Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.24.2012 at 10.54 a.m. by Clare Lochary

UMBC Coach Berger 'Not Available' for Wednesday's Game

updated at 6.24 p.m.

UMBC women's lacrosse coach Kelly Berger will not be on the sideline Wednesday for the Retrievers' game at Johns Hopkins. A university spokesman declined to give a reason for her absence. Assistant coach Tony Giro is expected to assume head coaching duties in Berger's absence.

"Kelly Berger, UMBC head women's lacrosse coach, will not be available to coach the team when it faces Johns Hopkins on April 25," associate athletic director for communications Steve Levy wrote in an email Monday. "We have no further information to share at this time."

Berger has been the Retrievers’ head coach since May 2009. Previously she served as an assistant under her predecessor, Courtney Martinez O’Connor. Martinez O’Connor posted a 30-38 record in four years at the helm of UMBC’s program, and when her contract was not renewed after the 2009 season, Berger was promoted to the top job. She was just 24 at the time, and one of the youngest head coaches in all of Division I sports.

In 2010, Berger led UMBC to an 11-7 finish. It was the most wins the Retrievers had earned since 2002, and a program-high number of wins for a first-year coach. UMBC advanced to its first ever America East championship game in the season, and Berger was rewarded with a three-year contract extension. UMBC went 11-7 and reached the conference championship game for the second year in a row in 2011.

Overall, Berger’s record as a head coach is 29-22. The Retrievers are currently 7-8 and 3-3 in the America East conference. UMBC is 1-4 in one-goal games this season, and most recently lost a 12-11 game to league rival New Hampshire on April 21.

The Retrievers are currently ranked No. 3 in the America East and have secured a bid to the conference tournament, scheduled for May 3-5 at top-seeded Boston University. UMBC is expected to face No. 2 seed Stony Brook in the America East semifinals. The Retrievers lost to the Seawolves, 16-6, in a regular season match-up on April 4.

Berger is a 2007 graduate of James Madison University, where she was a two-time IWLCA All-American and the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year in 2006. She is also a midfielder for the U.S. national team.