As the only team ever to lay claim to an NCAA title, women’s lacrosse has long been a point of pride for the UNH Athletics community. But until recently, it was also one of the only UNH athletic teams without a sport-specific endowment. In December 2012, a lacrosse alumna from the 1990s changed that, establishing the UNH Women’s Lacrosse Scholarship Fund to provide meritorious support to members of the women’s lacrosse team. A fully funded gift, the endowment will pay out its first scholarship in the fall to a member of the 2014 squad.
For the donor, who would prefer to remain anonymous, the gift is a way to honor a family member and to pay tribute to a program that was a significant part of her life as a UNH Wildcat. For Athletic Director Marty Scarano, the new endowment is a long-overdue recognition of one of the department’s most storied teams. “This gift is a great boost for the women’s lacrosse program and will give our coaches a critical new tool for attracting quality student-athletes,” he says. What’s more, adds Scarano, “It’s special to know that it comes from a lacrosse alumna, whose wonderful experience as a program participant has translated into such generosity as a program supporter.”
Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Sarah Albrecht
The new endowment is just the latest development for women’s lacrosse, which also welcomed new head coach Sarah Albrecht this year. A standout player whose pedigree includes two collegiate national championships at Northwestern University and six years on the U.S. women’s national senior team, Albrecht has previously coached at the University of Massachusetts and Harvard. In a debut season challenged as much by weather as other factors—several of the team’s early games were delayed by snowstorms—Albrecht has brought a new energy to the UNH program.
“Taking a program to the next level has its challenges, of course, but it’s a privilege to be part of the UNH Athletics family and I am confident we’ll be in a position soon to compete for an America East title,” Albrecht says. “Gifts like this new endowment really help, too, as they show the support of our lacrosse community for our team and reward the hard work and dedication of our players both on and off the field.”
The UNH Women’s Lacrosse Scholarship Fund is an open fund capable of receiving additional contributions of any size at any time. The donor behind the fund hopes other lacrosse supporters will consider adding to her initial gift, which will in turn increase the size of the scholarship it pays out.
Cat Tracker, Newletter for Athletics Development Office