York College women's lacrosse continues to thrive under 200-win coach Jen Muston

After the Spartans earned their 200th win under Muston over the weekend, York College added No. 201 on Wednesday.

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

The York College women’s lacrosse team has accomplished quite a bit in the 15 years since Jen Muston took over the program back in 2008. Perhaps the most notable achievement is that Muston has helped transform the squad into not only a winner but a national title contender.

Nowhere is that change more evident than the milestone that the Spartans achieved over the weekend against Eastern University, as Muston secured her 200th career coaching victory.

“Everyone was so excited for it,” York College senior Kiersten Blanchard said. “And we were just happy for it to be on our senior night, too.”

York College's Kiersten Blanchard (16) against Albright during their women’s lacrosse game in York on Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2023

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Blanchard has experienced how the steady hand of Muston has helped steer the program closer and closer to a coveted national championship. The squad has won the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth crown in each of the two seasons the Spartans have played in their new conference, and the Spartans appear headed toward a three-peat this season.

The program has also made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III tournament eight times under Muston.

That level of success, however, is not something that Muston claims for herself.

“You have to have great support,” said Muston, who also is an assistant director of athletics at the college. “You have to have great players and great coaches and a great place to work. I love working here just because you can win here. My players work really hard to give me the opportunity to fulfill my coaching goals.”

York College's Sydney Mentzer (34) on goal against Albright's Caelainn Morrison (00) during their women’s lacrosse game in York on Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2023

The two biggest goals left for Muston are qualifying for the Final Four and, of course, winning the first title in program history.

A lesser goal — and one that Muston only joked about — is getting to 300 wins. Muston’s squad helped her get closer to that particular milestone by one Wednesday evening at Kinsley Field, as the Spartans rolled past Albright, 16-6, to improve to 11-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference.

“Actually, I did forget about (No. 200) honestly,” Muston said. "The players were great. They surprised me. They dumped the water cooler on me and my assistant (Ashley Fitzhugh), who has been with me the whole time here, so it was her 200th win as well. So this means a lot.”

Blanchard is normally on the attack, as she was Wednesday, when she scored three times in the victory vs. Albright. But on Saturday, she played a different role in Muston’s celebration.

“I was just laughing and backing away (from her) and she was just looking at me,” Blanchard said. “She just kept asking me what I was laughing at and two people came up behind her and dumped the cooler on her. So I was the distractor, which was fun.”

York College's Jen Campbell (4) celebrating a goal with Madison Kurland (7) against Albright during their women’s lacrosse game in York on Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2023

Fun is also a key term that York College players use when talking about the program. It’s an element that Muston has helped foster along with each team’s upperclassmen.

As one of seven seniors on the roster, Blanchard believes fostering a supportive and entertaining atmosphere is what has helped separate the Spartans from their competition.

“I feel that the seniors just help build the chemistry we have as a team,” Blanchard said. “Everyone just loves each other. We all have each other’s backs and we all share the same energy and goal at the end. We just love being here. Our practices are just so fun because of how everyone just loves to be here.”

In Wednesday’s victory, Teresa Matthias also scored three goals, while Madison Kurland, Zoe Kluegel, Logan Ward and York Catholic grad Sydney Mentzer finished with two apiece.