Current Associate Head Coach & Assistant Director of Athletics for Operations and Leadership at Sacred Heart Greenwich
Courtesy of Naval Academy Athletics Website:
Former women’s lacrosse standout Aly Messinger joined the Navy women’s lacrosse team prior to the 2017 season and was promoted to associate head coach for the offense following the 2018 campaign. Messinger focuses on the Midshipmen’s offensive attack and has an active role in recruiting.
Navy finished the 2019 season 16-5 overall and 8-1 in the Patriot League. For the third consecutive season (2017, ’18, ’19), the Navy women’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Tournament, finishing the year in the second round. The 2019 season marked the first time in program history that the Midshipmen earned an at-large bid into the Tournament. The Mids won the NCAA First Round game for the third consecutive season, defeating No. 24 High Point, 16-5.
As a team, the 2019 squad finished in the program’s top three in points (494), points per game (23.52), goals (323), assists (171), assists per game (8.14), shots (709), shots on goal (528), draw controls (358), draws per game (17.05), caused turnovers (188), and games played (21).
During the 2019 season, five members of the women’s lacrosse team were named to the 2018 All-Patriot League Team, including four selected to the first team.
Kelly Larkin, a junior, became Navy and the Patriot League’s all-time leader in points (346), while also becoming the first player in school and conference history with three 100-point seasons. Senior defensive captain Marie Valenti became the first player in Navy history (sixth in Patriot League history) with 100 or more caused turnovers (114), while also becoming the Mids’ all-time leader in ground balls (181).
The Navy women’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for the second consecutive season in 2018. Navy ranked sixth in the final national polls, marking the second consecutive season that the Mids have finished the season ranked in the top 10.
During the year, Hall of Fame head coach Cindy Timchal recorded her 500th career victory, becoming the first Division I lacrosse head coach to amass 500 wins.
On April 14, Navy posted a 20-7 victory over Army West Point at Michie Stadium, marking the first time in women’s lacrosse that the Midshipmen and Black Knights competed against each other as part of the Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA.
As a team in 2018, Navy set the school record for points per game (24.41), goals (378), goals per game (17.18), draw controls (371), free-position goals (78), and saves (167), while ranking second in program history in points (537), assists (159), assists per game (7.23), shots (775), shots on goal (591), draw controls per game (16.86), and games played (22).
During the 2018 season, eight members of the women’s lacrosse team were named to the 2018 All-Patriot League Team, four were tabbed All-American, and senior Jenna Collins was awarded the Vice Admiral Lawrence Sword for Women, which is presented to the woman of the graduating class who is considered by the Association’s Athletic Council to have personally excelled in women’s athletics during her years of varsity competition.
In the offseason, Messinger teamed with fellow Midshipmen coach Gabby Capuzzi to lead the New England Command to the inaugural Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) championship title with a 12-11 victory over the top-seeded Baltimore Brave at Tierney Field at the US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Md. The Command entered the postseason as the No. 2 seed with a 3-1 overall record with their lone defeat coming at that the hands of the undefeated Brave (4-0), which featured former Navy women’s lacrosse All-American Jenna Collins (’18) until she reported to Pensacola for flight school.
In 2017, the women’s lacrosse team finished the year 18-5 overall with an 8-1 record in the Patriot League. The team made history as it became the first Service Academy team from a women’s sport to advance to the NCAA Final Four.
The Mids made their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the first appearance for Navy since 2013. The Midshipmen began their historic run, advancing to the NCAA Tournament after posting a 15-5 victory over top-seeded Loyola in the Patriot League Tournament. The win marked the team’s fifth championship and ended the Greyhounds’ 41-game winning streak against PL foes.
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Navy defeated No. 7 Penn, 11-10, at Penn Park on Dunning-Cohen Champions Field in Philadelphia, Pa. With the win, the Midshipmen advanced to the second round of the Tournament for just the second time in school history. The victory over the No. 7 Quakers was the first win against a ranked opponent in Navy history. In addition, it was the second NCAA Tournament win for Navy in program history. Navy posted a 23-11 victory over UMass in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the Mids to advance to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for the first time in program history. The Mids defeated defending National Champions and No. 2 seed North Carolina, 16-14, to punch their ticket in to the first-ever Final Four appearance in school history.
As a team, Navy set the school record for points (545), goals (358), assists (187), shots attempted (805), shots on goal (607), ground balls (453), draw controls (364), caused turnovers (216), and games played (23). The Mids (18-5) finished one-win shy of tying the school records for wins in a season.
The 2017 Navy women’s lacrosse team finished the year ranked fourth in the final Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and sixth in the final IWLCA Coaches Poll. The rankings mark the first time in program history that the Mids have been ranked in the top 10 in either poll. It is the highest national ranking for any women’s team in school history.
Messinger graduated from North Carolina in 2016 and finished third all-time in program history with 230 points (149g, 81a). She was a three-time All-America selection and a two-time All-ACC honoree. Messinger helped lead the Tar Heels to two National Championship titles (2013, ’16), including being named the 2016 Most Outstanding Player.
Messinger has a strong background of coaching experience, serving as a coach for the Fever Lacrosse for two seasons. She has also worked as a camp counselor for North Carolina.
Messinger graduated from North Carolina in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science with a concentration in sports administration.