PHILADELPHIA --Sixth-year assistant women's lacrosse coach Melissa Lehman C'08 was honored last week at the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association's Annual Meeting in Orlando as the Division I Outstanding Assistant Coach Award.
"I am honored to have received this award amongst a group of so many dedicated coaches," Lehman said. "I am lucky every day to work at such an incredible university and I have learned so much working with both Karin and Kerri.To be able to coach at my alma mater -- a place that gave me so much -- is a dream, and I am so grateful for the opportunity Karin and the athletic department have given me. Reflecting on this award I am reminded how rewarding being a coach truly is and how lucky I am to do what I love."
Lehman has been a part of seven of Penn's eight consecutive Ivy League championships and NCAA Tournament appearances -- winning two as a player in 2007 and 2008 before serving as an assistant coach on the 2010-14 squads.
"This is a tremendous -- and well-deserved -- honor for Melissa," said head coach Karin Corbett. "She gives so much of herself to this program, working tirelessly every day to make sure we hold ourselves to the high standards we have in place. She has experienced it all as both a player and coach and is a fantastic role model for our team on what it takes to succeed as a student and a lacrosse player."
Primarily responsible for working with Penn's defenders and midfielders, Lehman has guided 11 Quakers to All-Region honors during her tenure in University City and coached a total of 17 players to All-Ivy honors.
This past season, Lehman coached Meg Markham to first-team All-American honors in addition to the 2014 Ivy League Defender of the Year award. In 2013, Lehman worked with Shannon Mangini who went on to win the first Ivy League Midfielder of the Year award. In addition to Markham's All-American selection, two midfielders have earned honorable mention All-American under Lehman's tutelage -- Emma Spiro in 2010 and Maddie Poplawski in 2012.
Last season, Lehman guided the Red and Blue's defensive unit to the Ivy League's top scoring defense -- allowing 7.78 goals-per-game. That number ranked seventh among all Division I programs, bolstered by 11 games where the defense gave up eight or fewer goals. The Quakers did not allow double figures in goals in nine games against Ivy League opponents.
Overall, Lehman's record as an assistant coach at Penn is 58-27 (.682 winning percentage) with an Ivy League record of 32-3 (.914). In addition to the five Ivy League championships as an assistant, she has been a part of three Ivy League Tournament championships.
L-R: Kerri Whitaker, Melissa Lehman, Karin Corbett at the IWLCA Honors Dinner where Lehman was named Outstanding Assistant Coach for Division I