University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island
Meade Stadium 25 West Alumni Ave Kingston, RI 02881
Division 1 Rhode Island Northeast
Public Large National competitor


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Jenna Slowey

Jenna Slowey was named the first varsity head coach in program history in July of 2022.

Slowey came to URI after spending the 2021-22 season as an assistant at Notre Dame, where she helped lead the Fighting Irish to an appearance in the NCAA Championship field. Before that, she spent five seasons as an assistant at Richmond, leading the Spiders to Atlantic 10 titles in 2018 and 2019, and a share of the regular-season title in 2021.

"This is an exciting day for URI Athletics, as we are pleased to introduce and welcome Jenna Slowey as our first women's lacrosse head coach," Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn said. "As we build our program from the ground up, we wanted a leader with the ability to be patiently aggressive. Jenna Slowey fits the bill.

"Jenna has been extremely successful at her previous institutions. She brings energy and enthusiasm, which will be required to start a new Division 1 varsity program. Jenna is highly respected in the women's lacrosse community, and she will work hard right away to recruit quality players who will enhance the URI Athletics culture while at the same time helping to grow the sport of women's lacrosse in Rhode Island. We are incredibly excited to partner with Jenna as we begin our women's lacrosse journey."

Rhode Island announced in December of 2021 it would add women’s lacrosse at the department’s 19th varsity sport. The Rams are expected to begin play in the Atlantic 10 beginning with the 2024-25 season.

“I am grateful and excited to join the Rhody family as the first coach in program history,” Slowey said. “I want to first thank all the mentors and players I have had the privilege of working with over my career – each has made me better. I want to thank Thorr Bjorn and the search committee for putting their trust in me. I am eager to bring my vision to life and build Rhode Island Lacrosse into a championship program.”

The offensive coordinator and draw coordinator for Notre Dame, Slowey helped the Fighting Irish rank 20th in the nation in scoring offense, 21st in points per game and 13th in both draw control percentage and draw controls per game. She helped Kasey Choma and Madison Ahern earn All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse Women. Choma also earned All-America recognition from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association and USA Lacrosse Magazine after leading the Fighting Irish with 59 goals.

While a member of Alison Kwolek’s staff at Richmond from 2017-21, Slowey helped the Spiders to an overall record of 64-16. Richmond won back-to-back conference titles in 2018 and 2019, earning NCAA bids both years. In 2020, the Spiders were 7-0 – including a victory at No. 6 Virginia – and had reached as high as No. 10 in the national rankings before the season was ended by the COVID-19 pandemic. The win over the Cavaliers was Richmond’s first over a top-10 program in 14 years.

A proven recruiter, Slowey and Richmond had the No. 10 recruiting class in the country in 2020, according to Inside Lacrosse Women. She also helped facilitate the program’s student athlete led-Social Responsibility Committee, an initiative that fostered community engagement and social awareness.

As a player, Slowey was a team captain for Fairfield in the 2013-14 season, earning All-MAAC honors as a senior and conference all-tournament team recognition as a junior. A three-time Academic All-Conference honoree, Slowey finished her career 13th in program history in points, and 12th in both goals and assists.

A native of Moorestown, N.J., Slowey graduate Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Fairfield in 2014. She completed a master’s degree in Nonprofit Studies from Richmond in 2020.

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Email coach

Riley Smith

Riley Smith joined the Rhode Island women's lacrosse staff as an assistant coach in September of 2022, making her the first person hired by head coach Jenna Slowey.

Smith came to Rhode Island from the University of Delaware, where she spent two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with the Blue Hens.

Before Delaware, Smith spent four seasons at Wesleyan University as the Associate Head Women's Lacrosse Coach. At Wesleyan, Smith helped the team go 36-14 overall record, with the program ending each of her four seasons nationally ranked in the IWLCA Division III Coaches Poll.

In 2019, Smith helped lead Wesleyan to the Division III national Final Four. A year earlier, the Cardinals advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA DIII Tournament, earning its first program win in the NCAA tournament that season.

While at Wesleyan, Smith developed 11 All-Americans, 11 All-NESCAC players, and successfully recruited 40 players from six states. She also served as an assistant field hockey coach for the Cardinals and has served as a head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Nor'easter Premier Lacrosse Club in New Haven, Conn., since 2013.

A 2017 graduate from Fairfield University, Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and played four years for the Stags as a midfielder. The Guilford, Conn., native was a member of the 2015 MAAC Championship team and competed in the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. Smith also holds a master’s degree from Wesleyan University.

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