Women's Lacrosse Welcomes Two New Assistants

Brie Claire Drost and Julianne Bernatsky
Brie Claire Drost and Julianne Bernatsky

Patchogue, N.Y. - St. Joseph's College - Long Island's head women's lacrosse coach Bob Vlahakis, is pleased to announce that he has added two new assistant coaches, Brie Claire Drost and Julianne Bernatzky, to the Golden Eagles coaching staff for the 2014 season.

Brie Claire Drost comes to St. Joseph's after winning back-to-back National Championships at NCAA Division II's LIU-Post, where she played both midfield and defense.  She played under Coach Megan McNamara, a former four-time national champion herself while playing at the University of Maryland.

Drost was a captain on the field for Post and earned second team All-American honors from USA College Lacrosse in 2011.  In addition, she also played high school lacrosse for Coach Vlahakis at Shoreham-Wading River, winning a pair of New York State Championships while anchoring the Wildcats backer defense. At SWR she earned multiple All-County and All-Division awards.

In addition to lacrosse, she played on the field hockey team for four years at Post and was one of the few dual-sport athletes in the program.  Drost also assisted the sports information department while at Post, earning valuable experience in filming and editing videos.   Off the field, she earned her bachelor of science in childhood education.

Coach Vlahakis had the following comments about Drost.  "Brie Claire is an excellent teacher of the game as she is capable of breaking down the defensive footwork clearly, and is already very familiar with the backer defense we play.  Her offensive tutelage under Meg McNamara will provide our attack and midfielders with new insights and the necessary knowledge to take a leap to the next level. I am extremely excited to see the growth in our approach to the game on both ends of the field, as Brie Claire brings a championship pedigree to our players this year. I have complete faith and trust in her to do an excellent job for us."

Julianne Bernatzky comes to St. Joseph's after leading SUNY Geneseo to their highest ranking ever (#9) in Laxpower magaizine.   While playing goalie, she became a team captain and led Geneseo to their first ever NCAA appearance.   Bernatzky was named the team MVP in 2012 and was on the All-Academic Team for three straight seasons.  She graduated cum laude and received her New York State Initial Certification in Adolescence Education (7 - 12) for Mathematics.

Bernatzky was a five-year varsity goalie for Mt. Sinai High School, earning All-County honors while she was there.   At St. Joseph's she will be responsible for mentoring the goalies, including incoming freshman Courtney Wickline and senior Colleen Fitzsimons. Her experience at the highest level of Division III will be a valuable addition to the program, since St. Joseph's College will be looking to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program's young history.

"Julianne has shown the ability to handle many tasks beyond just the goalkeeping duties, and her ability to follow through and complete various assignments independently is a valuable trait I greatly admire," said Vlahakis. "She takes a positive and pro-active approach to every situation I present her with, and I know I can count on her to do whatever is needed for the team."

"The combination of these two assistant coaches, both of whom I have familiarity with for many years, has helped to move us along much quicker in the fall. They have come in ready to work hard, and have been a great help in our fall focus of team bonding, as they both make adjustments to learning the special skill set needed to coach at a commuter college," said Vlahakis. "They are both outstanding role models, in addition to being former captains and leaders of successful programs, and as future educators their ability to work with others in a positive way comes across every time they step on the field.  I couldn't be happier as we head into our third spring season at St. Joseph's College, fully prepared to take the next leap forward."