July 25, 2018
By Matt Paras
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse head coach Christine Halfpenny announced on Wednesday that Kerry Stoothoff has joined the Fighting Irish staff as an assistant coach. Stoothoff joins Notre Dame from the reigning national champions James Madison, where she was in the same role for two seasons working with the goalkeepers, offense and draw units.
“It is a great honor and privilege to be joining the University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team as an assistant coach,” said Stoothoff. “I would like to thank Christine Halfpenny, Brian Pracht, Jack Swarbrick and the entire administration for the opportunity to join such an esteemed university and program. I’m excited to meet the student-athletes and help lead the Irish to success in the ACC and NCAA Tournament.”
“We are thrilled to add coach Kerry Stoothoff to the Notre Dame lacrosse program,” said Halfpenny. “She brings a wealth of experience to the sidelines as a player and coach. Her resume speaks for itself and her reputation precedes her. In speaking to peers, everyone spoke highly about coach Stoothoff’s impact on the team’s that she is a part of. Her energy and passion for the game combined with her obvious excitement to join the Notre Dame community made her the perfect fit for our program. Speaking on behalf of our entire team, we can’t wait to get started with Coach Stoothoff this fall.”
During the 2018 campaign, the Dukes goalkeepers were a major part of their national championship run. James Madison lost just one game all season (22-1) and finished in the top-10 in scoring defense (9.26) for the second straight year. Stoothoff guided goalkeeper Molly Dougherty through a stellar freshman campaign. Dougherty amassed a 14-0 record, ranked ninth in the nation in goals against average (9.36) and was named Rookie of the Year by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) and first team All-Colonial Athletic Association. Dougherty held Boston College scoreless for over 15 minutes in the second half of the national title game en route to JMU’s first national championship.
Another key piece in the championship run that Stoothoff oversaw was senior captain Haley Warden. She set the JMU and CAA single season record for draw controls in a season with 108 and none were more important that the final one. She won the final draw of the championship game with 22 seconds left to clinch possession and run out the clock.
In her first year with the program, JMU saw a big defensive turnaround as the goalies aided in the team ranking 10th nationally in scoring defense (8.95). The Dukes held opponents to seven goals or fewer in 10 games and five or fewer in five outings. In the first round of the 2017 NCAA Championship, JMU limited Louisville to six goals to earn the program’s first NCAA victory since 2010.
She coached Emily Poelma to a stellar season between the pipes, as she was named VaSID second team All-State. Poelma ranked 15th nationally with a 9.38 goals against average and just outside the top 30 in save percentage (.462).
Stoothoff came to JMU after spending the past three seasons at NCAA Division II power Adelphi where she coached the goalies and defense. During her time with the Panthers, she helped the program to two national championships in 2014 and 2015 and a berth in the NCAA title game in 2016.
Adelphi went 64-2 in her three years on the coaching staff, including a 37-1 mark during Northeast-10 play. The Panthers’ defense was regarded as one of the nation’s best, recording three shutouts and limiting opponents to less than five goals in 35 of 66 games, including 13 during the 2016 campaign.
She coached goalkeeper Taylor Hayes to a plethora of national awards in her three seasons with the program. Hayes was the 2016 NCAA Division II statistical champion for goals against average, conceding just 4.27 goals per outing in 22 starts. The goalie was also named 2014 NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year and earned MVP status at the 2015 NCAA Division II Championship.
Stoothoff was a four-year letterwinner at Loyola, Maryland, making 62 starts and totaling 3,497 minutes between the pipes for the Greyhounds. A three-year starter, she completed her career ranking fifth on Loyola’s all-time saves list with 528. Stoothoff left the program with a career .485 save percentage and 9.61 goals against average, resulting in a 53-22 record in goal.
The Blue Point, New York, native was a two-time Tewaaraton Award watch list selection in 2011 and 2012 while also earning IWLCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region and All-BIG EAST honors during both seasons. Stoothoff helped Loyola to back-to-back BIG EAST titles in 2011 and 2012 and was voted the BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player, becoming the only player in conference history to win consecutive MOP accolades. She was also tabbed Loyola’s MVP in 2010 and received the Unsung Hero Award in 2012.
Stoothoff also plays in the professional ranks as the starting goalkeeper for the Baltimore Ride of the United Women’s Lacrosse League, playing in the past three seasons. She is currently a teammate of former Notre Dame standout Molly Cobb.
Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track & field programs. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women's soccer and lacrosse programs.