Siena Heights University interim athletic director Sue Syljebeck has announced that Alexa Matta will be the new head coach of the Saint women's lacrosse program. Winter, the second SHU women's lacrosse coach, takes over a program that has gone 58-76 in its eight-year history under former head coach Cindy Hill who retired at the end of May. The team has had back-to-back seasons with a winning record in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference after a 5-4 campaign this season and a 4-2 mark in 2018. The 2018 team made history as the first Saint women's lacrosse team to achieve a berth in the NAIA national tournament.
Prior to arriving at SHU, Matta coached at West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita, California where she was the offensive coordinator and helped lead the team to the best record in school history and an appearance in the 2018 LA Division semi-finals. She also helped start the High Tide girls club lacrosse program. There she coached players that eventually competed at the NCAA Division I and Division III levels as well as the NAIA and WCLA level of collegiate athletics.
"We are excited to have Alexa join our department," Syljebeck said. "She has a great deal of passion for the game and teaching the game. We are fortunate to have someone that has familiarity with the area as well as the WHAC conference. Her success as a player and coach will help us continue the success of our women's lacrosse program."
Matta's familiarity with the WHAC came as a four-year starter for the Indiana Tech women's lacrosse team from 2012-16. She earned first-team All-WHAC in 2014, 2015, and 2016 on her way to being named a two-time NWLL and NAIA All-American. She averaged 3.61 goals per game for a total of 65 on the season in 2016. Matta helped lead the Warriors women's lacrosse team to the NWLL and NAIA national tournament all four years of her collegiate career. She finished her playing days with an invitation to the Team USA tryouts in 2016.
"I would like to thank Interim AD Sue Syljebeck and the Athletic Committee for giving me this opportunity," Matta said. "I'm very excited to be a part of the SHU family. This program has such a great reputation and I'm so excited to be the next one taking over. I can't wait to start working with the team and continue to build a successful program on the field and in the classroom. It is awesome to be returning to the NAIA and WHAC. I'm looking forward to being back at the college level and fighting for a National Championship. I'm eager to have the girls back on campus and hit the ground running."
The former paralegal graduated from Indiana Tech with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice degree in 2016 with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 as a member of the Indiana Tech Academic Honors List as well as the WHAC Academic All-Conference team from 2014-16.