Jill Redfern enters her ninth year as head coach of the Lehigh women’s lacrosse program in 2017. She has led the Mountain Hawks to six Patriot League Tournaments in her tenure, including in each of her first three seasons, which extended Lehigh’s overall streak to five in a row. The Mountain Hawks have also made the tournament in each of the last three seasons (2014, 2015 and 2016). In her time, the Mountain Hawks own a 75-60 record, including seasons of 11, 14, 10, and 13 as Redfern continues to take the Lehigh program to new heights.
Lehigh finished the 2016 season with a strong 13-5 record, including a 6-3 record in the Patriot League. The six league victories marked a school record while the Mountain Hawks hosted a league tournament game, and won a postseason contest, for the first time since 2010. Lehigh beat Colgate in the Patriot League quarterfinals to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2011. Allison LaBeau was named the league’s Attacker of the Year while Julianne D’Orazio and Kendall Garden were also named first team All-League, and Lauren Beausoleil garnered second team laurels. The Mountain Hawks earned a big road victory at Boston University while taking Loyola into overtime during the regular season, then playing a competitive back-and-forth game against the Greyhounds in the Patriot League Semifinals.
The Mountain Hawks advanced to their second straight Patriot League Tournament in 2015, finishing the season 9-8 highlighted by several quality victories. Included was a thrilling, last-second win at Bryant, a team that went on to win the NEC and advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Mountain Hawks also topped Big Ten foe Rutgers on the road in front of a nationally-televised audience on the Big Ten Network. Lehigh won its last two regular season games to earn the No. 5 seed in the league tournament. In the regular season, the Mountain Hawks also hung tough with eventual Patriot League Champion and National Quarterfinalist Loyola, trailing by just three goals with 6:51 still remaining.
Individually, Lauren Willcox was named first team All-Patriot League for a second straight season, earning All-League honors for a third consecutive year. Garden was also named to the first team while Kelly Scott and LaBeau garnered second team laurels. In addition, both Willcox and Carli Sukonik earned Academic All-Patriot League for a second straight season. As a team, the Mountain Hawks finished 2015 with the league’s third-best goals against average (8.06) while leading the Patriot League in caused turnovers per game (9.71). Sukonik’s 42 goals were firth in the league while LaBeau’s 48 points stood eighth. Garden led the league with 31 caused turnovers.
Lehigh enjoyed a resurgent season in 2014, finishing 4-4 in league play to advance to the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2011. Included in the success was a dramatic 12-11 double overtime win at Boston University to hand the eventual league finalist Terriers their first-ever Patriot League defeat. LaBeau scored both goals of overtime as she was named the league’s Rookie of the Year after posting 29 goals, nine assists, 16 groundballs, 24 draw controls and seven caused turnovers. LaBeau was one of five Mountain Hawks to earn All-Patriot League honors as she, Alexandra Fitzpatrick and Willcox were all named to the first team while Garden and Sukonik earned second team laurels. After the season, LaBeau was invited to try out for the U.S. National Team.
Sukonik’s All-League honor was her third in as many years as she has posted 98 goals and 14 assists in that span, finishing her storied career with 140 goals and 18 assists. Three Mountain Hawks were named All-Patriot League honorees in both 2012 and 2013: Sukonik (twice), Julie McBrien (twice), Leigh Ann Torcivia and Willcox. Fitzpatrick was named first team All-League as both a freshman (2011) and senior (2014) as one of the nation’s elite goalies both seasons. As a graduate student, Fitzpatrick went on to lead the Maryland Terrapins to the National Championship as their starting goalkeeper in 2015.
Torcivia and McBrien played in the IWLCA North-South Game in 2012 and 2013, respectively, following Lauren Dykstra, who was named the Game’s MVP in 2011.
In the summer of 2013, Dykstra became the first Lehigh alum to play in the World Cup as she suited up for Israel. Dykstra finished the tournament with 20 goals (second on the team). She helped propel Israel to the World Cup Quarterfinals in the country’s first appearance.
In 2011, the Mountain Hawks advanced to their fifth straight Patriot League Tournament, joining Colgate as the only teams to qualify in each of the past five seasons. Lehigh also posted an impressive win at Navy in front of a national television audience on CBS Sports Network, joining eventual National Champion Northwestern as the only two teams to defeat the Midshipmen in Annapolis. The Mountain Hawks hung tough on the road against nationally-ranked ALC squads Florida and Penn State, taking an early second-half lead against the Gators, a team which rose as high as No. 2 in the national rankings. Lehigh finished among the national leaders in a number of statistical categories, ranking ninth in scoring margin (4.65), 11th in scoring defense (8.94), 12th in draw controls (13.94) and 13th in scoring offense (13.59).
Redfern helped lead Dykstra, who garnered three postseason All-America honors, which included becoming Lehigh’s first IWLCA All-American since 1996. The multi-dimensional Dykstra finished 2011 as the nation’s leader in goals per game, winning Patriot League Midfield Player of the Year to complete the cycle of league major awards; Dykstra previously won Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Redfern also coached Dykstra to a Lehigh and Patriot League record in career goals as Dykstra stands sixth in NCAA history with 257.
During her inaugural season on the sideline, Redfern led the Mountain Hawks to the fourth most victories in a single season in school annals, the most home wins in program history and the program’s third consecutive Patriot League Tournament berth as Lehigh tied the school mark for the most Patriot League victories in a single season (four). That would be one-upped as Lehigh went 5-1 in league play both in 2010 and ’11. Redfern’s success continued in 2010 as the Mountain Hawks jumped out to an 8-0 start before winning the Patriot League Regular Season Title and advancing all the way to the Championship Game.
Redfern was named the head women’s lacrosse coach at Lehigh on June 23, 2008. Prior to that, she served as the associate head coach of the program. During that time, she helped lead the Mountain Hawks to a pair of Patriot League Tournament appearances and helped mentor 13 All-Patriot League selections, three consecutive Rookie of the Year honorees and a pair of Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winners.
In 2008, Redfern brought on assistant coach Kelley Putnam. The two went on to mentor a program record eight All-Patriot League selections, including freshman Kelly Draper who earned the program’s fourth consecutive Patriot League Rookie of the Year Award - a first for all programs among all sports in Patriot League history. Redfern was also instrumental in the development of Dykstra who was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Region and was selected to the final tryout for the United States Women’s Developmental Team.
Redfern has enjoyed a very successful career in coaching, which includes a previous stint at Lafayette College where she garnered Patriot League Coach of the Year honors in 2000 after leading the Leopards to the league title. Redfern also served as an assistant in both the field hockey and lacrosse programs at Lafayette for 10 years before assuming the head coaching position. In four seasons as head lacrosse coach (including her time at Lafayette), Redfern has recorded double-digits in victories each season, winning Patriot League Coach of the Year three times. Her overall career record now stands at an impressive 46-21 (.687).
During her playing days, Redfern was a two time Division III All-American at Ursinus College and earned the MVP award of the 1986 NCAA Tournament as she helped lead the Bears to a national championship. Following her collegiate playing experience, Redfern was a member of the US National Lacrosse Team from 1987-1993, and capped off her international play as a member of the winning United States World Cup Team in 1993, in Edinburgh Scotland.
Redfern is a 1988 graduate of Ursinus College, and later earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh in 1991. She was inducted into the Ursinus Hall of Fame in 1998 for her exceptional contributions to women’s athletics.
Redfern and husband Tom reside in New Jersey with their two children, Nicholai (19) and Cecily (17) and their dog Licorice.