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Women’s lacrosse: Vlahakis hires Long Island’s Mazzola, Ferrandiz as assistants at St. Joseph’s College

Thursday, 17th November 2011

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 11/17/11
From Press Release

St. Joseph’s College-Long Island’s head women’s lacrosse coach Bob Vlahakis has announced that he has filled out the first-ever coaching staff for the brand new Golden Eagles NCAA Division III program, with the hiring of two assistant coaches, Francesca Mazzola and Mallory Ferrandiz.

Francesca Mazzola comes to St. Joseph’s from D-III’s Castleton State College, where she was a four-year member of the women’s lacrosse team as a goalkeeper. The 2009 Castleton graduate was named to the NAC All-Conference First Team her senior year, while also receiving NEWLA Defender-of-the Week honors during the same season. Mazzola is currently Castleton’s career leader in goalie saves with 332 in 49 games.

Mazzola graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health science from Castleton and went on to work at the Stratton Mountain School, a private boarding school in southern Vermont, where she also coached their girl’s lacrosse team. Originally from Long Island, where she played in goal for Harborfields High School Team, Francesca currently resides in Centerport.

Coach Vlahakis states, “I am very excited to have Francesca working with our goalies. Especially in the first year of the program, since we have decided to jump right into Division III lacrosse with players mostly already here at St. Joseph’s, her presence will be critical. Francesca will take our goalies separately for the first part of practice each day. Their development is completely in her hands, and I have complete confidence she will do a great job. She has been busy in the fall, outfitting our goalies and working with them to lay a good foundation for the future. Her expertise in the cage has proven invaluable and she has already developed a great rapport with not only the goalies, but the entire team. Francesca’s experience at the D-III level makes her a perfect fit for St. Joseph’s.”

Mallory Ferrandiz spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Division II’s University of New Haven, where she received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. On the coaching staff, she contributed to all facets of the lacrosse program including fundraising, recruiting, practice and game plans. New Haven finished the 2011 season ranked 10th nationally in the D-II IWLCA poll.

As a player at New Haven, Mallory received the highest honor possible as a First Team All-American in her senior season in 2009 and was the first in the school’s history to earn IWCLA first team honors. During that season she was named the Northeast 10 Conference Championship MVP after leading New Haven to victory in the conference title game. Mallory helped put New Haven on the map with it’s first-ever NCAA quarter-finals appearance, as well as their highest national ranking (#6) in the IWLCA polls. The three-time team captain from 2007-2009, was recognized as the team MVP in both the 2008 and 2009 seasons. She also was selected to the 2006, 2008, and 2009 All-North Region and the NEC All-Conference teams.

Mallory is currently New Haven’s career leader in assists with 67. She is second in total career points (213) and ranks second in career goals scored (146). Ferrandiz has worked with a number of youth organizations, clinics and camps over the years. While at New Haven, she was the head coach for Eli Youth Lacrosse for four years, a girl’s club team composed of third through eighth graders. She has also coached at the Sayville Girls Lacrosse Camp for the last seven years. Mallory is currently finishing her masters in human nutrition.

“I know Mallory all the way back to her years at Sayville High School, where she caused havoc for opposing teams. She then went on to a stellar college career, becoming a tremendous offensive player during her years at the collegiate level. Mallory will be responsible for the development of our attack and midfield players. They will be learning from an experienced, tough player, whose style of play fits right in with the philosophy we want to have at St. Joseph’s College. I am very excited watching her work one-on-one with our young players who are absorbing everything she tells them,” stated Vlahakis.

“Little-by-little she is teaching them some of the special skills needed to compete at this level. Her outstanding success as a player is a great model for the kids to emulate.”

Vlahakis was the longtime coach at Shoreham-Wading River High School, where he guided the girls’ lacrosse team to four New York State championships (2007-10), five Long Island championships (2006-10), seven Suffolk County championships (2004-10) and six Suffolk County and New York State team sportsmanship awards. Additionally, Vlahakis has been honored with three Long Island Coach of the Year and seven consecutive Suffolk Class C Coach of the Year awards.

With the addition of these two coaches, the coaching staff is now ready to go full speed into the first lacrosse season at St. Joseph’s. The Golden Eagles will be full members of the Skyline Conference jumping right into a varsity schedule.



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