Lacrosse and Soccer

Katie Woods visited many schools during her search for a university. While academic opportunities were important to her, Woods had been playing soccer since she was five, and yearned to play at the college level. On the advice of her South Windsor (Conn.) High School soccer coach, Melissa Morgan-Hostetler C’92, Woods visited Drew and met with Head Soccer Coach Christa Racine.

And while soccer was Woods’ first athletic passion, it wasn’t her only one. Woods had discovered lacrosse in her junior year of high school, and on a return visit to Drew, she met with Head Lacrosse Coach Suzanne Weinberg. Feeling very comfortable and confident with both programs, Woods made Drew her home for the next four years.

During those years, Woods was a two-sport athlete who excelled both on and off the field. She was a four-time All-Conference selection in lacrosse, also picking up two Regional All-American and one National All-American awards. She appears on numerous “top ten” statistics lists for Drew Women’s Lacrosse, and remains tied for the individual record of most total points in a game (eleven). In soccer, Woods achieved First Team All-Freedom Conference and appears in the top five of every Drew Women’s Soccer statistic related to goalkeepers. She holds the season and career records for lowest goals against average (.70/season; .978/career), most shutouts in a season (twelve), fewest goals allowed in a season (fifteen), and the highest career save percentage in university history (.875).

Woods credits the strong relationships she had with her coaches and teammates for shaping her personality and outlook. “They pushed me to do things that I hadn’t done before,” recalls Woods, “and I gained confidence from the experience.”  That experience included two showings for lacrosse in the NCAA playoffs, which Woods considers true high points in her college career. “Being one of the selected teams to play for a national championship was pretty amazing,” reminisces Woods. “Even now to this day, that is the main thing we strive for on a yearly basis for my team.”

Woods excelled in the classroom as a two-time Scholar Athlete award winner, graduating with honors with a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. While being a two-sport athlete was challenging, Woods credits athletics with instilling in her the time management skills and discipline which led to her academic success. “The hardest time of year, to be honest, was that November period through finals, because I didn’t have anything structured,” Woods recalls.

By working summer soccer and lacrosse camps, Woods visited other schools and began to realize that her athletic passion could, in fact, become her career. “From there, I realized I might want to try out college coaching just because I loved being able to impact younger players and help them improve.”

After graduation, Woods spent the 2002 season at Ithaca College as a graduate assistant for both women’s soccer and lacrosse, while earning her master’s in exercise and sports sciences. She went on to hold assistant lacrosse coaching positions at Davidson, Cornell, and Brown.

Woods was named Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse at American University in 2007 and quickly garnered significant accomplishments in the world of college athletics, including Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2008. Woods joined the University of Connecticut as the Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse in 2011. Her 2012 season was marked by 10 wins, which ties for the second most in a season at Connecticut.

“I am so grateful for my experience at Drew because it influenced who I am right now and what I am doing. It has allowed me to do something and have a career that is a passionate one for me. I feel I am very lucky.”