Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock University Athletics
101 Field House Road, Suite 102 Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Division 2 Pennsylvania Northeast
Public Medium National competitor



Kelsey Van Alstyne

Kelsey Van Alstyne completed her third season as head coach of the Slippery Rock University lacrosse program in 2020.

Already the third winningest coach in program history, Van Alstyne has guided The Rock to a 22-17 record (.564) since coming to SRU. Seven players have earned All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors under her guidance with five going on to become all-region performers and one, Emily Bitka in 2018, earning All-America recognition.

In her first season at The Rock in 2018, Van Alstyne led SRU to a 13-5 record and a trip to the PSAC playoffs. The 13 wins were the most in a season in Rock history and the PSAC playoff berth was just the second in SRU’s 28-year history.

Under her guidance, The Rock finished 2018 leading the nation in ground balls per game (29.06) while also ranking third in caused turnovers per game (14.78), third in save percentage (.535), 11th in goals allowed per game (8.78) and 22nd in win percentage (.722).

Van Alstyne mentored three All-PSAC honorees in Rachel Shaw, Tia Torchia and PSAC Athlete of the Year Emily Bitka, who went on to be named and All-American and the MVP of the IWLCA Senior All-Star Game.

Slippery Rock concluded 2019 with a 7-9 overall record and just missed out on a PSAC Tournament berth. SRU got out to a 2-3 start to the 2020 season before having the year halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Van Alstyne, a 2011 graduate of Bloomsburg with a degree in exercise science, returned to the PSAC after spending three seasons as the head coach at Division III Morrisville State, where she led the team to a pair of conference titles, two NCAA playoff appearances and never posted a losing record.

The Burnt Hills, New York native guided Morrisville to an 11-8 record and a NEAC title in 2015 in her first year with the program. That led the Mustangs to their first ever appearance in the NCAA playoffs. Van Alstyne followed that up with a 9-9 showing in 2016 before capping her three years at Morrisville with a 13-6 record, a second NEAC title and a trip to the NCAA playoffs in 2017, when she was named Coach of the Year in the conference.

Prior to joining the staff at Morrisville, Van Alstyne served one season as the interim head lacrosse coach at Buffalo State, where she led the team to an 8-7 overall record in a season that featured six games against teams that were ranked in the top 20 in the national poll, the highlight of which was a win over No. 16 Brockport. She moved into that role after serving as an assistant coach for one year with the Bengals.

Prior to her time at Buffalo State, Van Alstyne served as an assistant coach for one season at Ithaca College and also served one year as a strength and conditioning assistant at Cornell University. In her one year at Ithaca, the program went a perfect 7-0 in conference play and the coaching staff was named Staff of the Year by the Empire-8 Conference.

In addition to her collegiate coaching experience, Van Alstyne has also coached USA teams in International competition in Australia, Germany and the U.K. for the last three years and has worked at various camps, including the Nike Cup.

Van Alstyne’s collegiate athletics career began at West Chester University, where she played volleyball for one season and earned PSAC Scholar-Athlete honors. She transferred to Bloomsburg University following her freshman year and played three years of lacrosse for the Huskies, serving two seasons as captain and earning Scholar-Athlete honors in each of those years.

After earning her undergraduate degree from Bloomsburg, Van Alstyne went on to earn her master’s degree in sports management from SUNY Cortland in 2014. She is married to Chris Van Alstyne, who currently serves as the strength and conditioning coach for The Rock lacrosse program.

Van Alstyne, whose maiden name is Kelsey Schwan, is the third head coach of The Rock women’s lacrosse program since the school reinstated the sport at the varsity level in 2007.

show more

Email coach

Taryn Burkholder

Taryn Burkholder joined the Slippery Rock staff as an assistant coach in January 2021 after serving as head coach at Morrisville State for three years from 2017-20.

In her first season in charge of the Morrisville program in 2018, she led the team to conference regular season and tournament titles and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. She followed that up with another pair of conference titles in 2019 and another trip to the NCAA Tournament. She was named the North Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2019 and also coached both the NEAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

Prior to taking over at Morrisville when current Slippery Rock head coach Kelsey Van Alstyne left Morrisville for SRU in 2017, Burkholder spent two years as the head coach at Muskingum University in Ohio, where she also served as a physical education lecturer and taught five classes.

Before her two years at Muskingum, Burkholder spent the 2015 season as an assistant on Van Alstyne’s staff at Morrisville State, helping the team to a conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance, and spent the 2014 season at Buffalo State as an assistant under Van Alstyne, helping the program to a winning record against a schedule the featured games against six teams ranked in the top 20 nationally.

Burkholder played Division I lacrosse and was a two-year captain as a defender at Niagara University, graduating in 2012 with a degree in sports management.

She began her coaching career at her Alma Mater and worked as an assistant at Niagara for the 2013 season before joining the staff at Buffalo State as an assistant coach.

In addition to her collegiate coaching roles, the West Seneca, New York native has also been active in the lacrosse community near her hometown, coaching at the Pure Heart Lacrosse Club and Hamburg Knights Lacrosse Clubs in the Buffalo area.

show more
Using this format of recruitment services was top notch, great tool to use for young dedicated athletes!
- Willon BuckmyreWhat are others saying?