Hofstra University

Hofstra University Men's Lacrosse
Margiotta Hall 120 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 115492300
Division 1 New York Northeast
Private Large National competitor


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Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith, a three-time first-team lacrosse All-American who is among the most decorated players in the sport, is in her 12th season as the head women's lacrosse coach at Hofstra University.

Smith became the ninth head coach in the history of the Hofstra women’s lacrosse program in July 2012.

Smith has coached the Pride to 84 wins in her 11 seasons. Her 84 wins are the second-most in program history.

This past season she had a pair of players earn postseason honors from the Colonial Athletic Association as the program endured some key injuries throughout the season. In 2022 she led Hofstra to nine wins and another postseason berth. Four student-athletes earned postseason honors from the CAA, while graduate student Shannon Boyle garnered All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse.

In 2021, Smith and the Pride posted six wins on the season, including three wins over nationally-ranked opponents and the team earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament where it nearly upset #9 Loyola Maryland. The NCAA Tournament appearance was the program’s first since 2007. It marked the most wins over ranked opponents since the 2010 team also defeated three nationally-ranked squads. Hofstra finished the season ranked 23rd in the nation by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association and the Pride had five players earn All-CAA honors and Alyssa Parrella earned All-America accolades.

During the shortened 2020 season, Smith led Hofstra to a 4-3 record facing one of the nation’s most difficult schedules.

In 2019, Smith guided the team to a 12-win campaign and a spot in the CAA Championship Game. The 12 wins were the most since 2010 and the appearance in the championship game was the first for Hofstra since 2013. It was a banner year individually for the Pride as six Smith-coached players earned postseason awards including Alyssa Parrella who was the CAA Player of the Year and became the ninth IWLCA All-American in program history.

The 2018 campaign saw Hofstra win eight games for the second consecutive season against a schedule that featured seven teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The future was on display for Hofstra in 2018 as well as all four of the Pride’s postseason honorees from the CAA were either sophomores or freshmen.

In 2017, Smith led Hofstra to eight victories as the program took a major step forward and upped its overall win total by five victories and increased its CAA wins as well. Individually she oversaw the development of several standouts, as Alyssa Parrella, Drew Shapiro, Alexa Mattera and Darcie Smith all earned awards from the CAA. Parrella arguably had one of the best freshman seasons in the nation as she picked up CAA and ECAC Rookie of the Year accolades.

Hofstra won a trio of games in 2016 as the team was decimated by injuries throughout the season. Following the season four Pride student-athletes would earn awards from the CAA, including Lindsay Scott as a member of the first team and Lindsey Alfano on the second team.

The 2015 season would see Smith lead Hofstra to an 11-win season and a regular season CAA title after finishing the regular season with a perfect 6-0 mark in conference play. It marked Hofstra’s first-ever perfect season in CAA play and the first time the Pride went undefeated in regular season league play since going 6-0 in the America East Conference in 2001. In just her third season at the helm of the program she led Hofstra to the number one seed in the conference tournament for the first time since the 2007 campaign. Smith’s stellar season leading the Pride garnered her CAA Coach of the Year accolades. She became the first Hofstra coach to win that award since 2005.

Smith has led Hofstra student-athletes to significant awards during her time at the helm. Brittain Altomare became Hofstra’s eighth-ever IWLCA All-American when she was named to the third team in 2015. She also garnered CAA Player of the Year honors, the Pride’s first-ever CAA Player of the Year honoree and first since 1996. She also coached April Iannetta to back-to-back CAA Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2013 and 2014, as well as Becky Conto to the 2013 CAA Rookie of the Year Award.

In 2014 Hofstra compiled eight wins while finishing 12th in the nation in scoring defense. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Gregerson ranked fourth in the country in save percentage and eighth in goals against average. In addition to Iannetta’s Defensive Player of the Year trophy, five other players received All-CAA accolades and two ( Altomare and Iannetta) were named to the IWLCA all-region team.

In her first season at the helm, Smith led the Pride to an 11-8 mark and a berth in the CAA Championship game. The Pride posted a six-win improvement from 2012 and ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense, ground balls per game and caused turnovers. Iannetta shared the CAA Defensive Player of the Year Award, Conto took home CAA Rookie of the Year accolades and Altomare set a new school record for assists under Smith’s tutelage.

Smith also has extensive coaching experience in the professional ranks as well as in the summer of 2016, Smith coached the Long Island Sound of the United Women’s Lacrosse League to the title in the inaugural season of the professional women’s lacrosse league. She added to her professional experience in 2018 as she was named the head coach of the New York Fight of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League and has served in that capacity for the past two years.

Smith completed a four-year playing career at Northwestern in May 2012. Among her many highlights included winning three NCAA titles, earning three first team All-American honors (2010, 2011, 2012) and capturing the 2011 Tewaaraton (presented annually to the NCAA women's and men's lacrosse player of the year) and lacrosse Honda (recognized as the top collegiate female athlete in her sport, and the award is considered by many as one of the highest honors a female college athlete can receive in the nation) Awards.

Smith’s incredible career at Northwestern was recognized in 2017 as she was inducted into the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame. In addition, she was also inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

Smith is very adept at the business side of lacrosse as well. Since 2009, she has served as a director with Long Island Top Guns girls lacrosse club. Smith has assisted with every aspect of the club and helped organize and coach a training program for over 300 players. From managing the business side of the club to coaching teams, Smith has played a vital role in the development of one of the top club programs in the area. Through her work with Long Island Top Guns, Smith manages a total of four camps, while overseeing a staff of over 20 people.

Smith’s immense experience at the highest level of lacrosse continues with her extensive US Lacrosse career. She was named to the roster for the 2012-14 U.S. women’s national senior team. Smith also was part of the 2011-12 U.S. women’s national training team and the 2007 U.S. women’s national under-19 team. As a member of the U-19 squad, she helped lead the team to the Gold Medal at the 2007 World Cup.

In June 2012 Smith coached the North squad at the 2012 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic.

A key player on three teams that captured NCAA titles at Northwestern (2009, 2011, 2012), Smith was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 and 2012 Championships. During her career, she scored 58 points in the NCAA Tournament to rank second all-time in that category.

Smith is not defined solely by her postseason honors and awards, though, as she totaled 254 goals, 108 assists and 362 points during her career. She closed her playing career ranked first in program history in goals, second in points and third in assists. Her 86 goals in 2011 are a single-season record for the Northwestern program. In addition, she ranked eighth all-time in NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse in points and ninth in goals at the conclusion of her career.

She played in 91 games during her career at Northwestern, adding 118 draw controls, 85 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers. Smith had 19 game-winning goals during her career and her 2011 season was her most prolific with 86 goals, 42 assists, 128 points, 39 draw controls, 25 ground balls and eight caused turnovers.

Smith has done charitable work in the Long Island community as well. She is actively involved with the Friends of Jacyln Foundation and Our Lady of Grace Garden. She also helped lead a group of counselors at the South Bay Elementary School (West Babylon, New York) Lacrosse Camp to raise $6,500 towards the reconstruction of the school after a fire. At Hofstra, she has continued the women’s lacrosse programs involvement with the HEADstrong Foundation as well as the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation.

A native of West Babylon, New York, Smith attended West Babylon High School where she was a six-time letter-winner and was a member of the varsity squad starting in seventh grade. Smith was one of the top scholastic lacrosse players to ever come out of Long Island as she had 729 points on 505 goals and 224 assists during her career. Both the points and goals totals are New York state records as are her 129 goals in 2006.

Smith received her bachelor of science in liberal arts, with a major in economics and minor in business institutions program, from Northwestern. She also earned her master’s in sports administration from Northwestern and a MBA in finance from Hofstra in 2022.

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Alexa Mattera

Alexa Mattera, who starred for Hofstra from 2017 to 2021, is in her second season as an assistant coach with the Hofstra women’s lacrosse program.

Mattera joined the Hofstra staff after serving as an assistant coach at Long Island University for a season.

She also has extensive club lacrosse coaching experience having worked with Long Island Top Guns Inc. and LacroSSe by 3 Inc. since 2017.

Mattera had a spectacular career with the Pride as she totaled 125 goals, 27 assists, 152 points, 209 draw controls, 114 ground balls, and 60 caused turnovers over her five seasons in a Hofstra uniform. She ranks sixth all-time in program history in goals and 10th in Hofstra history in points. In addition, her draw control total is the second-most at Hofstra and the fifth-most in Colonial Athletic Association history. A four-time postseason honoree from the CAA, she was an All-CAA First Team selection in 2019, earned second team honors in 2021 and 2018, and was a CAA All-Rookie pick in 2017. Mattera was also a member of the Pride’s 2021 NCAA Tournament team.

Mattera has done extensive work in the community as well, taking part in Night to Shine, Hofstra’s Shake-A-Rake, the Tunnel To Towers Run, Holiday Magic, Surfers Healing, Julia’s Rainbow Foundation, and multiple HEADstrong Foundation events.

Mattera earned her undergraduate degree in linguistics from Hofstra in 2020 and received her master’s degree in education in 2021.

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Sam Santeramo

Sam Santeramo is in her second season as an assistant coach with the Hofstra women’s lacrosse team.

Santeramo came to Hofstra after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Mount St. Mary’s University in 2019 and 2020, helping the Mount to an impressive 22-4 record over the two campaigns.

She has also worked at multiple lacrosse clubs, including Long Island Top Guns, Liberty Lacrosse, Team Elevate Lacrosse, and the Police Athletic League.

Santeramo had a spectacular career for the Bulldogs as she appeared in 71 career games and made 67 starts for Bryant. She compiled an impressive 46-16 record in net, winning at least 10 games each season and totaled 494 saves during her career, along with a 9.03 goals against average and a save percentage of .483. She is Bryant’s all-time program leader in save percentage, goals against average, goalie wins, and ranks second in career saves. She was a two-time All-NEC First Team selection (2016 and 2017) and also earned All-NEC Second Team honors in 2018. She was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams at Bryant in 2015 and 2017.

Santeramo also has experience in the corporate world having worked for the past year as an assistant account consultant with Savoy Associates and also with International Benefits Administrators prior to that.

Santeramo earned her undergraduate degree in marketing with a minor in communications from Bryant in 2018. She completed her master’s degree in sports management in 2019 from Mount St. Mary’s.

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