Samantha Eustace was named the Mercer women's lacrosse head coach on Aug. 19, 2015.
In her third season at Mercer, Eustace and the Bears made program history by winning the inaugural Southern Conference championship. The victory bought their way into the NCAA tournament, for the first time in program history, where the Bears traveled to Staten Island, N.Y. to face Wagner in the elimination round, unfortunately falling 9-13 to the Seahawks. The Black and Orange went 9-11, 3-2 in conference for their first year competing in the SoCon.
Eustace’s marked a program-best overall record, going 13-6 and 7-3 in conference. The Bears made an appearance in the ASUN tournament defeating Old Dominion, 18-14 in the first round before falling to Coastal Carolina, 8-14 in the second round.
In her first season in Macon, Eustace led the Bears to a 7-11 record, including a 4-4 mark in ASUN play. Mercer finished fifth in the ASUN to earn its first appearance in the ASUN Tournament.
Under Eustace’s tutelage, Haleigh Wurzel anchored Mercer’s defense and led the nation in save and saves per game, while ranking third nationally in save percentage. Offensively, Lindsey Zeltwanger became the first player in program history to record 100 career points and Meghan Segreti grabbed her 100th career draw control.
Eustace (pronounced YOO-stuss) came to Mercer from James Madison University, where she spent three seasons as an assistant coach, working primarily as a defensive coach, goalie coach and draw specialist. She also served as the recruiting coordinator, academic liaison and video coordinator.
She helped lead the Dukes to the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament before finishing the season with a 15-5 record. James Madison was ranked in the top 20 for a majority of the season and recorded wins over No. 9 Penn State and No. 14 Loyola. The Dukes finished the season ranked No. 14 nationally.
Eustace was also responsible for the development of four all-conference performers, four IWLCA All-Region selections and three regional All-Americans. Additionally, she has had three players invited to the U.S. National Team tryouts, one of whom, Stephanie Finley, was named to the 2014-15 national team while also signing with Team STX.
Prior to her time at JMU, Eustace was at Flint Hill School, where she coached lacrosse from 2009-12. Eustace led the lacrosse program to a program-best fourth-place finish in the state and third-place finish in the Independent School League's AA division.
She also gained experience as an assistant coach at St. Stephens & St. Agnes School, where she coached both lacrosse and field hockey, as well as served as the athletic director. Eustace helped to lead the team to three consecutive top-five rankings in the nation, including a No. 1 ranking in 2007. While at St. Stephens & St. Agnes, she also coached two Under-19 World Cup players, 16 All-Americans and nine Academic All-Americans.
Eustace has previously coached with several of the nation’s top club teams, including Capital Blue and Mass Elite. She also has been involved with the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament as both a head coach and selector.
Eustace was a member of the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Massachusetts, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1994.