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Archive for June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017 — Just what the Big Blue ordered: a slice of purple, green, and gold

It’s been four years since the Michigan women’s lacrosse program began. And with the recent firing of head coach Jen Ulehla, there was an outsized opportunity for a coach with the personality and flair to be able to match the resources that the university is putting behind her.

And it seems that coach is going to be Hannah Nielsen. Despite winning two Tewaaraton trophies at Northwestern University as part of a lacrosse dynasty, Nielsen didn’t jump at the first head coaching job that came along. Instead, she got a flavor of several programs: Towson, Penn State, Colorado, and Northwestern over the last several seasons.

Nielsen is now preparing to play in her fourth World Cup along with Team Koala, meaning that she will be coming off an international tournament with all of the training and fitness needed for her to jump into drills and, if need be, scrimmages during fall-ball.

And I think it will be really scary if more than one of her recruits is able to apply what she knows from being taught by the Australian legend. Nielsen is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players who actually understands her role in the history of the game and tries to build on it.

Nielsen’s personal hero has been Jen Adams, the greatest female player ever to walk the earth. She has taken to wearing the number 77 as a tribute when they are on the same team, and has even worn her hair in the short pigtails that were Adams’ trademark.

And the two women have played remarkably successful lacrosse over the years.

It would be a fitting tribute if Nielsen could make a significant impact on the Michigan program, much like Adams has at Loyola.