Meghan McNamara now enters her 10th season as head coach of the LIU Post women's lacrosse team. The unrivaled success of the Pioneers in recent years has made McNamara one of the finest coaches in all of Division II women's lacrosse, as evidenced by her current record of 149-24 (.861).
In 2016, McNamara's squad returned to the NCAA Tournament, following a one-year hiatus. The Pioneers compiled a stellar 17-4 overall record and a near-flawless 7-1 mark in East Coast Conference play. Additionally, the green and gold captured their second-consecutive ECC title with a thrilling 7-6 victory over Dowling.
Meanwhile, the Pioneers swept all year-end honors from the conference, as Emily Delaney, Brittany Smith and Olivia Kirk were named the ECC Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Goalkeeper of the Year, respectively. Kirk, who led all of Division II as a sophomore with a .580 save percentage, was also recognized as the IWLCA and ILWomen Goalkeeper of the Year and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts between the pipes.
Going into the 2015 season, the Pioneers were tasked with attempting to figure out how to replace the senior leadership that had departed from the prior year. McNamara's club answered by posting a 15-4 record and an unblemished 8-0 mark in ECC play. The green and gold narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament after winning the East Coast Conference Championship, but the accolades rolled in for the team. Eight players earned All-ECC selections, while five earned IWLCA All-America nods. Among those players was senior defender Emily Hanifan, who also scored ECC Scholar-Athlete recognition, Lacrosse Magazine Division II All-America honors, ECAC All-Star second-team laurels and a spot in the IWLCA Division II North-South Game, along with teammate Jenna Pierro. McNamara was asked to coach the North Region's best in the contest, as well.
Additionally, red-shirt sophomore Emily Delaney put forth an outstanding campaign, leading the team with 87 points. Her 53 assists were the seventh-most in the country and helped the team rank eighth in Division II with a 7.26 assists per game average. The hallmark of the team, however, was their defense. McNamara's club leaned on freshman goalie Olivia Kirk between the pipes, and the team yielded an average of 5.58 goals per game to opponents. Kirk was third in the nation with a 5.58 goals-against average and also ranked third in save percentage (.535).
Coming off of back-to-back national championships, the Pioneers entered the 2014 campaign with 17 consecutive wins, running their winning streak over the course of three seasons to 40. McNamara led the Pioneers to the ECC Championship, where the winning streak was snapped by Dowling. The Pioneers would eventually advance to the NCAA Tournament before bowing out in the national semifinals to eventual national champion Adelphi. While the season ended bitterly for the Pioneers, there were still many reasons for the team to proudly have their heads held high. Jackie Sileo, who was named the ECC Player of the Year and IWLCA Attacker of the Year for the third-straight season, was once again a star as she topped 100 points for the fourth-consecutive year, finishing her career as the top-point getter across all divisions of NCAA lacrosse (580). Not to be outdone, senior Melissa Rohr was named ECC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and senior Katie Hannan took home Goalkeeper of the Year accolades. All in all, 10 Pioneers were selected to the All-ECC squads, seven players were dubbed ECAC All-Stars, five were named IWLCA All-Americans and three teammates competed in the IWLCA North-South Game.
The LIU Post offense moved like a juggernaut over the season, averaging just under 16 goals per game with a scoring margin of 315-124. The team contributed 195 assists, 89 of them coming from Sileo. The defense was just as solid, holding opponents to a 6.2 goals per game average, and clearing the defensive zone on 81 percent of occasions.
McNamara's successful tutelage on the sidelines earned her a third-straight ECC Coach of the Year Award in 2014.
Going into the 2013 season, McNamara’s Pioneers were the preseason No. 1 team in the country. LIU Post spent the entire season at the top, finishing the season at 20-0, capping off the perfect season with a 10-7 win in the National Championship game over Limestone to successfully defend their 2012 title.
The 2013 Pioneers were one of the most potent offensive teams in the country, outscoring their opponents 338-141. After a record-breaking 2012 campaign, the Pioneers topped it in 2013 by setting records for most goals in a season (team – 338), single-season scoring (Ashley Olen – 89, single-season assists (Jackie Sileo – 117) and single-season points (Sileo – 178).
McNamara had five players named to IWLCA All-America teams, five players named to IWLCA All-Region teams, and 10 players named to ECC All-Conference teams, including Sileo, who was named ECC Player of the Year and Dominique Mosca, who was named ECC Goalkeeper of the Year. McNamara was also named IWLCA Division II Coach of the Year, as well as ECC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.
In 2012, McNamara’s squad reached the pinnacle of success this season as the Pioneers won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship, defeating West Chester, 17-16. It was a record tenth NCAA appearance for the Pioneers, and McNamara's team ended the season with the top ranking in the IWLCA poll. LIU Post ended its season with a 17-3 record, tying the program record for wins in a season. Several other records also fell under McNamara's tutelage, include most goals in a season (team - 337), single-season scoring (Ashley Olen – 74), single-season assists (Jackie Sileo – 96) and single-season points (Sileo – 141).
The Pioneers outscored opponents 337-177 this season and were ranked top ten nationally in several categories: first in points (525), fifth in scoring offense (16.85), sixth in scoring margin (8.00), and sixth in scoring defense (8.85). McNamara also had five players earn IWLCA All-America first team honors, five players named to the IWLCA North Region teams, and ten players garnered spots on the All-East Coast Conference teams, including Coach of the Year honors for McNamara.
2011 saw the Pioneers finish with a 13-4 record including a 7-1 mark in the East Coast Conference. Three players earned IWLCA All-America honors, and nine earned All-Conference accolades, including the ECC Rookie of the Year, Jackie Sileo.
In 2010, McNamara guided LIU Post to a 16-2 overall record, and the program’s fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II National Championship tournament. McNamara’s 2010 squad boasted numerous accolades, including five IWLCA All-Americans, the East Coast Conference Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year and a second place ranking in the final IWLCA poll of the season. Ten players were named to the East Coast Conference All-Conference roster, and McNamara was awarded ECC Coach of the Year by her peers.
Her 2010 squad fell short to Adelphi in the NCAA semifinals, however, McNamara’s team handed the Panthers their only loss of the season with a 21-16 win in the teams’ regular season matchup. The women’s lacrosse team also takes its cue from McNamara off the field, as the team won the IWLCA Team Community Awareness award for their active participation in community service throughout the entire year.
In 2009, McNamara guided the Pioneers to a fourth straight NCAA appearance, complete with a 16-3 record and a second place ranking in the IWLCA final poll of the season. She mentored four All-Americans including two IWLCA players of the year, as well as nine All-Conference honorees.
McNamara led the Pioneers to a successful 2008 season, which included their third straight NCAA appearance and second appearance in the title game, posting an overall record of 17-2 for the season. Five players were named All-American while nine were named ECC All-Conference.
A native of East Northport, N.Y., McNamara was an assistant coach at LIU Post for two seasons (2006-07), where she helped the Pioneers to a 33-2 record. Her coaching helped the team to a perfect 17-0 record in 2007, en route to the program’s second NCAA Division II national championship.
Prior to coming to C.W. Post, McNamara spent four seasons as assistant coach at nearby Stony Brook University. She was actively involved in recruiting for the Seawolves program, and was instrumental in developing individual workouts and offensive game strategies. McNamara was the assistant director of Stony Brook Lacrosse Camps and Clinics during her stay at the school, and spent the final four months of the 2005 calendar year as the program’s interim head coach.
She is a 2001 graduate of the University of Maryland, where she helped the Terrapins to a combined record of 83-4 and four national championships during her playing career. A member of the 2001 ACC All-Tournament Team, she registered 71 points (51 G, 20 A) in a Maryland uniform.