As she walks the sideline for home women's lacrosse matches at Edwin Fauver Stadium, Sue Behme is in familiar territory. The 2019 season is the ninth for Behme (prounounced: BEAM) on the River Campus.
Last season, Rochester compiled a 5-10 record overall and was 2-8 in the Liberty League. The Yellowjackets set a new single-game program record, dishing out 13 assists in a 16-6 win over conference rival Bard. Rochester played a tough schedule which included four nationally ranked foes. Junior Jamison Seabury was selected to the All-Liberty League 2nd Team.
In 2017, Rochester posted a 9-6 overall record and 5-4 mark in Liberty League play, qualifying for the Liberty League playoffs for the second time in three seasons. UR earned a 7-6 victory at Union in the regular season finale, clinching a berth in the postseason and securing Rochester's first win in Schenectady over the Dutchwomen since 1991. Three players earned All-Conference accolades, including Jamie Wallisch who was Behme's first ever player to earn multiple 1st Team All-Liberty League honors. The Yellowjackets also set a new school record allowing just 7.07 goals per game, also earning top-50 rankings in NCAA Division III in scoring defense, save percentage and fewest turnovers per game.
Since her arrival in October of 2010, the Yellowjacket lacrosse team has moved forward exponentially. After three years of getting her feet wet, UR tripled its win total from the previous season in 2014 before earning its first winning season at 9-8 in over a decade in 2015. Behme guided Rochester into the Liberty League playoffs that season, only UR's second ever appearance in the conference tournament.
Academically, the team has carried on its tradition of academic excellence by being recognized in nine straight years (2011-19) as an IWLCA Academic Honor Squad. Over this time, 26 student-athletes have been named to the IWLCA Academic Squad earning a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and countless players have been named to the Liberty League All-Academic Team.
She returned to Western New York after two-plus seasons building a Division I program at Fresno State. Before heading to the West Coast, Behme coached a total of 13 seasons at SUNY Geneseo and Nazareth College. She coached at Geneseo for a four-year period, then spent nine years on the sidelines at Nazareth. She compiled a 115-39 record, including a 52-3 conference record at Nazareth and led the Golden Flyers to six NCAA Division III tournament appearances.
Behme’s success as a coach has come both on and off the field. At Fresno State, the Bulldogs earned the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association team academic award in each of her first two seasons (2008-09, 2009-10). Eleven players earned Academic All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors in 2008-09 and three were named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll. In the 2009-10 season, seven players earned Academic All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors and two were named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll. Additionally, one player was named MPSF 2nd team All-Conference, the first All-Conference player in that programs history.
Her accomplishments at Fresno State extended beyond the playing field and the classroom. For two consecutive years, the women’s lacrosse team won the Athletic Director’s Community Service Award at the SA Night of Champions for donating more than 500 hours of community service yearly. Over 200 people showed up for free clinics put on by the Fresno State coaching staff.
At Nazareth College, she coached seven players to All-America honors and had a Division III Goalkeeper of the Year. Thirty-two Nazareth players earned All-Region honors. In the fall of 2011, she was inducted into the Nazareth College Sports Hall of Fame for her distinguished service.
Behme was named the Empire 8 Coach of the Year five times. She led Nazareth to the E-8 title in 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2006 (getting an automatic NCAA bid). Nazareth earned at-large bids in 2004 and 2007. In 2006, Behme was named the New York State Coach of the Year and IWLCA Empire Region Coach of the Year.
She coached soccer at Geneseo in addition to her lacrosse duties. She led the soccer team to a record of 38-32-1. She started the women’s lacrosse program at Geneseo in 1996. Within three years, she had Knights advance to the SUNYAC Championship Game vs. Cortland State. Geneseo finished 9-4 and Behme was named the SUNYAC Coach of the Year.
Behme earned All-America honors in both soccer and lacrosse at Cortland State. She played on Cortland’s national championship soccer team in 1992. She was a two-time All-American in lacrosse and was chosen to compete in the North-South Senior All-Star Game in 1993. Behme graduated from Cortland in 1993 with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies. She holds a Master’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from SUNY Brockport. Behme was inducted into the Cortland Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
She was an assistant women’s lacrosse coach and assistant women’s soccer coach at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia in 1993-94. She was the head women’s soccer coach and an assistant women’s basketball coach at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 1994-95. She was also the coach and advisor for the women’s lacrosse club program.
Behme continued her soccer career, playing for the Rochester Ravens in the W League from 1996-1997. Two years later, she became a professional mountain bike racer (1999-2001). She raced for Team Ted Wojcik on the professional National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) Chevy National Championship Series.
In 2004-05, Behme was the assistant captain for the USA National handball team. She capped her career on the national team as a starting wing in the Pan American championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.