Judy Finerghty, the 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2014 Liberty League Coach of the Year, recently completed her 21st season at the helm for the Vassar women’s lacrosse team. Finerghty first served as women's head lacrosse coach in the 1994 season, and has racked up 185 career victories in her tenure with the Brewers. She holds a 76-67 record over the past ten seasons, while coaching 41 All-Liberty League selections since 2005.
Finerghty’s squads have reached new heights in recent years, as the Brewers have qualified for the Liberty League playoffs in three consecutive seasons. Vassar tied its best-ever mark in the Liberty League regular season in 2015, finishing 6-3 in the conference for the third straight year. VC’s No. 3 seed in the postseason was the highest-ever for the program since joining the conference, while her Brewers handed RPI its first Liberty League loss since 2013 with a 11-8 overtime victory on April 3.
During the 2020 campaign, which was shortened due to the global pandemic, the Brewers set a program-record for goals scored in a game. Vassar recorded 25 goals in a 25-11 win against Centre College on March 8.
Finerghty has brought in some of the Liberty League’s most talented players in recent memory as Dara Davis (’15) was named the conference’s Co-Player of the Year in 2014. Jackie Palma (’15) also made history under Finerghty’s direction, becoming Vassar’s first-ever Defensive Player of the Year honoree in 2015, while Caeli Porette ('23) was Vassar's third Rookie of the Year in 2019. Vassar has also produced eight IWLCA All-Empire Region selections since the 2009 season.
The Brewers have recorded double-digit wins in six seasons during Finerghty’s tenure. She was at the helm in 2005 and 2007 when the Brewers captured the Seven Sisters Championship and saw the team claim the ECAC Upstate Championship in 2007 as well.
Finerghty’s teams have also been among the nation’s elite in the classroom, as Vassar has produced 33 IWLCA Academic Honor Roll selections since 2011. The Brewers ranked in the top three in team GPA nationwide in four consecutive seasons from 2009-12, including two years as the nation’s leader in grade point average in 2009 and 2011.
Prior to her joining the Vassar staff, Finerghty served as the assistant lacrosse coach at William Smith College and helped the team to a 1988 appearance in the NCAA Division III finals. After a two-year stint as an assistant lacrosse coach at Bates in Maine, Finerghty was named head coach for SUNY Albany's newly created lacrosse team. The Greyhounds finished 14-8 in her two seasons there. Finerghty was also the head field hockey coach at Vassar from 1993-2001 and 2003-2008.
As a player at Guilford (Md.) College, Finerghty was named team MVP in 1987 and received the Richard Joyce Sportsmanship Award that year. In 1986, she was a Quaker Club Scholarship Award recipient