To understand the impact that Missy Doherty has made on the Towson women’s lacrosse program, all you have to do is look at the team’s success over the last seven years, which has included four trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Currently in her seventh season as the Tigers’ coach, Doherty has helped the Tigers become a nationally-recognized program and one of the top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Tigers have qualified for the CAA Tournament in six of Coach Doherty’s seven seasons while winning three CAA championships. The conference championships also provided the Tigers with the first NCAA Tournament appearances in program history.
In addition, Doherty has coached six of Towson’s seven All-America selections in the last seven years, including senior midfielder Hillary Fratzke. Fratzke became the first player in school history to earn first team honors when she accomplished the feat in 2008 and is the only three-time All-American in the program's history.
For the first time in program history, the Tigers earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament in 2010 as a result of their 13-4 record. They also earned their first-ever top ten national ranking in the IWLCA Division I poll and also defeated an opponent ranked in the top ten in the IWLCA poll with their win over Stanford.
Fratzke was also named as the CAA Player of the Year for the second time in three years, becoming the third player in CAA history to earn the award twice.
The Tigers posted one of the best seasons in school history last year when they finished with a 13-6 record and claimed their second consecutive CAA title. They also became the first team in CAA history to win the conference title as the fourth seed after beating William & Mary and Delaware in the CAA Tournament.
In 2009, the Tigers had two players earn All-America honors as Julie Ondrako was named to the second team while Meggie McNamara was a third team selection after setting the school single-season assists record.
Most remarkably, they accomplished everything after Fratzke suffered a season-ending injury in the Tigers’ third game, a loss against Loyola.
The Tigers also posted an identical 13-6 record in 2008 and earned a share of the CAA regular season title with a 5-2 league mark. In the CAA Tournament, the 15th-ranked Tigers beat the two CAA teams they had lost to during the regular season, including a stunning 8-7 victory over George Mason in the semi-finals.
While Fratzke earned first team All-America notice from the IWLCA, the Tigers also had three players earn All-Region notice and three players were selected to the All-CAA teams. Fratzke also became the first Tiger women’s lacrosse player to be named as the CAA Player of the Year after scoring 62 goals with 24 assists.
In 2006 and 2007, Doherty had eight players earn All-Colonial Athletic Association honors while five players were All-Region selections. In 2007, Fratzke was a second-team All-America selection after being named as the CAA Rookie of the Year the year before. Midfielder Shannon Witzel earned third team All-American honors from the IWLCA in 2006.
Doherty led the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005 as Towson won its first CAA title with a 13-6 record, including a 5-2 mark in CAA regular season play. In addition to the team’s success, several individual players were honored for their play as goalkeeper Mandy Corry was named as the league’s Rookie of the Year and selected to the All-CAA second team while four other players were honored with All-CAA status.
In Doherty’s inaugural season, the Tigers set a school record with 14 wins and earned their first winning record since the 1997 campaign, snapping a streak of six straight losing seasons. Towson earned the number two seed in the CAA Tournament, its first appearance in the conference playoffs since 1999 when the Tigers were members of the AMERICA EAST Conference.
In addition to the school-record 14 wins, the Tigers were honored with a ranking in the national polls for the first time since 1997, earning a number 17 ranking. Towson was ranked as high as 16th during the season before ending the campaign as the 18th-ranked team in NCAA Division I.
Doherty has not only helped the Tigers become a successful lacrosse program, but she has also helped the Towson athletic program improve its academic success. She helped to develop the Faculty Fellows program at Towson, which pairs a member of the University faculty with an athletic team and helps to develop healthy relationships between faculty and student-athletes.
The Tigers have also been honored by the IWLCA for their academic success in each of the last four years.
The ninth head coach in Tiger lacrosse history, Doherty has enhanced their community service efforts as the team has been involved with clinics at the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex in addition to working phone-a-thons for U.S. Lacrosse. During the past six years, the Tigers have participated in the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Run at Loyola College, which takes place every September in honor of the Greyhounds’ late coach.
Doherty came to Towson following a successful six-year stint as an assistant coach at three different schools. She was a key member of the Princeton University coaching staff during the Tigers’ NCAA Championship seasons in 2002 and 2003. Princeton had a record of 49-9 and won three consecutive Ivy League titles during her tenure.
Before her time at Princeton, Doherty coached for two seasons at Brown University. She started her coaching career at Vanderbilt University in 1998.
A 1997 graduate of the University of Maryland, Doherty was a four-year performer on defense and helped the Terrapins win three NCAA titles during her career. During her playing career, Maryland compiled a 68-2 record, including an NCAA-record 50-game winning streak. Doherty was also a three-time selection to the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll.
The former Missy Holmes, she married Brian Doherty on December 9, 2006. The couple had their first son, Evan William, on September 8, 2007.