On Nov. 1, 2018, the University of Pittsburgh announced its addition of women’s lacrosse. The first step in a new lacrosse team was finding a coach. They selected Emily Boissonneault as their coach on June 29, 2019, due to her previous experience as a coach and player and her passion for lacrosse.
Before becoming the head lacrosse coach at Pitt, she played lacrosse at Detroit Mercy. During her four years with the Titans, she tallied 242 goals, 193 ground balls, 157 caused turnovers, and 143 draw controls. Boissonneault is named in the top 20 in NCAA history in career caused turnovers, caused turnovers per game and career goals. She graduated from Detroit Mercy in 2013.
After her collegiate lacrosse career, she became an assistant coach in July 2015 and was promoted to associate head coach in July 2018 with James Madison’s women’s lacrosse program. There, she helped the Dukes to three Colonial Athletic Association conference championships, four NCAA tournament appearances, and winning the 2018 National Championship. Also, with the Dukes, she specialized with their defense and was one of the program’s primary recruiting coordinators.
In addition to coaching at JMU, as a player, she helped Team Canada to three silver medals on the national level. Boissonneault is now an assistant coach on the Team Canada U19 National Team which earned a silver medal in their loss against the United States of America at the 2019 U19 World Championship on August 1-10 in Peterborough, Canada.
When asked what she wanted to accomplish short term and long term for the program, she explained: “My short-term goal is to establish a winning and positive culture among my first class. I believe that a strong foundation will help us build a resilient future for our program. Long term I hope to build a successful athletic program that can sustain a culture of competing in the NCAA tournament. I also hope to build a healthy program that fosters the growth and development of young, independent women.”
Boissonneault hopes to eventually have a stable team in a fun and competitive environment. Due to NCAA rules, she could not answer some of our questions, but she did answer what she thought an athlete should consider when choosing a collegiate program.
Boissonneault said, “Positive team cultures, coaches that are interested in your personal growth, and a school that fits your academic goals.”
Also, she answered what she hopes an athlete will take away from their collegiate experience.
“I hope they learn to be a team player, become resilient and are able to apply the skills they’ve learned as a college athlete to real-life scenarios at work and in their personal lives,” Boissonneault said.
Pitt will be the ninth team in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Divison I women’s lacrosse and will have a maximum of 12 scholarships. They will be competing in one of the most challenging conferences. For the past eight seasons, an ACC program has played in the National Championship. Pitt is building a lacrosse-only dedicated field opening in the next couple of years in their new plans of the “Victory Heights” expansion. Their inaugural season is set to be in the spring of 2022.