Canisius College

Canisius College Athletics
2001 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14208
Division 1 New York Northeast
Private Small Competitive team


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Russell Allen

Russell Allen was officially named the fourth head coach in Canisius women's lacrosse program history on July 23, 2021.

Allen took over the Canisius women’s lacrosse program after spending the three previous seasons (2019-21) as the head coach at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, Ill. There, he led the Cougars to a 25-8 overall record with a 12-6 mark in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) play. The 2021 edition of Concordia University Chicago posted a school-record 14 victories, highlighted by an appearance in the NACC championship game, the first in program history. A total of 10 Concordia University Chicago players earned all-conference honors following the 2021 campaign, and Allen was recognized as the Concordia University Chicago Coach of the Year, as voted on by athletic department staff members and the school’s student-athletes.

In addition to his collegiate coaching duties, Allen also serves as the assistant head coach for the Puerto Rico Women’s Senior National Team, a position he has held since the summer of 2020. In that role, he develops offensive strategies for the team in preparation for the World Games, which will be held in Baltimore, Md., next summer.

Allen is no stranger to the city of Buffalo and the women’s lacrosse scene in Western New York, having served as the head coach for the Medaille women’s lacrosse program from 2014-18. In his time as the head coach of the Mavericks, the Orange, Conn., native guided the program to a pair of regular-season Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) championships in both 2017 and 2018, with the team setting program records for wins in each season (12 in 2017, 14 in 2018). Allen was awarded the Coach of the Year honors in both the AMCC and the North Eastern Athletic Conference in 2018, the latter of which Medaille has a dual affiliation in lacrosse. His four-year record as a head coach at Medaille was 44-22, and his winning percentage of .667 stands the highest of any coach in the program's history.

A two-sport student-athlete at Medaille, Allen was a member of the school’s men’s soccer team where he played in 57 games and contributed to a pair of conference championships, including the 2006 team that set the program's single-season record for wins with 20 victories. As a men’s lacrosse player, Allen played midfield and defender, ranking nationally in NCAA Division III in ground balls during the 2007 season. He is eighth on Medaille's career list with 148 ground balls and he is ranked 10th in the school’s record books with his 4.48 ground balls per game. He graduated from Medaille in 2008 with his undergraduate degree in liberal studies.

Allen, who started his coaching career in 2009 at the Buffalo Seminary School has also coached with the Empress Lacrosse Club, one of the top club programs in Western New York. While at Concordia University Chicago, Allen served as the head coach of True Lacrosse Illinois program, which is based out of Chicago.

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Jourdan Roemer

Jourdan Roemer '19 enters her first season as an assistant coach for the Canisius women's lacrosse program.

The Golden Griffins' all-time scoring leader with 259 career points (157g, 102a), Roemer was an integral part of Canisius' back-to-back Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship teams in 2016 and 2017.

"I'm excited to have Jourdan on my staff," Allen said. "During the interview process she made it clear that her passion for this program is second to none. I have no doubt that Jourdan will work relentlessly to help bring Canisius women's lacrosse another conference championship."

The 2018 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year, Roemer was a three-time All-MAAC honoree during her collegiate career. She garnered first-team distinction in 2017 and 2018 before rounding out her career with a second-team selection in 2019.

Roemer makes her return to Main Street after spending the 2021 season as an assistant coach with the D'Youville women's lacrosse program. Prior to her lone season with the Saints, Roemer spent the 2019-20 school year as a graduate assistant with the Ithaca College strength and conditioning department. Additionally, Roemer served as an assistant coach with the Bombers' women's lacrosse program.

"I feel so lucky to officially be named a part of the Golden Griffins' coaching staff," Roemer said. "Canisius College holds such a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to give back everything and more that this family has provided for me, both on and off the field. To say I am excited to get started is an understatement."

The Irondequoit, N.Y., native graduated from the College in 2019 with her undergraduate degree in health and wellness. Roemer earned her master's degree in exercise science from Ithaca College in 2020.

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Ashley O'Brien

Head women's lacrosse coach Russell Allen announced the hiring of former Buffalo State standout Ashley O'Brien as an assistant coach ahead of the 2023 season.

The former head coach of Buffalo State women's lacrosse program, O'Brien coached 2021 SUNYAC All-Defensive Second Team honoree Anastacia Wells and three-time SUNYAC All Midfield Second Team honoree Jackie Dufresne. As for the team, she led the Bengals to the postseason twice during the 2018 and 2019 seasons and racked up 15 wins while at the helm of the program.

O'Brien also worked as an assistant coach at Medaille University for two seasons along with coaching at the club level with Honeoye Falls-Lima Lacrosse Club and the Buffalo Wings Lacrosse Club. At Medaille, her 2013 team made it to the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Championship against Morrisville State before falling in the final.

A four-year letterwinner at Buffalo State, O'Brien led the Bengals to the playoffs from 2008-11. The goalie earned 2009 and 2011 All-SUNYAC First Team honors and was the 2008 Buffalo State Female Athlete of the Year. During the 2009 season, she led the Bengals to the SUNYAC Championship against SUNY Cortland after going 16-2 in the regular season.

"I am so excited to be joining this athletic department and coaching staff," O'Brien said. "This team has all of the pieces necessary to win a MAAC championship. We are hungry, focused and gritty and I cannot wait to contribute."

A native of Penfield, N.Y., O'Brien earned her bachelor's degree in biological psychology from Buffalo State in 2011 and her master's in biology in 2020, also from Buffalo State.

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