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USF Women Press Releases

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via USF press releases/website

USF Lacrosse’s Natalie Eastwood Selected To Australian U20 National Team

Bulls’ incoming 2024 goalie will compete with the team in the World Lacrosse 2024 Women’s U20 Championship

TAMPA, Jan. 13, 2024 – After several rounds of competitive tryouts, USF Women’s Lacrosse 2024 signee Natalie Eastwood has been selected to the U20 Australian National Team. The squad of 18 will compete in the World Lacrosse 2024 Women’s U20 championship in Hong Kong, China from August 15-24.

Natalie Eastwood Australian Team

“We are so proud of Natalie for being our first player in program history to make a national team. Her selection to be a member of the Australian U20 National team is a testament to her commitment, work ethic, and talent” said USF Lacrosse Head Coach Mindy McCord. “We are so excited to support her as she represents Team Australia and USF in Hong Kong and can’t wait to see what this means for other players seeking to play at the national level.”

The tournament will be hosted by the China Hong King Lacrosse Association as the top junior women’s programs from around the world compete. Australia comes into the tournament as the third-ranked team in the world, ranking behind only Canada and the United States. The team has finished in the top three of the field all but once since the championship’s introduction in 1995. Australia took home the bronze medal when the event was last held in 2019 with a 13-8 victory over Team England.

The University of South Florida announced the addition of women’s lacrosse to its now 21-sport varsity athletics program in November of 2021. The Bulls named eight-time conference coach of the year Mindy McCord to lead the program in May of 2022. McCord, who came to USF with 240 career wins, earned 21 regular season and conference tournament titles at Jacksonville University and led the program to eight NCAA appearances after starting and leading the Dolphins’ program in its first 13 years. She developed 13 All-Americans, 81 all-conference selections and 13 conference player of the year honorees during that span. USF runs a fast-paced, high scoring offense influenced by the early 1990’s Loyola Marymount men’s basketball record-setting fast break, which ranked among the national leaders in shots, points per game and scoring margin numerous seasons during McCord’s tenure at JU.

Follow @USFWLax on Twitter for all the latest information concerning the USF women’s lacrosse program.


USF Lacrosse Adds Notre Dame Transfer Alison Harbaugh

Three-year Irish player is the daughter of the Baltimore Ravens head coach

TAMPA, Dec. 12, 2023 – University of South Florida Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Mindy McCord today announced the signing of Notre Dame transfer Alison Harbaugh to the Bulls.

Alison Harbaugh Signing

An attacker from Baltimore, Md., Harbaugh played three seasons at Notre Dame and is a former all-conference honoree at the Bryn Mawr School in Maryland. She will join the Bulls in January as the team prepares for its first season of competition in the spring of 2025. 

“Alison’s experience and leadership is going to be tremendous for our program,” said McCord. “Coming from the ACC, she has played against the top competition in the country, and that is the standard we want to be at.”

“She is someone we recruited heavily out of high school,” added assistant coach Paul McCord. “When you have someone who leads by example, has great stick skills, and is a natural competitor, it makes for a great attacker, and an even better offensive coordinator.”

A senior attacker from Notre Dame, Alison brings three years of valuable ACC experience to a USF program that has championship aspirations for its first competitive season in the spring of 2025. She tallied two goals and three assists in eighteen appearances for the Irish, who made NCAA Tournament appearances in each of her three years.

Harbaugh grew up in Baltimore, MD, where she played at the Bryn Mawr School. In 2020, she captained Bryn Mawr to an IAAM conference title and earned IAAM All-Conference honors as well as scholar-athlete honors. She also earned the IAAM Character Coin Award as a senior for her efforts off the field.

Alison is the daughter of Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. John has coached the Ravens since 2008, leading them to four AFC North division championships and a Super Bowl XLVII victory. His 147 regular season wins are the most by a Ravens head coach, and the fifth-most since 2008.

USF’s roster currently consists of 27 players spanning across 12 states. It is made up of 21 first-years from the inaugural class along with six standout transfers, including another former ACC player in Sofia Chepenik, who earned 2023 ACC All-Freshman Team honors.


USF Releases First Renderings of new On-campus Stadium, Announces $6 million Gift

By Adam FreemanUniversity Communications and Marketing

The University of South Florida has revealed a first look at the university’s transformational on-campus stadium by releasing three renderings of the new facility.

“Since we first announced plans to build an on-campus stadium at the University of South Florida, it has become the topic I hear about most often from our passionate supporters. There is a genuine excitement within our community,” USF President Rhea Law said. “We’re thrilled to offer the first images of the stadium that will activate our campus in ways we never have before and will make a positive impact on our university for generations to come.”

stadium rendering

The initial renderings are conceptual and will evolve as the design process continues and more detailed design elements are finalized.  Along with the images, USF released several new details about the stadium, including:

  • An east-west build to help maximize shade for daytime events.
  • A dedicated section for students in the west end of the stadium that includes a design unique to USF featuring Bull horns and amenities that will cater to the student experience.
  • An open concourse around a majority of the stadium that provides views of the field, even as fans are walking to concession or restroom areas.
  • A large tailgating space on the north side of the stadium.  
  • A variety of premium seating options, including suites, loge boxes and club areas.
stadium rendering

The design incorporates the feedback the university gathered through listening sessions with dozens of stakeholder groups, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.  More specific distinctive stadium features will be shared as the design process moves forward into a more advanced stage.

“The design elements and amenities unveiled today all reflect our goal to build a stadium that provides the best possible experience for our students, alumni and entire fanbase.  We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share their valuable input, which is reflected in our initial renderings and will continue to be seen as we roll out more details in the future,” said Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly.

USF today also announced a $6 million gift from the USF Federal Credit Union to name the walkway that will lead into the main entrance of the new stadium and will serve as home to the football team’s traditional Bulls Stampede pregame walk from the buses into the stadium.  USF will create signature signage at the entrance to the newly named USF Federal Credit Union Champions Way, located off USF Genshaft Drive. USF has now raised more than $43 million of its $50 million goal for the stadium project.  

Rendering shows Champions Way

“Our university will proudly feature one of the nation’s most beautiful and community-centered stadium entranceways,” said USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman. “We are grateful to USF Federal Credit Union CEO and President Rick Skaggs and his team for their incredibly generous and longstanding support of Bulls Nation.”

In an update to the USF Board of Trustees today, the university confirmed that the stadium is scheduled to open in fall 2027.  The timeline factors in current global supply chain issues and provides the flexibility to have a few months prior to the facility opening to the public to ensure stadium operations — such as food service, ticketing and security — are fully prepared to welcome and best serve fans from day one.  

The Tampa General Hospital Center for Athletic Excellence, an operations facility that will be located adjacent to the new stadium, is scheduled to be ready by August 2026.  The state-of-the-art building will serve as the daily home for the football and women’s lacrosse teams. 

“A project of this magnitude is such an important part of USF’s future and must be done the right way,” USF Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford said.  “The updates we are announcing today show that we are making tremendous progress to deliver on our commitment to build a world-class facility that our community can be proud of and is set up for long-term success.” 

In their update to the board, stadium planning committee co-chairs Stroman and Kelly said the next milestones for the project will be to release more detailed stadium renderings in spring 2024 and to hold a groundbreaking ceremony in fall 2024.

The updates provided today do not impact the total cost of the project or the financial plan that was previously approved by the USF Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors.  

More information about the stadium is available here.


Mindy McCord Announces Second Signing Class in USF Women’s Lacrosse History

The class will be on campus for the 2024-25 academic year

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 27, 2023 – The University of South Florida head women’s lacrosse coach Mindy McCord has announced the Bulls’ second-ever signing class as USF prepares to begin competition in the spring of 2025.

The Bulls’ signing class of 14 student-athletes comes from five states, with six from Maryland and four from New York, both lacrosse hotbeds, leading the way. The 2024 class includes one goalie, three attackers, eight midfielders, and two defenders. The signees will be ready to step into a highly competitive American Athletic Conference, as they come from talent-rich and competitive high school programs such as USA Lacrosse Magazine Top-10 schools Glenelg Country and St. Anthony’s.

“When I reflect on the Class of 2028, it’s truly remarkable for its versatility,” McCord said. “Nearly every player can play multiple positions at the highest level of play. It’s a high lacrosse IQ class with some super athletes in the mix. We are building our program from the ground up with a model that allows young players to come and play, not just be developed while they sit behind one or two-year transfers.

“I want to thank Britt and Paul (associate head coach and assistant coach, respectively) for putting this class together through their extreme effort and diligence. This is the most talented group in one class my staff and I have put together, and they will undoubtedly be a part of some top-ranked programs during their career. We are pumped to coach them up here in Tampa Bay!”

The recruiting class will arrive on campus in the fall of 2024 and will be a part of the program’s first competitive season in the spring of 2025.

Jena Binkis | M | Long Island, N.Y. | Legacy LI
Three-year midfielder for St. Anthony’s High School under head coach Darcy Messina… 2024 and 2022 Preseason Watch List member… Four-time Long Island Lacrosse Journal player of the game in 2022… Ranked Top 50 Sophomores on Long Island in 2022… Player of the Game at 2022 Juniors Open… 2022 Invitee to Best in Class and All Long Island Games…2021 NYSRC Suffolk All-Star… Member of the National Honor Society

Why USF: “The school has everything and more anyone could ask for. The resources given to the athletes is unheard of, and the coaching staff is so welcoming it already feels like I’m part of their family.”

Kali Cleary | M | Naples, Fla. | Lax Maniax 
Three-year midfielder and captain for Gulf Coast High School under head coach Lynn Garrison… 2023 and 2022 Southwest Florida Player of the Year… Three-year High School All-American… Received County Athlete of the Month Honors in 2022 and 2021… 2021 Rookie of the Year… Student Government President

Why USF: “I chose USF because they have the best culture of becoming a family. The coaches treat you like you are one of their own kids and it’s an amazing relationship to have.”

Jacinda Connor | M | Towson, Md. | C2 Select
Midfielder for Roland Park Country School under head coach Corrine Drost… 2022 USA Lacrosse All-American and Arizona Midfielder of the Year…2022 Arizona High School State Champion… 2022 Arizona All-State team and All-Star team… 2021 Arizona Rooke of the Year… 2021 National Cup All-District Lacrosse Team… Her mom, Courtney, and dad, Casey played lacrosse at Maryland, where they won national championships and were All-Americans… Sister, Acacia, plays at Syracuse

Why USF: “I chose USF because of the coaches, the new lacrosse program, and the Tampa location.”

Natalie Eastwood | G | Ellicott City, Md. | Hero’s 2024 Green
Goalie for Glenelg Country School under head coach Molly Fleming… member of the Australian U20 training squad… 2023 Baltimore Sun First-Team All-County… 2023 Washington Post All-Metro Honorable Mention… Received USA Lacrosse Notable Player of the Week Honors in 2023… 2023 Coaches Award recipient… Hero’s Club Lacrosse Team nationally ranked in the top 10… Member of the National Honor and Spanish Honor Society… Dual citizenship in Australia and the United States

Why USF: “Incredible culture being built by the supportive coaching staff, academic rigor/opportunities in the medical field, and the student-athlete support systems.”

Julia Huxtable | A | Northport, N.Y. | Long Island Yellow Jackets
Three-year attacker and captain for Northport High School under head coach Carol Rainson-Rose… 2023 All-Division player and Class A County Champ… 2023 Newsday Top 100 player… named Top Player in 2022 LILJ… 2022 BOTC All-Long Island Team Class A… 2022 LILJ Preseason Watch List… 2022 Northport HS Lacrosse State Finalist Class A… 2022 and 2021 Northport HS Lacrosse Long Island Champion Class A

Why USF: “The second I stepped on campus, I knew this was the place for me. The team and coaches feel like a second family.”

Natalie Kelly | M | Bel Air, MD. | NEMS Lacrosse Club
Midfielder for the John Carroll School under head coach Laura Seifert… Earned 2023 2nd Team All-County Honors… Also lettered in soccer in high school… Member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society

Why USF: “I immediately fell in love with the coaches and the culture that came with them.”

Lindsey King | M | Kennesaw, Ga. | Atlanta Storm
Three-year midfielder for Kell High School under head coach Marybeth Stier… Two-time Second-Team All-State… First-Team All-County… Two-time All-County honorable mention… Earned MVP honors… Member of the National Honor Society…Member of the Principal’s List… Sister, Erin, plays lacrosse at Temple University

Why USF: “The culture, location, amazing facilities, and the coaches.”

Lexi Larsen | M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Skywalkers
Three-year midfielder and team captain for Indian Hill High School under head coach Sam Herman… 2023 and 2022 US Lacrosse All-American… First-Team All-State in 2023 and First-Team All-State in 2022… First-team All-Region in 2023 and 2022 and Second-team All-Region in 2021… Leading scorer for IHHS all three years… Earned MVP honors in 2022… Member of the Student-Athlete Leadership Team

Why USF: “I chose USF because of the family and culture. From the first time I talked with CP, I knew USF was the perfect for me.”

Maddie Morris | D | Centerport, N.Y. | Yellow Jackets
Three-year defender for top-five nationally ranked high school St. Anthony’s High School under head coach Darcy Messina… 2024 LILJ Watch List… LILJ All-High School first-team… LILJ All-LI team… Five-time LILJ Winter League Player of the Game… Selected for Best in Class all three years…selected for Juniors Open 2022… Selected for American Select 2022 & 2023… participated in U18 USA national development combine

Why USF: “The coaches, family-like environment, facilities, and Tampa Bay.”

Lily Mosser | A | Ponte Vedra, Fla. | M&D Orlando
Three-year attacker for Ponte Vedra High School under head coach Dan Toole… All-First Coast 2023 and 2022. Ponte Vedra Grit Award 2023 and 2022… US Lacrosse North Florida National Team 2023, 2022, and 2021… American Select All-Tournament Team 2022… USA National Team Development Program 2023 and 2022… All America Tournament 2021… Best in Class attendee 2022… Academic Honor Roll

Why USF: “It was the perfect fit for me. USF has amazing coaches and great academic opportunities, and I love the Tampa area. I’m excited to be a part of the new program.”

Morgan Perry | M | Bel Air, Md. | NEMS Lacrosse
Three-year midfielder under head coach Faye Brust… Recognized for Always Give 110% accolade in 2022 high school season… Member of National Honor Society, Math National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, and Science National Honor Society… earned honor roll all through high school

Why USF: “The team environment, the values of the program, the amazing campus, and the opportunities set in place for our lacrosse team.”

Emily Rutledge | D | Sykesville, Md. | Hero’s Lacrosse
Three-year defender for Century High School… 2023 Second-Team All-County… 2022 2A State Champion… 2022 and 2021 regional and county champion… Member of the National Honor Society… Earned honor roll throughout high school

Why USF: “There is a really good environment and culture, great coaches, plus the team really wants to strive to be the best.”

Anna Wood | M | Rocky Point, NY |
Three-year midfielder for Rocky Point High School under head coach Kaitlyn Montalbano… Earned 2023 All-Division honors… 2023 All-League and All-County honors… Unsung Hero… Also competed in soccer and track

Why USF: “USF has everything I could want and need, from the absolute best coaches, beautiful campus, amazing academic support, and of course the endless food options.”

Kennedy Ziegler | A | Hampstead, Md. | NEMS 2024
Three-year attacker for Hereford High School under head coach Kelly Swift… Recognized in the 2022 and 2021 Under Armour 150… Invited to the 2022 Juniors Open… 2022 Lacrosse Magazine National Watchlist for 2024 Girls… Under Armour All-American Baltimore Spotlight 2022… Member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society

Why USF: “The coaching staff is amazing. I immediately felt like I had a family and a new home. It is such a unique opportunity to be a part of a team bound for greatness. The academic programs will set me up for my career, and nothing beats the warm Florida weather.”