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Grand Valley State University

GVSU Athletic Department
192 Fieldhouse Allendale, MI 49401
Division 2 Michigan Midwest
Public Very Large Competitive team

Coaches

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Mackenzie Lawler

Mackenzie Lawler enters her third season at the helm of the women's lacrosse program at the start of the 2020-21 school year, honing 17 wins and five losses. Grand Valley State Director of Athletics, Keri Becker, announced the hiring of Lawler as the new head coach of the Lakers' women's lacrosse program on July 10, 2018. Lawler becomes the second head coach in Laker lacrosse history.


Under Lawler's tutelage, three Lakers have earned regional honors from the IWLCA while ten have earned All-GLIAC honors.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was cut short, but the Lakers posted a 3-1 record that includes a win over No. 3, Lindenwood. Senior Abbi O'Neal was named to the Inside Lacrosse Women's DII Media All-America First Team with 21 points (17 goals, 4 assists). GVSU ended the season as the No. 10 team in the country in the final IWLCA DII Coaches Poll.


The 2019 season saw the Lakers go 14-4 overall, including a 10-1 mark in GLIAC play and an appearance in the GLIAC Tournament championship. The team ranked second in the conference in goals against average (7.14) and goals per game (16.83). Carly Shisler, Abbi O'Neal and Elizabeth Yeomans all earned IWLCA regional honors while ten earned All-GLIAC accolades. Shisler was named GLIAC Midfielder of the Year and was also honored with the opportunity to play in the IWLCA Senior All-Star Game.


Prior to joining the Lakers, she most recently spent four seasons as the first assistant coach at Central Michigan University, helping to launch the newly formed Chippewa lacrosse program. During her time at CMU, Lawler served as offensive coordinator as well as coordinator of recruiting, camps and film. In her final season at Central Michigan, the Chippewas held the tenth-best shooting percentage (47.8%) in Division I.


Lawler has also built one of the premier youth lacrosse programs in the state of Michigan. She founded Michigan Elite in 2011, serving as the administrator and head coach of a program that has grown to a staff of 10 coaches and over 150 athletes spread across seven teams; five in her hometown of Okemos and two in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Robert Morris University in 2014, where she was a three-year starter in the Division I Colonials' midfield and amassed 35 goals, 21 assists, 38 ground balls, 27 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. During her collegiate career, Lawler also spent time as a youth and high school coach in both her home state and in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where RMU is located.

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Nora Boerger

Nora Boerger begins her third season as an assistant coach in at the start of the 2020-21 academic year. Head coach MacKenzie Lawler announced the hire on Friday, August 10, 2018. Boerger serves as defensive coordinator and assist with camps and clinics and recruiting while also formulating and implementing the team's strength and conditioning program.


In the shortened 2020 season, Boerger coached a defense that caused 29 turnovers and posted 69 draw controls in just four games. Additionally, the Laker defense held their opponents to 41 goals, compared to GVSU's 64.


In her first season coordinating the defense, the Lakers ranked second in the GLIAC in goals against average (7.14). Three defenders earned All-GLIAC honors as did freshman goalie Payton Neil. The Lakers went 14-4, including a 10-1 mark in GLIAC play, and reached the GLIAC Tournament championship.


Boerger has extensive experience in NCAA lacrosse coaching. She most recently spent two seasons as an assistant at Lenoir-Rhyne University, a Division II program in Hickory, North Carolina. She was heavily involved in both skill development and practice and game planning for the Bears, helping the team to their first-ever South Atlantic Conference (SAC) regular season championship.


Boerger has also coached at Findlay University, where she was a defense and goalie coach, and Ohio State University, where she served as coordinator of performance analysis. On a club level, she coached in the high school division for both Midwestern Force and Northstar Lacrosse.


Boerger was hired as the associate head coach of the Swiss Women's National Team in 2018 and led the team to qualify for the 2020 World Championships (which were canceled due to COVID-19) after their success in 2019 European Lacrosse Championships in Israel. Less than two seasons later, Boerger was promoted to head coach in January of 2020 and is currently preparing the team for the 2022 World Championships.


A two-sport athlete at Urbana University, Boerger played both basketball and lacrosse for the Blue Knights. She was a USAcollegelacrosse.com honorable mention All-American in 2011, ranked sixth among Division II independents in ground balls and 12th in caused turnovers in 2012 and ranked fifth in the entire nation in ground balls in her final season in 2013. Boerger earned a B.S. in Exercise Science from Urbana and a M.A. in university leadership from Lenoir-Rhyne.

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