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The Dartmouth
May 23, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Women’s lacrosse head coach aids a stunning Team USA win at 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship

Big Green head coach Alex Frank served as an assistant coach for Team USA, who took home a world title on home turf.

Frank has extensive coaching experience at the collegiate and national levels.

On July 9, Big Green women’s lacrosse head coach Alex Frank helped lead the the U.S. women’s lacrosse team to a gold medal in the 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship as assistant coach. For the first time in the championship’s history, the host team won the championship with the U.S. winning on home turf in Maryland. The game had been postponed since July 2021 due to the pandemic. 

Frank said her decade in coaching collegiate lacrosse prepared her for the obstacles the U.S. team faced at the World Championship. She led the US to the gold medal with a 11-8 win against Canada, ending with an 8-0 record.  

“Every game presented new sets of challenges… but it’s a really fun experience every time you play,” Frank said. “Obviously the gold medal is what everyone is aiming for, so anytime you are able to meet your goals you are happy about the success you are able to get.”

Frank started her lacrosse career as a star at Northwestern University. She led her team to the 2009, 2011 and 2012 national titles, was an All-American player in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and served as team captain her junior and senior year. 

After graduating from Northwestern, Frank served as an assistant coach for Boston College women’s lacrosse for three seasons. She then went on to coach at University of Colorado Boulder, where she received her first call from the US women’s national team head coach Jenny Levy to be an assistant coach for the World Championship originally scheduled for 2021. According to Frank, Levy has been a personal mentor ever since she tried to recruit Frank to play for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Frank also pointed to her coaching experience at Dartmouth as preparation for the world stage. She said that coaching student-athletes taught her how to coach lacrosse players who also have schoolwork and commitments outside of the lacrosse world. 

“Being able to coach in these last ten years has been something I have appreciated,” Frank said. “Once I knew I was done with playing, I wanted the next way to give back to the game, and that embodied [in] the sideline, whether it be at the collegiate or international level.”

Michelle Yu ’21 played for the Hong Kong women’s lacrosse team at the championships, which finished in 16th place with a 2-6 record in the tournament. After missing her junior and senior seasons with the Big Green due to the pandemic, Yu said she was excited to get back on the field to represent Hong Kong. 

Yu added that playing alongside her sister, Vanessa Yu, for Hong Kong was “incredible,” especially after competing against one another in Ivy League play, as her sister played for Yale University. She also explained that representing Hong Kong was special because the team helps promote the sport of lacrosse in Hong Kong. 

“We had the opportunity to play the US team, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience because they have the best players in the world and because they were coached by Frank,” Yu said. “After the game, it was a great reunion.”

Amy Shohet ’23 competed for the Israel team as a dual citizen and finished sixth in the tournament, winning 6 games and losing 2. She expressed her admiration for Coach Frank’s leadership style on the field.

“Coach Frank emphasizes communication, and as a goalie, that was especially important in the World Championship with new coaches and players,” Shohet said. “Her experience as a successful player helped her know how to guide a team of women in a direct manner.”

Both Shohet and Yu expressed that they devoted a lot of time and effort to the championship. Shohet went to Israel for four months in the fall of 2020 to train with the team. According to Shohet, she had to juggle online classes while living in a different time zone, with limited wifi and intense team training. Similarly, Yu took off time from her healthcare consulting job for training.

Frank said she aims to bring both the success and lessons from the World Championship back to Brophy Field in the fall.

“To be able to get a gold medal at the international level is something I will never forget,” Frank said. “I hope we can continue to find success at Dartmouth and have the opportunity to raise a trophy with my players here at Dartmouth.  It was a full circle moment for all of us.”