The 2021 season marks the 26th season that Julie Myers has served as the head coach of the Virginia women’s lacrosse team. In each of her 24 seasons at the helm of the Cavaliers that there has been a postseason (no 2020 tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Myers has guided her team to the NCAA Tournament –a feat matched by no other Division I coach in the same period.
The numbers are staggering. Myers holds a 31-23 record in the NCAA tournament, which ranks third all-time in tournament victories and games coached. She is fourth in semifinal appearances and eighth in win percentage. With Virginia’s national championship victory in 2004, Myers became the first person in women’s lacrosse history at the NCAA Division I level to win a title as a player and a head coach. Her trip to the title game in 2005 was her third consecutive trip, an achievement reached by only five other coaches in NCAA women’s lacrosse history.
In addition, the Cavaliers have reached the finals of the NCAA championships eight times and have played in the title game of the ACC Tournament in nine of the 20 years it has been contested. It is a remarkable consistency matched by no other Division I coach in the country. The Cavaliers have also been ranked in the IWLCA Coaches’ Poll all but four weeks during Myers’ tenure.
Myers’ win over Virginia Tech on April 15, 2005, was her 146th career win, giving her more wins than any other women’s lacrosse coach at the University of Virginia. In 2008, Myers brought her career wins total to 200, making her the fourth active coach and sixth coach all-time to reach that milestone. Myers eclipsed another milestone by becoming just the fourth coach in women’s lacrosse history to reach 300 career wins in 2017.
A proven winner, Myers enters her 26th year at Virginia with three NCAA titles; one as a player (1991), one as an assistant coach (1993) and one as a head coach (2004). In 1996, she became the first rookie coach to take her squad to the title game and also became the first person to compete for the championship both as a player and as a head coach.
Yet Myers’ contributions include much more than simply winning games. She has already produced eight national players of the year, three national rookies of the year and 13 members of the United States National Lacrosse Squads. Myers has also been a member of the Tewaaraton coaches’ committee that selects the nation’s top lacrosse player.
Cavaliers under her direction have won NCAA Woman of the Year honors, led the nation in both scoring and in defense and have been honored as Tewaaraton Trophy finalists. Myers serves on a number of committees for the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) and is an accomplished clinician who has made a number of appearances at camps and association meetings across the country.
The 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the cancellation of the season, Virginia was 5-3 overall. The Cavaliers opened the season 4-0 with wins over No. 15 Navy, No. 20 Stanford and No. 9 Princeton. UVA also traveled to the West Coast for the first time in program history to play at Stanford and California. Sammy Mueller and Ashley Stilo earned Inside Lacrosse All-America honors.
In 2019, Myers guided the Cavaliers back to the NCAA Quarterfinals as the No. 6 seed overall for the first time since 2014. UVA finished with a 13-7 record after starting the season 5-0 for the second-consecutive year. Virginia was 7-7 against ranked opponents, with six of those losses coming to top-5 teams. Sammy Mueller and Maggie Jackson were named IWLCA All-Americans.
UVA began the 2018 season 5-0, its best start since 2007. Myers also led the Cavaliers to a win over Syracuse, marking the first win for UVA in the series since 2012. UVA advanced to the NCAA Second Round with a 12-3 win over Stanford, but fell to eventual NCAA Champion JMU. Kasey Behr and Sammy Mueller earned All-American honors.
The 2017 season saw a resurgence for the Cavaliers. After a tough start at 2-4, Myers guided UVA to five-straight wins including two wins over top-20 teams. The Cavaliers allowed just 5.80 goals per game in that stretch. Virginia started the streak with a win over Loyola, before knocking off No. 10 Notre Dame, 15-5. The Cavailers also picked up wins over James Madison, No. 17 Duke and Oregon in that span. UVA closed out the season winning five of its last seven games and advancing to the NCAA Second Round. Myers coached midfielders Maggie Jackson and Kasey Behr to their first All-America honors, while midfielder Sammy Mueller was named ACC Freshman of the Year.
In 2016, Myers led the team to three wins over top-10 ranked teams to send the Cavaliers to their 21st-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship. Virginia opened the year with a 10-8 win over No. 4 Northwestern, marking the first time in nine years the Cavaliers have beaten the Wildcats. The win catipulated Virginia to a No. 4 ranking in the IWLCA top-10. UVA also picked up a 16-13 win over No. 6 Penn State and topped No. 10 Boston College, 15-14, on Senior Day. Four players earned IWLCA All-South Region honors and three were named to the All-ACC Second Team.
During the 2015 season Myers guided a veteran team laden with four All-Americans to not one but three upset victories over previously-undefeated teams during the regular-season, including a thrilling 15-13 road victory at No. 3 Boston College, snapping the Eagles’ 10-game win streak. The Cavaliers spent the entire season ranked in the IWLCA top-10, rising as high as a No. 4 national ranking, and earned one of the eight national seeds in the NCAA Tournament. In addition to seniors Casey Bocklet, Liza Blue, Morgan Stephens and Courtney Swan all winning their second career All-America honors, Myers’ tutelage helped goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk earn the ACC Freshman of the Year award.
In 2014, Myers led her squad to the NCAA National Semifinals, Virginia’s first trip to the final four since 2007. The Cavaliers, playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, turned around a season that began with a 4-6 record in its first 10 games by winning eight of its last ten games leading up to the NCAA Semifinals including wins over No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 6 Boston College, No. 7 Duke and No. 4 North Carolina. Virginia earned one of six national seeds in the NCAA Tournament and had a first-round bye, before going on to defeat Princeton at home and then upsetting third-seeded North Carolina in Chapel Hill to advance to the semifinals. Under Myers’ tutelage, senior goalkeeper Liz Colgan, in her first season as a starter, was named the first team All-ACC goalkeeper as well as garnering first team All-America honors. Junior attacker Courtney Swan, a second team All-American on the field, became just the second Virginia player in any sport to earn the Elite 89 Award, presented to the player at the National Championships with the highest cumulative GPA.
Myers’ 2013 Cavalier squad played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, taking on five top-10-ranked teams in the first six games of the season. Fourteen of the season’s 21 games were against top-20 opponents. Led by third-team All-American sophomore attacker Casey Bocklet, the team rattled off four victories in the final six games of the year, including upsets of No. 7 Duke and No. 6 Georgetown, to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Under Myers’ guidance in 2012, senior midfielder Julie Gardner and senior attacker Josie Owen earned 2012 All-America accolades from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) with Owen garnering a second-team honoree, while Gardner took home third-team honors. The squad earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, finishing the regular season ranked No. 10 in the country with an 11-7 record. The ultimately fell in the first round to the No. 6 Duke Blue Devils.
The 2010 season saw Kaitlin Duff and Brittany Kalkstein wrap up stellar careers. Myers guided Duff into becoming the second player in program history to reach 100 in five different statistical categories, while Kalkstein broke the ACC and UVa career record for draw controls. She is also ranked fourth on the NCAA’s all-time list in the category and was the program’s third Tewaaraton Trophy finalist. As a squad, though plagued with injuries, Virginia earned a share of the regular season ACC title, finishing with a 4-1 conference record, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2009, Myers saw Blair Weymouth become the program’s second four-time All-American, while in 2008, Claire Bordley was honored as a first-team All-American, marking the 24th-consecutive year the Cavaliers had a first-team honoree. The 2008 Cavaliers also claimed their third-straight ACC Championship and fourth in five years.
The 2007 ACC Championship squad tied a school record with 19 wins, including six-consecutive games in the postseason, and advanced to the NCAA finals for the fourth time in five years. Kalkstein was honored as Virginia’s second-consecutive National Rookie of the Year, a testament to Myers’ ability to continue to bring in the top talent in the nation.
Virginia returned to the top of the ACC in 2006, as the Cavaliers won the ACC Tournament, thanks to a pair of record-setting performances from MVP Tyler Leachman and Weymouth – the National Rookie of the Year.
Virginia’s 2005 season saw the Cavaliers earn their 10th consecutive bid to the NCAA Championships, defeating 10 ranked teams along the way, including two wins over a top-10 Maryland team and three-top five teams. The Cavaliers again claimed a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist, and Virginia’s offense ranked in the top-10 for a fourth consecutive season.
In 2004, the Cavaliers led the nation for the third consecutive season in scoring offense en route to two tournament championships. Virginia defeated eight top-10 and 13 top-20 teams, including two wins over Maryland while the Terps were ranked in the top three, and defeated four teams who were ranked in the top three at the time. The Cavaliers were led by Amy Appelt, who won the Honda Sports Award, the Tewaaraton Trophy, and was the consensus Player of the Year.
The 2003 Cavaliers advanced to the title game yet again, defeating four teams ranked in the top five and 11 top-20 teams in the course of the campaign. The Cavaliers led the nation for a second consecutive year in scoring and ranked second nationally in ground balls pickups. Virginia forged a six-game winning streak midway through the season in which they defeated three top-12 teams, including a victory over then-No. 2 and eventual national champion Princeton. Near the end of the season, the Cavaliers put together a five-game win streak that included a road win over the No. 1 team in the nation and then defeated the No. 5 and No. 2 teams in the NCAA tournament to advance to the final day.
In 2002, the Cavaliers once again led the nation, this time in scoring offense. Myers coached not only the ACC Rookie of the Year but also the national rookie of the year. Two of her players were Tewaaraton Trophy finalists, more than any other school. Virginia swept through the ACC regular season, going 3-0 and reaching the No. 3 spot in the nation. The Cavaliers notched victories over eight tournament-bound teams and once again found themselves playing a first-round NCAA game in the friendly confines of Klöckner Stadium.
In 2001, Myers directed the team back into the NCAA tournament after five victories over tournament-bound teams and recorded at least eleven victories for the sixth consecutive year. For the sixth time, the Cavaliers earned the right to host a first-round NCAA playoff game at home, something only two other coaches have done in that span.
In 2000, the Cavaliers defeated 10 ranked teams and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive year after earning a home playoff game. Myers’ 1999 squad played in a school record 21 games, including the ACC and the NCAA Championships. In 1998, the Cavaliers claimed the ACC women’s lacrosse title with a thrilling come-from-behind 9-7 victory. The win was in the midst of a national-best 12-game winning streak that took Virginia to the national title game. The Cavaliers also claimed both the ACC Player of the Year and a National Player of the Year en route to a then-school-record 17 victories in 20 games, a school record at that time. At the conclusion of the season, four members of the 1998 squad were named to the US National Squads and five also received All-America status.
Myers’ 1997 team was ranked among the top five all season long and advanced to the finals of the inaugural ACC Championship. The 1997 Cavaliers defeated eight teams ranked in the top 10. Furthermore, the Cavalier defense ended the season ranked in the top four in scoring defense for the second consecutive year.
Myers guided her first team to a 14-4 record in 1996 and the number-two ranking at the end of the season. The Cavaliers returned to the post-season after a one-year hiatus in 1995, the first time in six years that Virginia did not participate in the NCAA tournament. Along the way, she coached the Cavaliers to a six-game winning streak and defeated eight top-15 teams, including two teams ranked second at the time of the game.
Myers served as an assistant on the Cavalier coaching staff from 1992-1994 under Jane Miller. She earned a degree in sociology from Virginia in 1990 and competed as a graduate student in the championship year of 1991. While at UVa, the Bryn Mawr, Pa., native earned a total of seven letters and Regional All-America status in both field hockey and lacrosse. Playing in her final season as a graduate student, Myers was the starting center on the 1991 National Championship team and earned second-team All-America honors. She is the proud mother of three children, Kelsey, Timmy and Kevin.