After guiding the Merrimack College women’s lacrosse program to arguably its best season in program history this spring, head coach Julie Duffy will be taking her coaching prowess overseas after being named the head coach of the Switzerland Women’s National Lacrosse Team, as announced Friday.
Among her responsibilities with the Swiss Lacrosse Federation – which will not conflict with her oversight of the women’s lacrosse program at Merrimack – will be to develop the Swiss women’s national team program over the next four years and to participate in and promote the development of women’s lacrosse in Switzerland. She will have the opportunity to coach the team at the European Championships in June of 2019 in Tel Aviv, as well as at the World Championships in June of 2021 in Towson, Maryland.
“I am so excited for this opportunity to work with the Swiss National team and continue to share my passion of lacrosse abroad,” Duffy said. “It’s an incredible honor and I can’t wait to get started and help grow the sport in Switzerland. I’m already looking forward to the World Championships here in the United States and can’t wait to see plenty of Merrimack supporters in Swiss gear down in Maryland!”
Duffy will travel to trainings and tryouts in Switzerland multiple times over the next four years while attending training tournaments and the aforementioned European Championships in 2019 and the World Championships in 2021. She will oversee the selection and development of the national team, as well as practice and game planning.
This past spring, Duffy led Merrimack to a school-record 14 wins, which were 10 more than the previous season and indicative of the greatest improvement from the 2017 season for any team nationwide in Division II. The Warriors garnered their first national ranking in six years after upending five ranked teams along the way. Merrimack lost back-to-back games only once all season and posted double-digit goal totals in all but two games. The Warriors had two separate five-or-more-game winning streaks over the course of the year after not having won more than three games in a row in any of the previous eight seasons.
Merrimack would go on to finish fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference standings, tying its best finish ever in the regular season conference ledger to earn the program’s first berth in the NE10 Championship in six years. The Warriors would advance to the league tournament’s semifinal round for the first time since 2011 before ultimately seeing their magical season come to a close.
On the individual front, Duffy coached the program’s first IWLCA’s First Team All-Region selection in eight years in rising senior Amber Feminella, as well as a school-record seven NE10 All-Conference selections – including Haley Bartlett, the NE10 Rookie of the Year and first major end-of-year NE10 award winner for the program in 11 years.