Arizona State University

Arizona State University Athletics
Carson Center PO Box 872505 Tempe, AZ 852872505
Division 1 Arizona
Public Very Large National competitor


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Courtney Martinez Connor

Guiding the Sun Devil Lacrosse program through its inaugural Division I season, Coach Martinez Connor helped the Sun Devils enjoy one of the most successful inaugural seasons in NCAA history. In the season opener, Arizona State picked up the program's first-ever victory, an 18-8 road triumph against Kennesaw State. The Sun Devils started the season 5-1, highlighted by a come-from-behind win over Columbia, a game the Sun Devils trailed 4-0 and 7-1 at one point. The most significant result of the season came when ASU traveled to Berkeley to take on conference foe Cal. Despite trailing 6-2 in the first half, the Sun Devils would not quit, tying the game at 11 before the end of regulation to force overtime. Emily Glagolev would come through with the clutch, game-winning goal in overtime would give that would give the the program its first Pac-12 Conference victory.

Under Coach Martinez Connor's tutelage, several Sun Devil Lacrosse student-athletes enjoyed breakout seasons. Sun Devil Lacrosse co-captain Kerri Clayton nabbed Second Team All-Pac-12 honors after an outstanding first season in Tempe. Clayton finished with 59 points, compiling 44 goals and 15 assists. Her 2.59 goals per game average placed her fourth in the conference while her 3.47 points per game was good enough for fifth. She recorded two game-winning goals, tying for the team-lead with Maddy Hunter. Clayton put her name in the Sun Devil record books the very first weekend of the season, scoring a program record seven goals in the team's first win over Kennesaw State on Feb. 9. The junior added five goals and two assists the very next game against Stetson on Feb. 11 to cement her name at the top. For that weekend's performance Clayton was named Inside Lacrosse's Alpha Lacrosse Player of the Week on Feb. 14 as voted on by lacrosse fans across the country, the first National Player of the Week honor for the program. The Sun Devils captured five non-conference victories, two of which came by double-digits (Manhattan, Presbyterian). The Arizona State offense clicked in the non-conference, scoring 103 goals in six games (17.2 goals/game). Competing as the six seed at their first-ever Pac-12 Tournament, Arizona State saw freshman midfielder Maria Vallanti be named to the 2018 Pac-12 Women's Lacrosse All-Tournament Team after scoring a pair of goals against USC. Emily Glagolev, Graci Fulkerson, Kylie Kroeger, Ashley Cusack, Carley Adams, Maria Villanti, Berkeley Bonneau, Rachel Gregory and Julia Burns each played in all 18 games. All 34 players eligible players saw playing time this season. In total, 2,530 fans attended Sun Devil Lacrosse home games, for a Pac-12 best average crowd of 361 fans per game. The team got it done off the field as well as on it, as Coach Martinez Connor stressed the importance of academics. Arizona State placed a pair of student-athletes (Sydney Bosmans, Rachel Gregory) on the IWLCA All-Academic Team, honoring those with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher. Five different Sun Devils earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors, led by Sydney Bosmans, who received Second Team honors.

Courtney Martinez Connor was named the first head coach for Arizona State's varsity women's lacrosse program, Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson announced in Nov. 2015. Martinez Connor, a gifted lacrosse student-athlete and standout collegiate coach, is building the foundation of Sun Devil Athletics' 25th varsity sport.

"Courtney Martinez Connor's multifaceted background as a student-athlete, successful coach, fundraiser, and now broadcaster make her the ideal selection to help lead and grow Sun Devil Athletics' lacrosse program," Anderson said. "The success she has seen at every level is a tribute to her passion, hard work, and innate talent within the sport, and we are excited to see the heights this program can achieve."

Martinez Connor joined ASU following a successful career as a lacrosse analyst for ESPN and Big Ten Network. With her extensive broadcast background, Martinez Connor is a recognizable face within the lacrosse community.

"It is truly an honor to be selected as the coach of the Arizona State University Women's Lacrosse program. I am incredibly grateful that President Michael Crow, and Vice President for University Athletics, Ray Anderson, have provided me with such an incredible opportunity to lead the Sun Devils. Becoming the first University in the state of Arizona to add lacrosse speaks volumes to the overall vision held by Sun Devils Athletics and the Senior Administration. I am passionate about the sport and can't wait to start building the lacrosse tradition that will make the Sun Devil community proud. More importantly, I am excited to share my vision with recruits as Arizona State has committed to providing the resources to ignite a Championship program," Martinez Connor said.

Prior to entering her broadcasting career, Martinez Connor was the head coach for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers from 2005-09. In her first year at UMBC, Martinez Connor led the Retrievers to the program's first America East regular-season title with a 5-1 conference mark in 2006. The team also recorded its first-ever victory against defending conference champion and then seventh-ranked Boston University, also the first victory over a ranked team for the program. For her immediate turnaround at UMBC, Martinez Connor was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2006. Over her career at UMBC, Martinez Connor led the Retrievers to marquee victories over Oregon (2007) and Loyola (2008), coached 21 America East All-Conference players, had two players named to the America East All-Conference Championship team, and produced two of UMBC's most successful seasons (2006 & 2009) since 2002.

Also at UMBC and Mount St. Mary's, Martinez Connor was a prodigious fundraiser, and helped the athletics department raise money for a new athletics complex, including a locker room, coaches' offices, training room and a team media room. Martinez Connor also hosted a variety of events to help fundraise specifically for women's lacrosse, including dinners and silent auctions.

"Courtney is a tremendous student of the game and a great choice for Arizona State," Syracuse Women's Lacrosse Head Coach, Gary Gait said. "Her leadership will immediately allow the team to compete at the highest level".

Martinez Connor took the head coaching job at UMBC after her success at Mount St. Mary's University. In her four years as head coach at Mount St. Mary's, Martinez Connor became the all-time winningest coach in Mountaineer women's lacrosse history as she amassed of 43 victories. Earning the head job right out of college, Martinez Connor turned the Mountaineers program around and led Mount St. Mary's to the Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament title game in her final three seasons and back-to-back NEC Championships and NCAA tournament bids in 2004 and 2005.

"Arizona State is getting a top caliber coach and a fantastic person," ESPN broadcaster Quint Kessenich said. "Courtney is a perfect hire for the Sun Devils. She brings instant credibility to the brand. She is the total package: coach, wife, mom and I'm confident she and Arizona State will find success."

Martinez Connor was a standout lacrosse player at the University of Maryland, where she contributed to the Terrapins' five NCAA Team Championships (1997-2001) and four Atlantic Coast Conference Championship titles (1997, 1999-2001) in her time with the team. In 2001, Martinez Connor was named the MVP of the NCAA Championship and National Defender of the Year by 360 Lacrosse Magazine.

Graduating from Maryland in 2001 with a degree in international business and marketing, Martinez Connor was a member of the ACC Honor Roll, received the Maryland Scholar-Athlete Award, and was recognized for her outstanding academic achievement by the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education at the University of Maryland.

"We are excited for Courtney and what she will bring to Sun Devil Athletics," Deana Garner-Smith, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Women's Administrator, said. "Her diverse experience will significantly benefit not only our student-athletes but also all of our coaches as we continue to strive for excellence in collegiate athletics."

Martinez Connor is married to former Maryland All-American lacrosse player Casey Connor and they are parents to their four children: Acacia, Jacinda, Callista, and Caden.

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Caroline Fitzgerald

Former Drexel Assistant Coach Caroline Fitzgerald, a three-time All-American defender at the University of Florida, is joining the Arizona State Lacrosse staff as an Assistant Coach, as announced by head coach Courtney Martinez Connor on Friday.

"I'm so glad to have Caroline join our staff" Coach Courtney Martinez Connor remarked. "She will be a wonderful addition and influence to our student-athletes and program. I'm so happy that she has joined our family to become a Sun Devil."

Fitzgerald joins the Sun Devil Lacrosse staff after one season as an Assistant Coach at Drexel, where she worked primarily with the defense. Working under Dragons head coach Hannah Wszalek, Fitzgerald assisted with defensive concepts, helped implement defense schemes, and developed practice/game plans. She was also one of Drexel Lacrosse's primary recruiters, in charge of leading recruiting tours and creating presentations for prospective student-athletes.

"I would like like to thank Ray Anderson, Coach Martinez Connor and the entire athletic department for the opportunity to become part of the Sun Devil family" Fitzgerald said. "Throughout the years, Arizona State University has established rich traditions in academics and athletics and I look forward to helping our coaching staff build on those successes with the ASU Women's Lacrosse program."

As part of the Dragon's staff, Fitzgerald worked closely with the Colonial Athletic Association's Rookie of the Year Colleen Grady. Grady became the first Drexel player ever to receive a major Postseason honor from the conference. Additionally, Dragon's freshman Karson Harris placed on the All-CAA Second Team and All-CAA Rookie Team, joining her teammate Colleen Grady in earning the distinctions.

"She gained valuable coaching experience over the past year and her work ethic and competitiveness was evident" Coach Martinez Connor said.

Fitzgerald's coaching experience does not stop there, as she has been a part of Long Island Top Guns Lacrosse beginning in May of 2013. There she was the head coach for a pair of elite high school travel lacrosse clubs. Fitzgerald was in charge of creating strategies, plays, and lineups for games and tournaments. Additionally, she directed practices, camps, clinics, and tryouts while assisting players with the college recruiting process through communication with prospective coaches.

A four-year starter at the University of Florida, Fitzgerald made a tremendous impact in her career in Gainesville. Graduating as the program's all-time leader in ground balls (152) and caused turnovers (87), Fitzgerald will go down as one of the Gator's most productive defenders. Offering her team consistency and durability, she started all 82 games of her four-year career, the second most in school history. She also matched the program's single-game record with five caused turnovers in a win at Marquette. Fitzgerald saved her best play for last, as she set career-highs in ground balls (46), caused turnovers (26) and assists (2) in her final season at Florida. The Gators compiled a 68-14 record during her time in Gainesville, capturing the regular season and conference tournament crown in each campaign. She excelled off the field as well as on it, earning a spot on the Big East All-Academic Team and the SEC Spring Honor Roll as a senior.

Fitzgerald compiled several major accolades during her career at Florida. She was a two-time Tewaaraton Award Nominee (2016, 2017), an award which is recognized as the pre-eminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player. Earning IWLCA All-American honors in each of her final three seasons, Fitzgerald became just the fourth Gator to be selected to three All-America teams. The two-time Big East Defender of the Year (2016, 2017) also was named to the All-Big East First Team on three occasions (2015-2017). She was named team captain of the 2017 squad, a team that finished ranked No. 9 in the country with a 17-3 record.

"She competed at the highest level during her college career at Florida and continued her playing career into the United Women's Lacrosse League" Coach Martinez Connor added.

Fitzgerald would burst onto the scene as a freshman, garnering national attention as one of only freshman to start every game for a Top-10 Gators team. She gained NCAA Tournament experience, helping Florida advance to the second round with a victory over No. 17 Denver. This would represent the first of two NCAA Tournament victories for Fitzgerald and company, as they would take down No. 10 Stanford in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Fitzgerald would go on to receive Inside Lacrosse All-Rookie Team honors in 2014 after an outstanding freshman campaign that culminated in an American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) regular season and conference tournament championship.

After enjoying a successful collegiate career for the University of Florida, Fitzgerald was drafted in 2017 by the New York Fight of the Women's Professional Lacrosse League Inaugural Draft. Additionally, she was drafted by Long Island Sound of the United Women's Lacrosse League. She recently became Longstreth's first sponsored lacrosse athlete, a company committed to supporting the development of female athletes across field hockey, lacrosse, and softball.

Before arriving in Gainesville, Fitzgerald was a prep star at Mount Sinai High School in New York. She was selected to the Under Armour Senior North Team after completing a perfect 17-0 season that ended with a victory in the Class C Championship. Prior to that, Fitzgerald was a three-time Under Armour High School All-American (2010-12).

Coming from a family of collegiate athletes, it was no surprise sports were a part of Fitzgerald's life from a young age. Both of her parents were student-athletes at the University of Iowa in the 1980's. She is one of four siblings that went on to play college sports at the Division I level.

Fitzgerald graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in the School of Telecommunications.

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Tierney Conlon

Arizona State lacrosse head coach Courtney Martinez Connor announced the addition of former Montclair State University player and coach Tierney Conlon to the coaching staff as an assistant coach for the impending inaugural 2018 season.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tierney to the Sun Devil Lacrosse family,” said Connor. “She is a passionate, young coach with endless energy. She will be a positive role model for our young team.”

Conlon joins the Sun Devils after acting as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Montclair State. Conlon assisted head coach Nicol Parcelluzzi in all aspects of the sport including practice planning, recruiting, film breakdowns, strength and conditioning programming, and academic monitoring.

As a player for the Red Hawks, Conlon received First Team IWLCA DIII All-Region honors all four years. She played in 73 total games for MSU, totaling 187 goals in four years as a starter, and was named NJAC Player of the Year each of her last three years while adding NJAC and Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman.

As a sophomore, Conlon set the MSU single-season record in both the points scored and assists categories. In her senior season, Conlon was named to the IWLCA DIII All-America First Team, becoming the first Red Hawks player in program history to be named to first team. She closed out her career at MSU as the all-time leader in assists and points and ranked fifth in goals (187), 11th in ground balls (119), 11th in draws (63) and ninth in caused turnovers (59).

Conlon finished her collegiate career as the NCAA DIII all-time leader in assists (247) and fourth all-time in points scored (187).

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the coaching staff for the Sun Devils’ first season competing in the Pac-12,” said Conlon. “Coach Connor and [Assistant] Coach [Ashley] Bruns have an outstanding reputation in the lacrosse world and I’m excited to work alongside them to help build this program in all aspects.”

The Sun Devils will begin their inaugural season in 2018. With ASU adopting a women’s lacrosse team, the Pac-12 Conference will field six lacrosse teams and have enough teams to host an inaugural Pac-12 Championship in the sport.

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