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CAROLINA CRUSH COACHES

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Melissa LaDez, Co-Founder/Head Coach - CW Post

Coach Melissa grew up in West Babylon, N.Y. where she started playing lacrosse at 8 years old. She played for West Babylon High School, where she garnered All-County accolades her senior year as a defender. Melissa then went on to play at C.W. Post, one of the top ranked Division II schools in the country. She made appearances in 3 National Championships during her time at C.W. Post, and is a proud member of the 2007 National Championship team. After completing her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at Post, she traveled to Australia as a member of the U.S. Red team , capping off her playing career with a silver medal at the Down Under Cup. Melissa then returned to C.W. Post to obtain her Master's degree in School Counseling. She has served as the Head Varsity Coach at Independence High School for the past two seasons, and looks forward to providing girls in the Charlotte area the same opportunity to learn and grow that she was provided.

Sandy Barnett, Co-Founder/Operations

Sandy, a Buffalo native, is a long time fan of lacrosse and the opportunities that are reflected in team sports. Her passion is to grow the game of lacrosse in the SE Charlotte area, and raise the level of play for all athletes at the local middle & high school level. She currently serves on the Town of Mint Hill Parks & Rec (Chair), Matthews Charter Academy Board (Secretary), co-founder of Independence HS Lacrosse program and owner of Target Market NC, LLC.

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Ariel Walker, Coach - Belmont Abbey College

Ariel Walker, former midfielder/attacker for Belmont Abbey College, goes into her first year (2016-17) as Head Coach for the Women's Varsity Lacrosse at Porter Ridge High School. Walker was a four year starter who assisted the Belmont Abbey Women's Lacrosse team in making it to the Conference Carolinas Championship all four year she attended. She earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology while at the Abbey. Her passion for the game has led her to coach at various camps and clinics for the Cheetah Lacrosse Club, Mountain Island, and most recently Turn and Burn Lacrosse. Walker is a native of Knoxville, TN where she started playing at the age of 13 and later captained the Cheetah Lacrosse Club. She current volunteers weekly fo rthe Alexander Youth Network, and plays for the 5th nationally ranked Charlotte Rugby Club.

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Natalie Barnett, Coach - Presbyterian College

Natalie is a current junior midfield starter with Presbyterian College in the Big South Division 1 Conference. In two seasons of play, she contributed 12 goals, 3 assists, 29 ground balls and 14 draw controls to the Blue Hose team. Natalie is a former 4x captain, 3x scholar athlete, and 3x MVP midfielder of Independence HS Lacrosse. She is also former US Lacrosse All American Academic and 2014 member of the North Carolina national lacrosse team. She is a Dean's List scholar majoring in Bio-Chemistry,

Justin Leath, Coach - Appalachian State

Justin grew up in the Charlotte area, and played lacrosse for Appalachian State University. At App State he played midfield and specialized in face-offs. He was a 2-year captain and officer for the team serving as Secretary and Vice-President. While on the team, the Mountaineers made their way back to the SELC playoffs. Coach Leath has 8 years of coaching experience ranging all ages and playing levels. His experience includes Head Coach at Recreational, Travel, and High School Varsity levels; as well as Program Coordinator at Turn and Burn Lacrosse.

Sam

Samantha Tullar, Coach, University of the Cumberlands

Samantha Tullar is a Junior at the University of the Cumberland’s, 2x player of the year along with a 2x all American. Samantha has been playing lacrosse her whole life and brings extensive insight and coaching to the players of Crush.

   

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