Convent of the Sacred Heart cradles in a new head varsity lacrosse coach, Mrs. Tara Clough, for the spring season. Having attended Sacred Heart from seventh to tenth grade, Mrs. Clough is excited to return to the place where her passions for competitive sports originally developed.
As a teenager, Mrs. Clough competitively played soccer, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, and lacrosse. She also coached youth soccer and lacrosse in high school.
She pursued her athletic passions at the University of Notre Dame where she participated in the women’s club lacrosse program. In her junior year, Mrs. Clough and one of her team’s two co-captains met with former Athletic Director at Notre Dame Mr. Michael Wadsworth to propose the transition of the club lacrosse program to a varsity level due to the team’s commitment and talent. The athletic director accepted their request, and established Notre Dame’s first women’s varsity lacrosse team in 1997.
“It was an incredible experience to play for a Division I program at the University of Notre Dame,” Mrs. Clough said. “It was exciting to be part of a team again with high level coaching, training and tremendous support from the University.”
The following year, Mrs. Clough became captain of the team and earned the Notre Dame Monogram recognition, a prestigious award that recognizes varsity athletes for their athletic and team support to the school, according to und.com.
After college, Mrs. Clough took a break from sports to begin her career in financial services and spend time at home with her young children. After ten years in finance, she returned to the sports sphere and accepted an offer to coach the freshmen and junior varsity lacrosse teams at New Canaan High School. She currently works year round as a lacrosse coach for New Canaan Youth and Chelsea Piers, and additionally coaches for Connecticut LAX and SoundCrosse at the club level.
Despite her busy schedule, she was eager to apply for the varsity lacrosse coaching position at Sacred Heart.
“The minute I learned of the opportunity, I was interested in the position. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead the girls program and continue its outstanding reputation,” Mrs. Clough said.
Varsity lacrosse co-captain and senior Kate Burkett looks forward to the lacrosse season under the leadership of Mrs. Clough.
“Coach Clough is really dedicated to the sport and I think that with all of the new players we are going to have on the team this year, she will play a really key role in pushing everyone to play at a high level,” Kate said. “She has had a lot of experience playing lacrosse and coaching so I think she will contribute her skills and passion to help our team be the best it can be.”
Mrs. Clough hopes to focus on developing the team’s fundamental skills and communication this season. She anticipates that the training trip to IMG Academy in Florida over spring break will help improve physical endurance, sharpen lacrosse skills, and strengthen team bonds.
“My goal is to develop a cohesive team with strong chemistry. I am committed to helping the varsity players achieve great success by developing them as team players. I want the girls to be 100 percent committed to achieving their individual and team goals,” Mrs. Clough said. “Most importantly, I want these girls to have fun and leave the program with an incredible passion for the game, their teammates and the community at Sacred Heart.”
– Kristen Davis, Staff Writer