Worcester State University

Worcester State University Athletics
486 Chandler Street Worcester, MA 01602
Division 3 Massachusetts Northeast
Public Medium Developing team


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Kelly Downs

Kelly Downs enters her second season as the head coach of the women’s lacrosse program after serving as the Associate Head Coach in 2016. Prior to her promotion, she served as an assistant coach over the past three seasons and coached a total of eleven all-conference players during her time at Worcester State. Coach Downs doubles as the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team and as the assistant field hockey coach.

While Coach Downs was on the sidelines, the Lancers have posted a trifecta of 13-win campaigns to tie the school record for wins in a season (2013, 2014, 2015). In 2014, the Blue and Gold earned a berth in the MASCAC Tournament title game and vied for the ECAC Division III New England Tournament trophy in the championship match. In Downs’ inaugural season, the team broke the school record for wins and saw appearances in both the MASCAC and ECAC semifinals.

Prior to coming to Worcester State, Coach Downs served as the head coach of the varsity girl’s lacrosse team at Oliver Ames High for three seasons.

As an undergraduate at Bridgewater State, Coach Downs was two-year member of the women's lacrosse team and aided Bears in their run to the 2008 NEWLA Championship and ECAC Division III Championship game with 11 goals and two helpers in 20 games.

Coach Downs was also a three-time All-Little East back for the field hockey team at Bridgewater State.

After graduating, Coach Downs served as an assistant coach for her alma mater. In both years, she helped the Bears earn a pair of LEC Tournament bids, two ECAC Division III Tournament berths and the squad won the MASCAC regular season title twice.

Coach Downs was hired as a full-time employee in the summer of 2014. She is the coordinator of student-athlete support services as she helps with academic advising, student-athlete retention and assisting with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Coach Downs had previously served in a similar role at Worcester State as part of a position that had been funded through the NCAA Division III Ethnic and Minority Internship grant.

Coach Downs, who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Bridgewater State, also holds her Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration from Endicott College.

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Lauren Lessard

Lauren Lessard enters the Lancer’s Women’s Lacrosse coaching staff for the first time this 2017-2018 season. Lessard played four years of Women’s lacrosse at the University of Southern Maine. At USM, Lessard captained her team three out of the four years, reaching a total of 130 points in her career and receiving LEC Offensive Player of the Week, Second team All-Conference, and IWLCA All-Academic Honor Roll. During the 2015/2016 spring seasons, Lessard was the Assistant lacrosse coach at her alma mater, Lewiston High School. While at USM, Lessard held officer positions on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Exercise Science Student Association, and student tutoring. In May 2017, Lessard received the Paula Hodgdon Award for leadership and the Senior Husky Achievement Award presented to one senior in the graduating class.

Lessard graduated from USM with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and Health Fitness. She is continuing her education at Springfield College working towards her Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Sports Management studies. Lessard hopes to work within the USA Paralympic games after receiving her Master’s Degree. She enjoys working with the Special Olympics and is currently volunteering her time at Western Massachusetts Hospital in Westfield, Mass

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Alyssa Bufis

Alyssa Bufis joined the Lancers women’s lacrosse coaching staff in 2016 with four years of collegiate playing experience in both women’s lacrosse and women’s ice hockey at Nichols College. During her time as a student-athlete, Bufis was named an AHCA National Scholar Athlete.

Bufis graduated from Nichols College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration-Economics where she received numerous academic accolades. Bufis currently works as a junior accountant for a non-profit organization, Teach Plus, located in Boston. She likes to get involved in the community by volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club of Dudley and Webster and organizing other community events

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