Alyson Messinger, who played lacrosse at the University of North Carolina, before serving as an associate coach at the United States Naval Academy, has been hired as lacrosse coach at Sacred Heart Greenwich.
Sacred heart director of athletics Liz Dennison announced Messinger’s appointment as coach Tuesday morning. Messinger replaces Tara Clough, who resigned, following five ultra-successful seasons at the helm.
Clough’s coaching tenure with the Tigers included three FAA Tournament Championships. Six players earned All-American accolades and six athletes were named Academy All-Americans during Clough’s years as Sacred Heart’s coach.
Clough, who took over as the Tigers’ coach in the spring of 2015, guided the team to three straight FAA Tournament titles and coached numerous players who went on to play lacrosse at the collegiate level.
“I’d like to thank coach Clough for all her work with our student-athletes and building a solid foundation for our lacrosse teams,” Dennison said.
It was announced Tuesday by athletic director Gus Lindine that Clough was hired as coach of the Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team. Clough replaces Rachel Vallarelli, who resigned following the Cardinals’ 2019 season.
Messinger is a 2016 graduate of North Carolina, where she excelled on the women’s lacrosse team. She left the Tar Heels third all-time in program history with 230 points (149 goals, 81 assists). While at North Carolina, Messinger helped spark the Tar Heels to two national championship titles (2013, 2016). In 2016, she was named North Carolina’s Most Outstanding Player.
“I am both honored and excited to become Sacred Heart Greenwich’s head varsity lacrosse coach,” Messinger said. “I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by Sacred Heart director of athletics Liz Dennison. “I look forward to continuing the success of this elite lacrosse program and embracing the values and traditions of the Sacred Heart community. I am eager to work with young student-athletes and utilize my previous coaching and playing experiences to help them become great lacrosse players.”
A native of Mendham, N.J., and a graduate of West Mendham High School, was earned Under Armour High School All-America honors in 2012.
“Aly Messinger brings to Sacred Heart Greenwich the things we need to take this program to the next level — tremendous playing ability to hone the skills of our athletes across the entire program, formidable leadership skills to set our student athletes apart on and off the field and extensive collegiate coaching experience to help our athletes with recruitment,” Dennis said.