". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  54. "Glenn F. and Glenn N. 'Nick' Theil lacrosse papers, 1935-2010". Penn State University Archives.
  55. "Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame: Cindy Timchal 2002". Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
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