WATERTOWN — Having orchestrated a successful career in lacrosse as a goalie at the college level, Lauren Girardi is returning home and will now coach the sport at the scholastic level.
Girardi, who starred for Watertown High School and then for Lock Haven University, has been named Immaculate Heart Central’s new varsity girls lacrosse coach.
Girardi takes over for longtime Cavaliers coach Jason Burto, who coached the varsity team for the last 10 seasons.
“I am so excited to be coaching the IHC girls varsity lacrosse team as lacrosse has been a passion of mine since I was in second grade,” Girardi said in a statement on Facebook.
Girardi started for four years in goal for Watertown, helping to guide the Cyclones to three Frontier League championships and a pair of Section 3 titles. During that stretch, Girardi and Watertown reached the state semifinals twice, marking the second and third times in program history that a Watertown team had advanced this far.
Girardi went on to play goal for Division II Lock Haven, in Pennsylvania, where she was a five-year starter, as well as four-year team captain.
Voted as the Bald Eagles’ most valuable player in her final two seasons at the school. Girardi holds the all-time save record at Lock Haven with 607 and also holds the school’s record for saves in a season with 209, which she set in the 2019 campaign.
In her final year at Lock Haven in 2022, Girardi was awarded with the prestigious Charlotte E. Smith Award as university’s top female athlete of the year.
Also last year, she garnered IWLCA All-Atlantic Region first-team honors in her final season as a redshirt senior, which competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
While at Lock Haven, Girardi earned her undergraduate degree with a bachelor’s of science in early childhood and special education, as well as a minor in psychology.
“I am very excited to coach at this level and prepare the girls for the next level of play,” Girardi said. “I am excited to provide the girls with skills to enhance their play.”
Along with her twin sister Jill, a midfielder who went on to star at Division I Northwestern, Lauren Girardi helped guide Watertown to Section 3 titles in both 2015 and 2016,
With the Cyclones advancing to the state semifinals in Class B in both years, as they defeated Massena and Vestal in state regional play, before losing to Eastport-South Manor, 13-6, in the state final four at SUNY Cortland.
Watertown went on to reach a Section 3 final in the Girardis’ senior seasons, coming up short in a loss to Fayetteville-Manlius, after defeating Jamesvile-DeWitt in the sectional championship game the previous two seasons.
Now Lauren Girardi has the opportunity to coach for one of Watertown’s chief rivals while at IHC.
“I am very excited to meet all the girls and get started for the upcoming lacrosse season!” Girardi added.
Burto coached IHC since 2012. Last season the Cavaliers struggled, finishing 1-13, including 1-9 in the Frontier League, a year after faring 5-9, including 3-7 in league play.
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