At the end of the first season in Rafferty Stadium, women’s lacrosse coach Mike Waldvogel has announced that he will step down as head coach, retiring his position to his current assistant Laura Field. Field will assume the responsibilities as head coach while Waldvogel will continue to be actively involved in the program, stepping up to the position of Coordinator of Women’s Lacrosse Operations.
Waldvogel has spent eight years with the program, seven at the position of head coach. He has led the most successful campaign with the lacrosse team, leading the team to 30 consecutive wins in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the program’s first ever National Collegiate Athletic Association berth, 4 MAAC regular season crowns, a MAAC tournament victory and has been voted as the MAAC Coach of the Year twice during his eight-year career. Now, as coordinator of women’s lacrosse operations, Waldvogel will still be actively involved in the program.
“This transition will allow me a little more free time in the summer, but I still can coach and do what I love,” said Waldvogel.
During Waldvogel’s campaign as head coach, Field has been associate head coach for three years, while being a part of the program for seven. As associate coach, Field has been mainly responsible for the defensive end of the team where she has been extremely successful. Since her time with the Stags, the team has not ranked lower than 23rd in the nation defensively and she has been a driving force in keeping the goalkeepers of the team extremely successful. Because Waldvogel and Field have been working together for several years, they predict that the transition between the coaches will be smooth for the next season.
“I think Coach Laura has prepared me more for this position than I’ve prepared her,” said Waldvogel. “She’s been great, in the sense of adjusting to the women’s program and what the expectations of them and things like that.”
Field is ready for the opportunity because of the way Waldvogel has prepared her.
“Coach Mike has been the perfect boss,” said Field. “He has allowed me free reign to run our defense, he has given me almost every daily task that I would be able to need to do as head coach.”
Despite the change of coach, the goals for the team will remain the same. The team always wants to win: win the MAAC regular championship, win the MAAC tournament and their biggest goal is to once again, make it to the NCAA tournament. Together, Waldvogel and Field will work together to keep the values of the team the core of the team.
“Laura’s going to do a great job in continuing in what we believe in. We believe in playing competitive D1 lacrosse, but keeping it in perspective,” said Waldvogel. “We always say family comes first, education second, lacrosse third.”
As they work closely together in the future, they are hoping that the program will continue to grow, especially now with the addition of the new Rafferty Stadium. Waldvogel and Field are hopeful that the stadium will attract recruits and change the way that Fairfield looks at their lacrosse program.
“The stadium is a very striking visual for commitment and for the university’s commitment and the alumni’s commitment to the program,” said Field. “When you bring a recruit to campus, it says this is what Fairfield lacrosse means to Fairfield University.”
Waldvogel is set to finish out his last season as head coach this upcoming spring with Field close by as they prepare themselves and their team for a successful season in Rafferty Stadium.