Lisa Valentine enters her fifth year as Christopher Newport’s head coach following an impressive start to her career with the Captains.
Taking the reins in 2016 as just the fourth head coach in program history, Valentine has made an immediate impact while helping CNU register a 41-32 record over the last four seasons. Along the way, the Captains have returned to the national spotlight, earning a place in the IWLCA National Coaches Poll. The squad climbed as high as 15th in the rankings during the 2016 campaign, marking the program’s top spot in over three years.
During her first season in Newport News, Valentine helped the Captains compile an 11-5 record while finishing atop the NCAA with a .580 free-position percentage. The 2016 squad also ranked first in the CAC with a .541 save percentage and a 13.13 goals-per-game average. In 2017, Christopher Newport registered an 11-8 record while ranking ninth in the NCAA in free-position percentage (.525) and first in the conference in draw controls (259).
Continuing the team’s statistical success, the Captains led the CAC with a 14.32 goals-per-game average in 2018 while also establishing a new school record with 229 total saves. Equally stingy during the 2019 campaign, Christopher Newport set a new program benchmark by averaging 9.84 caused turnovers per game. On an individual level, Sam Wettengel broke the single-season record by forcing 42 miscues.
In addition to the team’s success, Valentine has helped 11 Captains earn All-Conference honors over the past four years, while six players have collected All-Region accolades. Headlining the decorated contingent, Meaghan Galvin was celebrated as the CAC Player of the Year in 2016, while she and Sarah Culver became the first Captains to secure All-American accolades from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association. Galvin earned second-team nods in 2016 and 2017, while Culver was a third-team pick in 2019.
Equally impressive off the field, Christopher Newport has been recognized as an IWLCA Academic Honor Squad during each of the past four seasons. The Captains also earned the IWLCA Community Awareness Award in 2016, which is bestowed upon the program that has made outstanding contributions on the campus and in the community.
Prior to arriving in Newport News, Valentine spent five years as the head coach at St. Mary’s (Md.). During her time with the Seahawks, she compiled an overall record of 49-39, including a 22-15 ledger in league action. Along the way, the team reached the semifinals of the CAC Tournament in 2013 and 2015.
During her final year at St. Mary’s, the Stevensville, Maryland native led the Seahawks to a 13-5 record, including a 6-2 mark in the CAC. She also registered a 12-win campaign during her first year at the helm in 2011.
In her time at St. Mary’s, she coached eight All-Region honorees and 15 All-Conference performers. Just as impressive in the classroom, Valentine’s teams were named IWLCA Division III Academic Squads in 2012-14.
Prior to her time at St. Mary’s, Valentine served on the coaching staff at Washington College of Maryland from 2008-11. She was an assistant coach with the Shorewomen in the summer of 2008 before being promoted to Senior Assistant Coach and recruiting coordinator the following summer.
A 2006 graduate of the University of Maryland, she played lacrosse for the Division I powerhouse for four seasons. As a Terrapin, she helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament all four years, including a trip to the Final Four in 2003.
Valentine earned her B.A. in economics from Maryland in May, 2006.