No. 3 Women's Lacrosse Earns 250th Win
March 9, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va – With the Cavaliers’ 15-6 victoryin the Dome against Syracuse, Virginia further established itself among theelite in women’s lacrosse. Not only did the win push the Cavaliers to 2-0in the young campaign, but also it brought Virginia’s all-time record to250-93-5. Only five other Division I schools have achieved this milestone.
“I am excited not only for this team, but also for all the teams who havebeen a part of the Virginia program,” said Virginia head coach Julie Myers.”It is a true testament to the proud history of Virginia lacrosse.”
The Virginia lacrosse team opened its varsity schedule in 1976 witha game at William and Mary. Although the Cavaliers dropped that game 7-10,the Hoos won their next six in a row, including a 9-4 win over Harvard. Thefirst varsity program ended with an 8-4-1 record and hints of greatnesswere expected.
Virginia reached the pinnacle of the NCAA women’s lacrosse worldwith an 8-6 triumph in the National Finals against Maryland in 1991. Twoyears later the Hoos returned to the top with yet again an 8-6 victory inthe final game, this time over Princeton. In that three year stretch, theCavaliers went 46-5, reaching the NCAA final four three consecutive years.
The 1991 team was captained by Robyn Nye, who was named the IWLCAPlayer of the Year, Virginia’s first-ever selection. Six years later, Nyewould add a World Cup gold medal to her NCAA trophy as the United Stateswon the coveted women’s lacrosse world championship in Japan.
Nye was simply the first in a string of Cavaliers to be namedPlayer of the Year. In 1992 Jenny Slingluff, now the head coach at NorthCarolina, was honored as the nation’s top attacker. Although Virginia wasdenied a similar honor in 1993 en route to the NCAA Championship, the 1994honor went to a woman that many consider to be the best player to play thegame.
Cherie Greer led the nation in scoring in 1994–as a defense wing.A member of the United States Elite team, Greer had won a worldchampionship the year before as the USA won the World Cup for the secondconsecutive time. In Greer’s four years, the Cavaliers won two titles andadvanced to the national semifinals four consecutive years. In 1997, theUnited States won its third consecutive world title with a 3-2 doubleovertime triumph over nemesis Australia. The final goal was scored as Greerscooped up a loose ball in the US defensive end and ran it down field whereshe was fouled. For her efforts, Greer was named the MVP of the tournament.
In 1995 and 1996, Michelle Cusimano patrolled the cage for theCavaliers. In each of her three seasons between the pipes, she broke therecord for saves in a season. In her final game as a Cavalier, Cusimano seta record for saves in an NCAA final game, marking the Cavaliers’ return tothe final game of the year. She was the first woman to be honored as theIWLCA Goalie of the Year twice.
In 1997, the Cavalier’s Peggy Boutilier was named the IWLCA Playerof the Year for the first time in her career. Not only did she repeat thathonor in 1998 as she led the Hoos to their first ACC Championship and backto the NCAA Finals, but also she became lacrosse’s first NCAA Woman of theYear.
In 1981, the Cavaliers’ Maggie MacInnes was named to the UnitedStates National team, and since her appointment, a Cavalier has representedthe USA on a national team every year. This year, four Cavaliers–KaraAriza, Peggy Boutilier, Cherie Greer and Bonnie Rosen–are members of theElite team while current players Samm Taylor and Stephy Samaras are membersof the Developmental Squad.
In the last 23 years, Virginia has experienced 19 winning seasonsand has gone the last 14 without a losing record. The Cavaliers firstadvanced to the NCAA semifinals in 1986 under then-head coach Jane Millerand have played in four NCAA final games, splitting them 2-2. Miller, whonow serves as an Associate Athletic Director at Virginia, said of reachingthe milestone, “This is a great accomplishment and ranks Virginia among thevery best lacrosse programs in the country for long term success. Reachingthis milestone is a tremendous tribute to all of the players, coaches,parents, and fans who have been involved with the program throughout itshistory. I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to work withsuch an outstanding group of people throughout my tenure and I know thewonderful memories I have as a Virginia coach will remain with me forever.”Miller closed out her career with a record of 145-44, which ranks her inthe top-20 all-time in wins and winning percentage.