DURHAM, N.H. – Katie Leland, who rewrote the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse record book as a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats, will rejoin the UNH women’s lacrosse program as an assistant coach, effective immediately, as announced by 13th-year head coach Sandy Bridgeman on Monday.
“I am thrilled to welcome Katie back to the UNH family,” Bridgeman said. “As a player she helped UNH compete at an elite level. Her knowledge of the game and her qualities as a person make her an asset in keeping this program at that elevated level.”
Leland – named the America East Women’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete of the Year in 2005 – currently holds four UNH records, including career points with 270, and ranks second on the program’s career assist list (92). She also owns the benchmarks for goals in a game (nine), points in a season (90; in 2004) and goals in a career (179).
On New Hampshire’s lists of single-season superlatives, Leland holds three of the top 10 totals in goals, two of the top four in assists and three of the top four in points. Furthermore, Leland is one of only three Wildcats in the program’s history to record double-digit points in a game, which she accomplished with an 11-point effort (nine goals; two assists) during the 2005 season; the nine goals marked the highest by a Division I player that season.
Leland recorded team highs in goals (53), assists (29) and points (82) in her senior year to rank No. 12 in the nation in points per game, 20th in assists per game and 22nd in goals per game. She received IWLCA Northeast Region All-America First Team and IWLCA Academic Honor Roll – as well as America East All-Conference First Team accolades – recognition that season.
As a Wildcat rookie in the 2003 season, Leland immediately stepped into the starting lineup and she ranked third in assists as well as fourth in both goals and points to earn America East All-Rookie Team honors.
She followed that with a record-breaking effort in 2004 in which she scored 60 goals and assisted on 30 others to shatter UNH's previous single-season benchmark of 68 points with 92. With those numbers, Leland ranked eighth nationally in points as well as 15th in goals and 17th in assists. And behind the strength of those numbers, New Hampshire broke team records for wins in a season (15), consecutive wins (14), and both goals and points in a season.
Leland's 2004 postseason honors included IWLCA All-Region First Team, America East All-Conference First Team and Most Outstanding Player of the America East Championship.
In 2005, Leland became the first 'Cat in the program's distinguished history to record 70+ points in consecutive seasons with 72 points on 51 goals and 21 assists. She repeated as an All-Conference First Team selection and was also voted to the All-Region Second Team.
Leland, a native of Timonium, Md., earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology: Sport Studies from UNH in May 2006.