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PBA Women Press Releases

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via PBA website/press releases, Brad Seitz and Cole Helman

Laurie Podmilsak Named PBA Women’s Lacrosse Interim Head Coach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Palm Beach Atlantic University athletic director Courtney Lovely Evans has announced Laurie Podmilsak as interim head coach of the women’s lacrosse program for the 2024 season.
“I am thankful to Laurie for taking over the program for the 2024 season,” said Lovely Evans. “This decision is in the best interest of the program and our student-athletes. Laurie has extensive experience as a coach and player and I am excited to see how she is able to mold a group of young student-athletes into a team this season.”
Podmilsak has previous head coaching experience at Howard University where she started the lacrosse program from 1998-2000. Since her time in the collegiate game, Podmilsak has been director and coach of Future Elite Lacrosse Club in Fairfax, Virginia and Utah Express Lacrosse in Park City, Utah. 
Before becoming a coach, Podmilsak played for four seasons at James Madison where her teams were ranked in the top-10 every season. She graduated from James Madison with a degree in psychology teacher education and a master’s degree in special education from George Mason. Podmilsak was named to the Potomac Chapter of the USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2013. 
“I want to thank Courtney Lovely Evans and Associate Athletic Director for Administration TJ Budd for the opportunity to serve and lead the Palm Beach Atlantic women’s lacrosse team as interim head coach,” said Podmilsak. “I am grateful for the support of my family and friends throughout my coaching career. I have enjoyed working with the team as a volunteer assistant over the last year and am thrilled to be part of the PBA family and mission. It is an honor to work in PBA’s supportive environment with willing and able student-athletes. My goal is to maximize our lacrosse program’s potential. I am eager to develop and prepare these young women to excel on and off the field.”
Podmilsak now takes over a team that is coming off a 3-12 season in 2023. PBA does return the team’s top four leading goal scorers, Olivia LargesElla HowlinAddyson Johnson, and Sara Metheny who all scored double digits goals last season. The Sailfish also bring back goalies Courtney Rausch and Georgia Karns who split time in goal last season. Podmilsak will be assisted by Chelsea Lea who played for PBA from 2019-22 and served as a volunteer assistant last season.
Podmilsak takes over for Katy Richardson who stepped down from her head coaching position due to health reasons on Oct. 25.


PBA Women’s Lacrosse Schedule Set for 2024 Season

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Palm Beach Atlantic women’s lacrosse team announced its schedule for the upcoming 2024 season. The Sailfish play 15 contests, 12 of which will take place at home at the Rinker Athletic Campus.

The Sailfish begin their season at home with a non-conference game against Florida Tech on Feb. 6. They then play host to a strong Flagler College side who finished with a 17-2 record last season on Feb. 9. PBA has their first Sunshine State Conference game against Rollins at home on Feb. 23 before hosting six straight home games against out of conference opponents in March. The ‘Fish host Catawba, Holy Family, Anderson, American International, North Greenville, and Molloy.

PBA plays seven SSC games on the year and they have their first road test on March 23 against nationally ranked Tampa followed by a trip to Florida Tech to close out the month. PBA host Lynn and Embry-Riddle on April 2 and April 7 before playing their final regular season road game at Saint Leo on the 10th. The Sailfish play their home finale against Florida Southern on April 13  to wrap up their year.

The ‘Fish are coming off a 3-12 season last year where they tested themselves with a difficult non-conference schedule as well as playing against six nationally ranked opponents in SSC play. 

PBA returns a majority of their impact players from last year’s squad including Ella Howlin and Olivia Larges who each finished last year with over 20 goals. Defensively, Katie Caras will lead the unit after leading the team in ground balls, caused turnovers, and draw controls last year. In net Courtney Rausch and Georgia Karns both return as they rotated in goal throughout all of last season. 

The Sailfish will be under the leadership of Laurie Podmilsak who was recently named as interim head coach after Katy Richardson stepped down from her head coaching position due to health reasons on Oct. 25.


PBA’s Kelly Named Breschi Scholarship Recipient

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic women’s lacrosse player Kirsten Kelley was named the winner of the 2023 Michael Breschi Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to two high school seniors who are attending college and are the son or daughter of a coach who serves as a full-time employee of an educational institution. 

Kelley is a freshman who joined the Sailfish from Blacklick, Ohio. She was a four-sport athlete from St. Francis DeSales High School who is majoring in Business Management and aspires to work in real estate. Kelley’s community service includes five years of giving back to the game as a youth instructor at camps and clinics. She also became a USA Lacrosse-certified game official for 3/4 grade teams and a USA Lacrosse Level 1-certified coach.

The Breschi scholarship was established in 2007 to honor the life and memory of Michael Breschi, son of University of North Carolina men’s lacrosse head coach Joe Breschi. Criteria considered include academic qualifications, extracurricular activities, internships, community service, and employment experience. USA Lacrosse administers the scholarships, with winners selected annually by the Breschi family. The other recipient of the scholarship this year is Stephen Finnell who is a freshman at Duke on the men’s lacrosse team.

“I am grateful and thrilled to be named as a recipient of the 2023 Breschi Scholarship,” said Kelley. “I want to thank the Breschi family for the honor and look forward to the impact it will have on my education and playing career at PBA.”

“We had another extraordinary group of applicants this year, representing some amazing families and history, and we appreciate everything they each brought to the table academically, athletically, and personally,” Breschi said. “On behalf of my wife Julie and our four beautiful daughters, we’re honored to recognize Kirsten and Stephen as this year’s recipients. They both stood out as terrific individuals and students who exemplify a tremendous work ethic, with a passion to serve others. While they both have different journeys in life, the combination of community service and love for the game of lacrosse will help carry them as they move forward in life.


Richardson Steps Down From Sailfish Women’s Lacrosse Program

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic women’s lacrosse head coach Katy Richardson is stepping down from her position due to health reasons.
“Unfortunately, due to ongoing health concerns, I find it necessary to prioritize my well-being and make this difficult decision,” Coach Richardson said. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to the university, the athletic department, and the incredible young women I have had the privilege to coach. I have cherished my time at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and I am proud of the progress and achievements we have made as a team. The student-athletes I had the good fortune to work with are dedicated, passionate, purpose-driven, faith-filled young women, and deserve more than I can provide them given my current health concerns.”
Richardson was named the head coach of the Sailfish lacrosse program in the summer of 2021 and has led PBA through two seasons. The West Palm Beach native and Park Vista High School graduate led the ‘Fish to five wins during her tenure. She also helped her student-athletes achieve success off the field, recording the highest team GPA in program history in 2022-23 with several scholar-athletes.
“I want to thank Katy for her exceptional care and service for our student-athletes during her time at PBA,” Palm Beach Atlantic Athletic Director Courtney Lovely Evans has said. “She will continue to be in our prayers as she focuses on her health. She has made a sizeable impact on the women’s lacrosse program and will be missed by our department.”
Richardson was a connected member of the South Florida lacrosse community, serving as the Director of Education and Recruiting Coordinator at Lax Maniax, a club program in West Palm Beach from 2013 to 2020. She helped the club launch locations in Tampa, Pensacola, and Greenville, South Carolina.
“I have no doubt that the future is bright for PBA women’s lacrosse, and I consider it such a blessing to have played a small part in that,” Richardson said. “I look forward to the amazing things to come for the team and I will be cheering them on every step of the way.”
Before becoming the head coach at PBA, Richardson worked as an assistant coach at fellow SSC school, Florida Southern, for two years. She led the Mocs to an SSC Regular Season championship. As a student-athlete, Richardson won an NCAA National Championship at Adelphi in 2014. She finished her playing career at Presbyterian where she was an all-conference honoree.
PBA will be conducting a search for its next head women’s lacrosse coach immediately with the goal of having a new coach in place for the 2024 season.