MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Head Coach Kim Williams of the Wesleyan women's lacrosse team was named the Division III Berkshire Region Coach of the Year, as announced by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association (IWLCA).
Williams, who took over a program that had recorded eight-straight losing seasons and was just 4-54 in the NESCAC during that span, has turned Wesleyan into a national contender in just four years. After going 5-9 overall and 2-8 in conference play her first year, Wesleyan has posted three-straight double-digit win seasons and is 40-17 overall and 21-9 in the league since, while reaching the NCAA Tournament each year. Wesleyan had never qualified for the national postseason before 2017.
The team set program records in wins in each of the past three seasons before putting together its best year ever in 2019. The Cardinals went 13-2 during the regular season and 8-2 in the NESCAC to earn the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. In the quarterfinals, they defeated Colby for their first-ever NESCAC Tournament win. They lost in the semifinals to Tufts but earned their third-straight at-large bid to the NCAA Championships and hosted the first and second rounds for the first time in program history.
Wesleyan had arguably the toughest draw in the tournament. In its second round matchup at home, the Cardinals defeated No. 9 Mary Washington, 11-6, to advance to the third round hosted by the two-time defending national champions, No. 1 Gettysburg. Wesleyan knocked off No. 2 Washington & Lee, 13-7, to advance to the Elite Eight where they upset the home team Gettysburg, 10-7. With the win over Gettysburg, the Cardinals reached the Final Four for the first time ever and traveled to Ashland, Va. to face the eventual national champions and No. 3 Middlebury. Wesleyan finished the season ranked No. 4 in the country with an incredible 17-4 record while going 11-4 against top-25 opponents. The four losses came against two Final Four teams, Middlebury and Tufts.
Williams coached four All-Americans in 2019; First Team selections Abigail Horst, Abby Manning, and Caroline Sgaglione, and Second Team honoree Allegra Grant. Seven Cardinals were also named to the IWLCA All-Region Teams and the four All-Americans earned All-NESCAC praise as well. Additionally, Williams was selected to coach the Division III South Team at the 2019 Senior All-Star Game.