Ranney School Director of Athletics Natalie Gorman announced the hiring of Rachel Lasda as the next Ranney School Head Coach for Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse.
“We are thrilled to be adding a coach with Rachel’s experience and expertise to our coaching staff at Ranney,” said Gorman. “Rachel is a proven winner and is committed to instilling the type of team culture that builds a consistent championship program. She also has tremendous experience with helping young Lacrosse players with their NCAA recruiting process. While at Oak Knoll, she coached 39 players that went on to play Division I Lacrosse and five players that played at the Division III level. Rachel brings incredible ties to the world of women’s lacrosse at the High School, Club, Collegiate, and International levels. We are very excited to welcome her to our Panther family.”
Lasda, who resides in Spring Lake Heights with her fiancé, will also be joining the Upper School Biology faculty at Ranney School. Lasda is also a licensed EMT, a Level 1 CrossFit coach at Ocean Athletics, and on the coaching staff at All Lax.
“Rachel Lasda has been a tremendous addition to our All Lax staff this year, and we can only imagine the impact she will make on the Ranney Girl’s Lacrosse program,” said Alex Marino and Megan Douty, Directors of All Lax llc. “Her coaching resume speaks for itself, but what we love most about Rachel is her attention to detail and desire to help the next generation of athletes learn and develop through lacrosse.”
Lasda brings a wealth of experience to Hope Road after leading the Oak Knoll Royals for the past five years as their Head Coach. Her accolades include leading the Royals to the Tournament of Champions crown in 2015 and 2019. Lasda also garnered the NJ.com Coach of the Year award for the entire state of New Jersey in 2015, as well as the NFHS Sectional Coach of the Year Award that same year.
During her five years at the helm of the Oak Knoll program, Lasda recorded over 100 wins, and won five straight New Jersey Group 1 Titles.
In addition to her illustrious coaching career, Lasda is an accomplished player in her own right. Having competed in the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in 2013 and 2017 while representing the Latvian National Team, Lasda is now actively coaching for Latvia, preparing for the next world championship in 2021.
“As a player and coach, she is both a fighter and a winner,” said Latvian Captain, Ieva Opolska. “Ranney hired a really wonderful coach and person. The Latvian National team wishes her good luck and many victories in the new position!”
Lasda was an All-American, winning a Section III title and New York State championship at West Genesee High School, and played her collegiate career for the Wildcats at Villanova while majoring in Biology and graduating in 2011. In her four-year career for the Wildcats, Lasda recorded 67 goals, which ranks 13th on the all-time scoring list.
“As an educator and coach at both the independent school and collegiate levels for more than two decades, I can think of no better a role model for young people; and in particular young women than Rachel Lasda,” said Jebb Chagan, Lasda’s Head Coach at Villanova. “Rachel was one of the youngest captains in the history of the Villanova Women's Lacrosse program. Rachel has always led by example and I have seen her both mentor and lead others through her actions, and intellect. I can say unequivocally, that Ranney School got a gem in Rachel.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the Panthers at Ranney this year,” said Lasda. “Through this opportunity, I am looking forward to meeting the athletes, coaches, staff, and all who make up this special community. Together we will continue to be committed to learning, working hard, having fun, and enjoying a successful 2021 season. Let's go Panthers! "
Lasda, a native of Syracuse, NY grew up in a lacrosse family. Her brother Geoff was a star lacrosse player at Princeton University, and her sister Gretchen was an All-American at Hobart and William Smith College. Rachel’s father is 100% Latvian (and the team’s biggest fan), allowing the Lasda sisters to connect to their heritage and be teammates on the Latvian National Team before continuing on as co-coaches for the team. Rachel’s cousins Eli and Riley both played men’s lacrosse at the University of Albany and for Team Latvia, younger cousin Jamie Lasda is a current senior committed to play at The Ohio State University next year and her Uncle Brian Lasda was a star face off specialist at Cornell University.