St. Joseph's College-Long Island's head women's lacrosse coach Bob Vlahakis, is pleased to announce the addition of assistant coaches Jeanette Dunnigan and Heidi Kissinger to the Golden Eagles coaching staff for the 2013 season
Jeanette Dunnigan comes to St. Joseph's after a stellar career as a midfielder and defenseman at the University of Delaware (NCAA Division I). Dunnigan was a three-year letterwinner who graduated in 2005. She brings big time experience to the Golden Eagles and will be their first full-time defensive coach.
A native Long Islander, Jeanette was a High School All-American defender for Bay Shore and member of one of their state finalist teams. At Bay Shore, she was a three-time All-County player in both lacrosse and field hockey and captain of the lacrosse program's Long Island championship team. She will be the first coach in the Golden Eagles program with Division I playing experience. "That experience playing some of the top college teams in the country, will be invaluable to the Golden Eagle lacrosse players," said Coach Vlahakis.
"I am really excited having Jeanette join our staff. Our team emphasis is on our defense, and Coach Dunnigan has shown the ability in the fall to train and lift our players to the next level as far as their individual defense goes," added Vlahakis. "With a year's experience under their belts, plus our first recruiting class, our pretty good defense now has the opportunity to raise their game to the next level. I can't wait to see the results during the games."
Heidi Kissinger, originally from East Islip, joins the staff after finishing her career last year at SUNY Oneonta. She led the Red Dragons to the #1 ranking in the country for most draw controls won by a team per game. Individually, the East Islip product was third in the country with 139 draws and an average of 8.69 draw controls per game. In addition, Kissinger scored 30 goals and had five assists. Each year of her four-year career, she scored between 20 and 30 goals, reaching 96 goals total, along with 220 draw controls and 96 ground balls.
Heidi started 61 of 63 games in her career and earned SUNYAC Conference Honors her senior year. She also received the very prestigious Hal Chase Memorial Award at Oneonta which is presented to one female and male athlete for all sports seasons and represents the one individual who most personifies loyalty, leadership, dedication and contributions to the success of the athletic program. During her stay at Oneonta, Kissinger also served as President of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.
"Heidi is going to be our offensive coordinator. She has a natural ability to be a leader, and has already had our offensive players thinking and expanding their games. One of our areas of weakness last year was at the draw circle, and she is ready to have us be much more competitive at gaining and maintaining possession on every draw. Heidi's style and personality has really blended well with our players and with her day-to-day coaching of the attack and midfielders, I believe we will greatly improve on the offensive end," said Valhakis.
Dunnigan and Kissinger have already stepped in seamlessly and made the transition to a new coaching staff a very smooth process.
Vlahakis commented further on the new additions, "I truly believe that these two coaches are exactly what we need as we move forward with our program. They have tremendous game experience and two different perspectives of the game. They are the perfect follow-up to our inaugural coaches, Francesca Mazzola (now getting her master's degree in Massachusetts) and Mallory Ferrandiz (now at Division II's Belmont-Abbey in North Carolina), who laid a wonderful foundation for our inaugural program. We are all looking forward to the start of the season."
In 2012, St. Joseph's College finished at 9-9 overall in their inaugural season and third in the Skyline Conference with a 6-2 record after being picked seventh in the Skyline Preseason Coaches poll. They lost to eventual NCAA Tournament qualifier and conference champion Montclair State University in the Skyline semifinals, and then lost to Washington and Jefferson College, 9-7, in the ECAC Metro Tournament.