Head coach Laura Maness will enter her fourth season leading the Owls during the 2019-20 season.
During her first three seasons at the helm, Maness has elevated Kennesaw State women’s lacrosse to its best three-year stretch in program history.
In her first season as head coach for the Owls, she made an immediate impact leading the team to record-breaking win totals overall and in the ASUN. After a huge comeback against Furman in the final game of the regular season, the Owls finished the season 8-9 overall and 4-6 in the ASUN.
In her second season, she led them to a three seed in the ASUN after defeating Old Dominion, Howard and Stetson. The three seed is the highest ever ASUN ranking for the Owls.
She continued that success in 2019, tying the KSU wins record she set in 2017, finishing 8-10 overall while leading the Owls to their second straight ASUN Tournament berth.
The biggest improvement for KSU has come on the offensive end with the team netting over 200 goals and at least 12 goals per game in each of the last three seasons. This past season, the Owls tied the program record previously set in 2017 with 247 goals scored.
During her tenure, Maness has coached 10 all-conference selections, including four first team honorees to mark the first in program history. She has also overseen KSU’s first ASUN Player of the Year in Siena Gore following the 2019 campaign. Over the past three seasons, the Owls have racked up five all-freshman awards, six all-academic team selections, a 2018 Freshman of the Year honoree in Siena Gore and seven conference player of the week nods.
After a hard fought start to the 2019 campaign, the Owls closed out the back half of the season with a 6-3 record, including a 15-6 victory over Stetson in their final home game of the season to clinch their second straight ASUN Tournament appearance. KSU finished the year among the nation’s top-10 for free position percentage (4th) and shot percentage (7th) shooting 51.5 percent from the eight-meter arc and 48.5 percent from the field. The Owls also ranked 12th in the NCAA averaging 15.78 draw controls per game.
In 2018, KSU’s offense was fueled by ASUN Freshman of the Year Siena Gore as she set an ASUN record with 70 goals during the season on her way to being unanimously voted ASUN First Team All-Conference.
The Owls finished the year 7-11 overall as the defense held opposing teams to a program record 13.57 goals per game. The back line was led by Maura Palandro, who became the first Kennesaw State defensive player to be named ASUN First Team All-Conference.
in 2017, the team averaged 14.53 goals per game, which ended up being the 15th best mark in the country. Two players totaled over 60 points with Haley Swift leading the way with 66 points.
The Owls also made jumps statistically in ground balls and draw controls in Maness’ first year at the helm as KSU was named the statistical national champion in ground balls after the 2017 season averaging 24.65 per game. They were 10th in the country in draw controls winning 15.29 per game.
A coaching veteran who brings more than a decade of experience, Maness was named Kennesaw State’s head lacrosse coach on July 1, 2016.
She joined the Owls after spending the previous five seasons at University of Detroit Mercy. She led the Titans to four straight Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship game appearances and became the winningest coach in program history.
Maness brings 11 years of experience as a head coach to Kennesaw State after leading programs across all three divisions at Detroit (2012-2016), Lake Erie College (2009-11) and Waynesburg University (2006-08).
Kennesaw State began its fifth season as a program in 2017 and Maness is no stranger to upstart programs. She was the inaugural coach at both Lake Erie College and Waynesburg University while taking over at Detroit after its third season.
In her five years at Detroit, she coached one ASUN Player of the Year, one Defensive Player of the Year, one Freshman of the Year, 12 first-team All-ASUN selections, nine second-team All-ASUN selections and mentored the Scholar Athlete of the Year the past two seasons. The IWLCA honored the Titans as an All-Academic Squad each season.
Each season with Maness at the helm, the Titans improved. The team finished above .500 in each of the last two seasons, including a school-record 12-win season in 2016. The 2016 campaign also saw Detroit become the first-ever ASUN school to knock off Jacksonville en route to the program’s fourth straight appearance in the ASUN championship game.
Before coaching at Detroit, Maness was the inaugural coach for Lake Erie College at the Division II level. After 18 months of preparation, she led the Storm to a 7-7 record in its first season. Lake Erie was named an All-Merit squad and an All-Academic squad.
Maness began her coaching career at Morgantown High School while attending West Virginia University. She began as an assistant at Morgantown High in 2002 and was promoted to head coach in 2004. The team won four state championships during her tenure. Maness also served on the coaching staff for the Midwestern Force club lacrosse team during the summer.
In 2006, Maness was the head coach at Division III Wayneburg State in Pennsylvania where she guided that program in its first two years of existence.
Maness earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science at West Virginia. During her time at Waynesburg, she earned a Master’s of Business Administration in 2008.