Mercer University

Mercer Athletics
1400 Coleman Ave Macon, GA 31207
Division 1 Georgia Southeast
Private Small National competitor


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Samantha Eustace

Samantha Eustace was named the Mercer women's lacrosse head coach on Aug. 19, 2015.

Through eight seasons with the Bears, Mercer has won the Southern Conference championship on three occasions and has led Mercer to back-to-back Big South Conference and tournament championships (2022, 2023). She is the only coach to lead the Orange & Black to the NCAA tournament, having done so five times.

In 2023, coach Eustace led the Mercer women's lacrosse program to arguably its best season in school history. Mercer finished the season 17-3 overall and went a perfect 9-0 in Big South play, winning both the Big South regular season and tournament championship.

Mercer's 17 wins in 2023 were a program record. The Bears won at Virginia Tech in the season opener, marking the first ever win for Mercer over an ACC school. Mercer went in to its NCAA Tournament game against No. 8 Notre Dame on a program best 12-game winning streak. Mercer had the third best scoring offense in the country as they averaged 16.4 goals per game. Mercer also finished eighth in the country in draw control percentage.

In 2023, senior attacker Shannon Urey scored 11 goals in a win at Wofford which was the most goals scored by any Division I player during the 2023 season and a school record. Urey followed Hailey Rhatigan's 2022 season and became the second consecutive Mercer player to finish second in the country in goals per game at 4.15 (83 goals in 20 games).

Urey was named the Mercer Female Student-Athlete of the Year for the 2022-23 academic year and the 2023 team finished the academic year with the highest team cumulative GPA among all 18 Mercer teams.

Mercer made the move to the Big South Conference in 2022. In the season opener, Mercer defeated Oregon. Coach Eustace and the Bears went on to finish the year 14-5 overall, and went 8-1 in conference play, earning a share of the regular season title with High Point. Mercer defeated High Point in the Big South Tournament championship game to earn its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid.

In 2022, Mercer led the Big South in goals per game. Senior attacker Hailey Rhatigan finished second in the country with 93 goals and third in the country with 121 points on the year, both set a new Mercer program record.

As the fourth seed in 2021, the Bears ran the table to the final SoCon title - defeating second-seeded Coastal Carolina and top-ranked Furman with come-from-behind wins to secure the crown.

With the exception of the shortened 2020 season, no Eustace-led Mercer team has missed postseason play.

In her third season at Mercer, Eustace and the Bears made program history by winning the inaugural SoCon championship. The victory bought their way into the NCAA tournament, for the first time in program history, where the Bears traveled to Staten Island, N.Y. to face Wagner, unfortunately falling 9-13 to the Seahawks. The Black and Orange went 9-11, 3-2 in conference for their first year competing in the SoCon.

Eustace marked a program-best overall record, going 13-6 and 7-3 in conference. The Bears made an appearance in the ASUN tournament defeating Old Dominion, 18-14 in the first round before falling to Coastal Carolina, 8-14 in the second round.

In her first season in Macon, Eustace led the Bears to a 7-11 record, including a 4-4 mark in ASUN play. Mercer finished fifth in the ASUN to earn its first appearance in the ASUN Tournament.

Under Eustace’s tutelage, Haleigh Wurzel anchored Mercer’s defense and led the nation in save and saves per game, while ranking third nationally in save percentage. Offensively, Lindsey Zeltwanger became the first player in program history to record 100 career points and Meghan Segreti grabbed her 100th career draw control.

Eustace (pronounced YOO-stuss) came to Mercer from James Madison University, where she spent three seasons as an assistant coach, working primarily as a defensive coach, goalie coach and draw specialist. She also served as the recruiting coordinator, academic liaison and video coordinator.

She helped lead the Dukes to the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament before finishing the season with a 15-5 record. James Madison was ranked in the top 20 for a majority of the season and recorded wins over No. 9 Penn State and No. 14 Loyola. The Dukes finished the season ranked No. 14 nationally.

Eustace was also responsible for the development of four all-conference performers, four IWLCA All-Region selections and three regional All-Americans. Additionally, she has had three players invited to the U.S. National Team tryouts, one of whom, Stephanie Finley, was named to the 2014-15 national team while also signing with Team STX.

Prior to her time at JMU, Eustace was at Flint Hill School, where she coached lacrosse from 2009-12. Eustace led the lacrosse program to a program-best fourth-place finish in the state and third-place finish in the Independent School League's AA division.

She also gained experience as an assistant coach at St. Stephens & St. Agnes School, where she coached both lacrosse and field hockey, as well as served as the athletic director. Eustace helped to lead the team to three consecutive top-five rankings in the nation, including a No. 1 ranking in 2007. While at St. Stephens & St. Agnes, she also coached two Under-19 World Cup players, 16 All-Americans and nine Academic All-Americans.

Eustace has previously coached with several of the nation’s top club teams, including Capital Blue and Mass Elite. She also has been involved with the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament as both a head coach and selector.

Eustace was a member of the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Massachusetts, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1994.

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Rebecca Hart

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Erik Hultgren

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