Meredith Black will be entering her eighth season and ninth year at Marquette in 2019-20. She was named the first head coach in Marquette women's lacrosse history on Feb. 4, 2011, taking over the program prior to the 2012 season, after which time she oversaw its transformation into an NCAA Division I varsity team before leading it into its first season in 2013.
The 2019 season marked significant progress in the seventh year of Meredith Black's tenure at MU. The Golden Eagles made the postseason for the second time in as many years, making the Big East Tournament semifinals. The team earned its highest-ever seed in the conference tournament (No. 2) and hosted a Big East Tournament game at Valley Fields for the first time in program history. On senior night, Marquette set another program record after a 14-12 victory over No. 24 Georgetown, marking MU's first-ever triumph over a top-25 opponent.
Also in 2019, senior Grace Gabriel became Coach Black's first player to garner First Team All-BIG EAST honors in three consecutive seasons (2017-19). The 2018 IWLCA Second Team All-American surpassed the school's record for career points in 2019 to own Marquette's points (196), goals (172), shots (428) and draw controls (324) career records. She was also named the conference's Co-Midfielder of the Year for the second consecutive season. A program-record five players were named to the All-BIG EAST first and second teams, while freshman attacker Shea Garcia was named Coach Black's first ever BIG EAST Freshman of the Year.
Black's program had a banner year in 2018 in which it set numerous records and milestones on its way to 10 victories and a first-ever BIG EAST semifinals berth. Collectively, the Golden Eagles set records in every statistical category, including goals (244), which marked an increase of more than three goals per game from the 2016 season. The 13.56 goals per game average finished in the nation's top-30 by year's end. Individually, she had her first-ever IWLCA All-American and BIG EAST Co-Midfielder of the Year in junior Grace Gabriel, who notched a school record in goals (56), points (67), draws (107) and caused turnovers (31). For the second-straight year, three Golden Eagles earned All-BIG EAST recognition.
The 2017 season was a year in which the offense took another step forward. Despite a 6-11 overall record with a 4-5 mark in BIG EAST play, the team scored 42 more goals than in 2016 and raised the scoring average by more than five goals per game over the last two seasons. A big factor in all of that was the production of senior attacker Julianna Shearer, who set numerous all-time program records including the single-season scoring mark with a BIG EAST-leading 55 goals. Shearer joined Grace Gabriel (unanimous selection) on the BIG EAST First Team, while Allison Lane earned all-league honors for the second consecutive year as a second team selection.
The 2016 season saw Black’s squad take a giant leap forward offensively, averaging nearly 10.5 goals per game on the way to a program-record seven wins and a tie for third place in the BIG EAST Conference, the program’s highest-ever finish in league play. For the first time, three members received All-BIG EAST honors, including two first team selections (Allison Lane, Elizabeth Goslee) and a second team pick (Julianna Shearer). Goslee became the program's first two-time all-region selection after being named to the IWLCA All-West/Midwest Second Team.
The 2015 campaign saw some early success, but it remained one of continued development and improvement for the Marquette University women's lacrosse program. Three of the team's first five games went to overtime, including a season-opening 8-7 loss to 16th-ranked Johns Hopkins in the first-ever women's lacrosse game played in Houston, Texas. After dropping it's first three contests, MU strung together three-straight wins for the first time in program history with back-to-back overtime wins on the road against Duquesne (8-7) and UC-Davis (5-4) followed by a 15-4 win over St. Mary's.
The defense shaved nearly a goal-and-a-half off its goals against average from the season prior as they held opponents to just 9.97 goals per game, which ranked third in the BIG EAST. Marquette ranked 13th-nationally as a team in caused turnovers per game (9.65) and junior Elizabeth Goslee ranked in the top-20 individually. Goslee, along with Claire Costanza, earned All-BIG EAST Second Team accolades.
The 2014 season marked the first season for the Golden Eagles as full-fledged members of the BIG EAST Conference and they picked up a victory in their first-ever league game against Cincinnati on March 28 at Valley Fields.
Following losses at a pair of top-10 teams in Johns Hopkins and Northwestern to begin 2014, Marquette reeled off wins in three of its next four contests, including back-to-back victories at Michigan and Detroit.
Those consecutive wins were a program first and the 15-9 triumph over Detroit highlighted a season-long improvement on attack. The Golden Eagles increased their offensive output by over two goals per game in 2014 and allowed three-and-a-half fewer goals against, while turning the ball over 100 fewer times.
Four athletes earned All-BIG EAST Conference Second Team honors during MU's inaugural season in the league with Amanda Bochniak, Hayley Baas, Elizabeth Goslee and Sarah Priem all earning recognition. Bochniak and sophomore Claire Costanza each posted over 20 goals and 20 assists and the attack will be bolstered in 2015 by the return from injury of Julianna Shearer, who posted 12 goals and three assists before a season-ending injury after just seven games.
The women's lacrosse program continues as a shining example in the community for the Marquette athletic department, volunteering countless hours and continuing to raise funds in an inspiring effort in the fight against pancreatic cancer. All told, over $12,000 was raised for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network during the 2014-15 academic year, bringing MU's total during its three seasons of competition to over $30,000 for the organization.
The former Meredith Simon arrived at Marquette after spending the previous seven years as an assistant coach at Towson, Notre Dame and the University of California-Berkeley. She helped Towson and Notre Dame to a combined four NCAA Championship appearances and coached one season at Cal where she worked with the Golden Bears' attack and goaltenders.
At Notre Dame from 2008-10, she helped the Irish to a 39-19 record in three seasons, including the 2009 BIG EAST Championship and three NCAA Championship appearances. Black coached four all-Americans (Jillian Byers, Gina Scioscia, Caitlin McKinney and Shaylyn Blaney) during that time and oversaw the 2009 team that set school records for goals (321), assists (150) and points (471), while claiming the BIG EAST title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.
She took her first coaching job at Towson in 2005 after a standout career as a student-athlete at Notre Dame, and helped the Tigers to their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title and NCAA Championship berth in school history. Following three years at Towson (2005-07) under head coach Missy Doherty, Black returned to her alma mater as an assistant under Tracy Coyne, for whom she played as an undergraduate.
During her playing career at Notre Dame, Black helped the Fighting Irish to the first two NCAA Championship appearances in school history in 2002 and 2004. She was also the school's first student-athlete to be named an Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) First Team All-American in 2004, while setting the then-Notre Dame single-season scoring mark with 74 points on 46 goals and 28 assists. Black led ND to the NCAA Tournament that season and became the first ND player nominated for the Tewaaraton Award, honoring the nation's top player.
She was also a two-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection (2003 and 2004) and was named the BIG EAST Attack co-Player of the Year in 2004.
The Flemington, N.J., native concluded her career with the Irish first in school history in games played (64), third in goals (109), fourth in assists (49), third in points (158), tied for fourth in ground balls (123) and third in draw controls (91).
Black graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in American studies in 2004 and was a four-time dean's list selection. She prepped at Hunterdon Central High School in New Jersey, where she was a three-sport standout in soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
The former Meredith Simon married Adam Black in October of 2010. They currently reside in Whitefish Bay with their two daughters, Juliet (born January 2015) and Belle (born April 2018).