In 2013, Stephanie Allen was named head coach of the women’s lacrosse team and had led the Bearcats to seven wins by her second season. During her tenure, the program saw its first-ever America East Rookie of the Year selection and set a program record for wins. Allen has built the program from the bottom up, and it has soared to new heights.

Now in her 12th season at the helm, Allen led the Bearcats to a historic season packed with program firsts. BU secured its first-ever postseason AE title and its first appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats also earned their first-ever victory over UAlbany when the two met in the conference title match, despite going into the game 0-25 all-time against their in-state rivals. The 2024 squad set program records for wins at 12 and win streak at eight. After leading the women’s lacrosse team for 11 years, Allen has spearheaded the greatest season in program history in 2024, leading to her selection as Pipe Dream’s Coach of the Year.

“They knew it was going to be a collective effort,” Allen said of her team. “I think [it was] the celebration of one another. This was an incredible group in terms of culture. One of the things they did very well was celebrate each other every day and really give each other encouragement … It really just comes down to the team culture and the overall buy-in by the players.”

After opening their 2024 campaign with back-to-back losses, the Bearcats rebounded, winning four straight matches and securing a 4-2 record during the opening stretch of the season. The season was not without hardship, however, as they lost the last three matches of nonconference play and the AE opener against UAlbany. Finding themselves 4-6 and 0-1 in AE play, the Bearcats embarked on the longest win streak in program history, winning eight straight en route to the conference title.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough schedule this season,” Allen said. “We were playing some new opponents. We were playing some opponents that had been on our schedule in the past, and it had always been tough for us, but we knew that in the end that it was going to make us better, whether we won those games or maybe lost a few of them, it wasn’t going to knock us off our track. The team really believed in the fact that every day, and every game was making us better and preparing us for a really tough conference slate and a really tough battle against [UAlbany] at the end.”

Outside of the team’s work on the field, Allen spoke about the importance of using their platform to inspire and give back to the community.

“It’s just part of the expectation as a student-athlete and a coach, especially at the Division I level,” Allen said. “We have a platform that is really unique and special, and we get the opportunity to be a front face for the campus, but also the athletic department. I think it’s our job and our duty to give back to a community that has been so supportive of us, and find ways to reach the community as well. Those are things that we stress as a program and again part of our team culture is to integrate ourselves. It’s really important that we’re using our platform, female student-athletes especially, that we’ve been given to reach other people, to inspire other people and to give back in every way that we possibly can.”

Speaking on her journey to success as a coach, Allen credited the mental strength and growth of her players and set high standards for the future of the program.

“It’s been a long journey, and one that is certainly long from over,” Allen said. “I think for our team, it’s all about believing, and it’s taken time to get each and every individual to believe that they can win, that collectively we can win. I’m really proud of the players that believed before they even got here, or stayed the course when things got tough. It’s been a long process to get to where we are and this is just the beginning. I think this is just the new standard for Binghamton women’s lacrosse.”