In three years, Sara Tisdale has taken Central Michigan lacrosse from its infancy to a championship, winning the Southern Conference regular-season title in 2018.
Tisdale, a Michigan native and CMU alumna, led the Chippewas to an 11-7 finish including 4-1 in the SoCon in 2018 as the program continued to make major strides.
Among the many 2018 highlights:
Eight Chippewas, each of whom returns in 2019, were named All-SoCon. Lemay, Shannon Doyle and Karlen landed on the all-conference first team, while Prince, Hamman, Schoonover and Logan Halvorson each earned a spot on the second team. Hannah Potter was named to the league’s all-freshman squad.
Tisdale was named the first lacrosse coach in CMU history in July, 2014. Tasked with constructing the program from the ground up, she built a solid first recruiting class around the likes of Hamman, Schoonover, Halvorson and Lemay.
Competing in the Atlantic Sun Conference for their two seasons, the Chippewas put together respectable finishes, posting a 6-10 record in 2016 and a 7-10 mark in ’17, despite a roster comprised almost exclusively of underclassmen.
In 2017, CMU’s Jocelyn Lemay was named to the All-Atlantic Sun First Team, becoming the first Chippewa to be so honored, while teammate Emma Hamilton received the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year Award.
The Chippewas had three players named to league all-freshman team in 2017. It was the second consecutive year that three CMU student-athletes were named to the squad.
Tisdale, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education from CMU in 2006, sported a track record of success in leading a brand new program.
In 2010, she was named the first women's lacrosse coach in the history of Augustana (Ill.) College and in three years at the helm, led the Vikings to a combined 51-8 record including a 19-1 slate in 2013, when they won the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference regular-season and tournament championships, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The league tournament title was Augustana's second consecutive. Tisdale earned league coach of the year honors and was named Great Lakes Region coach of the year by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association.
The Vikings outscored their opponents, 355-137, and led all Division III schools in two statistical categories, scoring margin (plus 10.9 per game), and total points (goals plus assists) with 576. The Vikings' winning percentage (.950) was third best in the nation. Division III women's lacrosse comprises 257 schools.
Tisdale played club lacrosse at CMU and coached the Michigan State women's club team from 2008-10.