GVSU Womens Lacrosse

Grand Valley State Women's Lacrosse Camp

Coaching Staff

Mackenzie Lawler
Head Coach

Grand Valley State Director of Athletics, Keri Becker, announced the hiring of Mackenzie Lawler as the new head coach of the Lakers' women's lacrosse program on July 10, 2018. Lawler becomes the second head coach in Laker lacrosse history.

Prior to joining the Lakers, she most recently spent four seasons as the first assistant coach at Central Michigan University, helping to launch the newly formed Chippewa lacrosse program. During her time at CMU, Lawler served as offensive coordinator as well as coordinator of recruiting, camps and film. In her final season at Central Michigan, the Chippewas held the tenth-best shooting percentage (47.8%) in Division I.

Lawler has also built one of the premier youth lacrosse programs in the state of Michigan. She founded Michigan Elite in 2011, serving as the administrator and head coach of a program that has grown to a staff of 10 coaches and over 150 athletes spread across seven teams; five in her hometown of Okemos and two in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Robert Morris University in 2014, where she was a three-year starter in the Division I Colonials' midfield and amassed 35 goals, 21 assists, 38 ground balls, 27 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. During her collegiate career, Lawler also spent time as a youth and high school coach in both her home state and in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where RMU is located.

Rachel Ward
Assistant Coach

Rachel Ward enters her fourth year at Grand Valley State University as the Assistant Coach of the lacrosse team in the 2019 season.

As offensive coordinator, Ward led the Lakers to the second-best scoring average in the nation in 2018 with 18.3 goals per game. The Lakers scored 20 or more goals in seven games on the season, including a stretch of four consecutive games. The Lakers had a program record five players named to the IWLCA All-Region teams and won a sixth straight GLIAC regular season championship, finishing the year 13-5.

With Ward guiding the team as its offensive coach, the Lakers finished the season ranked third in the country in scoring offense with 16.05 goals per game and 321 total goals scored, both program records as the team qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament for the first time in team history.

Ward comes to Grand Valley State after finishing a four-year playing career at Lock Haven University. Ward played in 77 career games, scoring 147 points on 141 goals and six assists while recording 78 ground balls, winning 74 draw controls, and causing 22 turnovers as the Bald Eagles finished as runner-up in the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2015.

Ward received All-PSAC Second Team honors in 2015 and All-PSAC Third Team honors in 2013. She tallied 54 points on 52 goals and two assists, along with 11 draw control wins, eight ground balls, and two caused turnovers in 2015, and in 2013 she put up 35 goals and four assists for 39 points along with 22 ground balls, 10 draw control wins, and six caused turnovers.

In addition to playing for the Lock Haven women’s lacrosse team, Ward was a member of the Ireland Women’s Lacrosse National Team for the 2015 Women’s European Lacrosse Championship in the Czech Republic. Ward played in every game for Team Ireland, tallying 15 points on 14 goals and one assist.

Ward earned her Bachelor degree from Lock Haven University, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management with a concentration in Fitness. At Lock Haven, she was a member of the Student-Athlete Honor Roll from 2012 to 2014 and made the Dean’s List in 2013.