Sandy Bridgeman enters her fourth season as the head women’s lacrosse coach in 2019-20. The veteran coach has had an immediate impact on the program, leading the Panthers to three-straight Little East Conference Tournament titles, a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances, and the program’s first NCAA Tournament win in 15 years last spring.
Bridgeman has experienced nothing but success since joining the Panthers. She led the team to an 11-4 mark with a 5-1 record in the LEC in her first year. PSU entered the LEC Tournament as the second seed, but upset top-seeded Eastern Connecticut, 13-12, in the title game to advance to the NCAA Tournament. PSU dominated the LEC’s all-conference team, with six selections, including four First Teamers.
The Panthers were even better in 2018, cruising to a 14-4 mark while going unbeaten (6-0) in LEC play. Bridgeman led the team back to the LEC title game, where the Panthers rolled to a 19-8 win in a rematch with Eastern Connecticut to reach the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in team history. Bridgeman was named LEC Coach of the Year, while the Panthers were also honored with Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Midfielder of the Year recognition to go along with six All-LEC selections.
Faced with a more challenging non-conference schedule last spring, PSU still rolled to a 12-6 mark and posted a second straight unbeaten conference season (7-0). Bridgeman guided the Panthers to another LEC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where PSU topped New England College in the first round, 19-3. The win marked just the second time in program history that the team advanced to the second round, while the 19 goals were the most for the Panthers in NCAA Tournament history. Bridgeman mentored another LEC Offensive Player of the Year and added six All-Conference athletes.
Bridgeman came to PSU after making a name for herself in the Granite State after serving as head coach at the University of New Hampshire for 13 years. She led the Wildcats from 1996-2009, making a pair of NCAA Championship appearances (2004, 2008) and recording a conference-record 12 consecutive America East Tournament appearances. She led UNH to a combined record of 123-105, developing six All-Americans and numerous All-Conference players in the process. In 2008, she was named the womenslacrosse.com Division I National Coach of the Year, the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Northeast Regional Coach of the Year in 2004 and was a three-time America East Coach of the Year.
Bridgeman also served as head women’s lacrosse coach at Longwood College in Farmville, Va., from 1990-94, leading the squad to its only undefeated season; and Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., from 1994-96, guiding the team to its first ECAC Tournament berth. She also gained valuable coaching experience as the Women’s Dutch National Team head coach.
She earned her 200th career win in an 11-9 victory over Bridgewater State in April 2009. All told, she has posted a 219-135 record across 22 collegiate seasons, including a 37-14 record and .725 winning percentage in her three seasons at Plymouth State.