Lauren Bruce enters her 18th season as head coach of the SUNY Potsdam women's lacrosse program.
Bruce is committed to the development of the program and continues to build a strong foundation for the future of the team.
Last season was highlighted by senior Cayla O'Connor rise to No. 7 on the program's scoring list and No. 5 on goals list.
The 2018 season saw senior captain Rachael Huntley and junior Cayla O'Connor earned All-SUNYAC third team honors under Bruce's tutelage.
In 2017, Bruce coached senior captain Murphy Newman and sophomore Cayla O'Connor to All-SUNYAC honors.
In 2016 Bruce led a talented, but young squad to the first playoff appearance in program history. At 7-9 over all and 3-5 in the SUNYAC, the Bears matched the program record for wins and established a new mark for conference victories. Season highlights included Senior Bri McClusky becoming the second Bear to reach 200 points for her career and the team's first ever win over Oneonta on April 19. McClusky and Senior Maggie McCabe were named second team All-SUNYAC, while juniors Murphy Newman and Katie Lapinski earned spots on the third team. The four all-conference selection are a program best. Bruce's Bears also set team records for goals (196), assists (95) and points (291).
In 2015, Bruce guided seniors Emily Petit and Bailey Weigel to spots on the All-SUNYAC third team as the Bears lost a tie-breaker for the final playoff spot. Petit closed her career as the program's all-time leader in ground balls (170), caused turnovers (86) and games-started (57). Weigel finished fourth in scoring with 143 points, fifth in goals (89), third in assists (54) and first in draw controls (324).
In 2014, Bruce coached Emily Petit to the All-SUNYAC second team. Petit averaged 3.2 ground balls-per-contest (second best in the conference) and caused 1.67 turnovers-per-game (eighth in the conference). Bailey Weigel shattered her own single-season and the career draw control records with 112 and 208, respectively. She led the SUNYAC in the category for the second straight year.
In 2013, Bruce coached newcomer Bailey Weigel to a breakout season and spot on the All-SUNYAC second team. The attacker led the Bears in scoring with 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points. She led the SUNYAC and was 14th in the nation with a Potsdam single-season record 96 draw controls, placing her fifth on the school's all-time list after just one season.
During the 2012 campaign, Bruce helped Brittany Coffey emerge as a second team All-SUNYAC defender. She saw the graduation of one of her most successful classes. Carly Richards finished her career with 218 points (147 goals, 71 assists) as SUNY Potsdam's all-time leading scorer. Maribeth Simmons finished fourth on the scoring list (86-24-110), Sierra Langkammerer finished seventh (71-11-82) and Kaci Milligan closed her career as the winningest goalie in program history.
In 2011, Bruce guided senior Kathleen Frear and junior Carly Richards to spots on the All-SUNYAC second team.
After completing her bachelor's in studio art with a minor in Russian studies at Hamilton College, Bruce stepped in to become the school's assistant women's lacrosse coach. Previously, she was a three-year member of the women's lacrosse team at Hamilton, where she served as captain during her senior year. Bruce led her team to the Elite Eight for two years in a row, breaking school records as the first women’s team in Hamilton’s history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. She was named a second team All-American, first team All-UCAA (now known as the Liberty League) and the New York State first team as a defender. Bruce also had the opportunity to play on the New York team over the National Tournament weekend in both 2000 and 2001.
Over the past eight years, Bruce has coached at the All-American Lacrosse Camp in Colgate, N.Y. She also assists the Potsdam Youth Lacrosse girls' team. Bruce has spent numerous hours with inexperienced lacrosse players, including a season in 1998 as a high school freshman lacrosse coach back in her hometown of Wilton, Conn. She looks forward to her continued involvement with local youth lacrosse programs.