Eileen Ghent was announced as the fifth women's lacrosse head coach in program history on August 21, 2015 after serving four seasons as an assistant coach.
In her first season at the helm of the Hawks, Ghent led Monmouth to its finest season as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. MU earned the third seed in the MAAC Tournament and used a suffocating defense to defeat Marist 9-3 and earn its first MAAC Championship game appearance. Ghent's defense held opponents to single digit scoring eight times in 2016 as the Hawks owned the second best winning percentage in the league at .600. MU finished with a home record of 8-1, the second best mark in school history and completed the season with a 12-9 record.
Individually, three Hawks earned All-MAAC honors including defender Kristina Vangeli who shattered the school draw control record. Academically, 10 Hawks were named to the MAAC Academic Honor Roll while three Hawks earned IWLCA Division I Honor Roll distinction.
Eileen Ghent joined Monmouth University's women's lacrosse staff in the summer of 2011. The Silver Spring, Maryland native spent the last four seasons coaching the Monmouth defense, serving as the recruiting coordinator and was the primary director of MU's numerous camps and clinics. Prior to the 2014 season, Ghent was elevated to the title of Associate Head Coach. During that time she helped Monmouth to four consecutive conference tournaments, two NCAA Tournament appearances, two conference tournament titles and a regular season championship. Monmouth was 26-8 in conference play while Ghent was an assistant coach.
“Monmouth University is a remarkable institution and I am privileged to be able to lead and mentor such an extraordinary group of young women to further their academic, athletic and career pursuits,” said Ghent when she accepted the position. “I am excited to build on our strong relationships with our extended community of parents, fans and alumnae, while welcoming new members into our Hawk community. While keeping our goal of winning the MAAC championship in mind, we look forward to bringing Monmouth University and our lacrosse program into the national spotlight.”
Since Ghent arrived in West Long Branch six seasons ago, MU’s exposure has seen significant growth through camps and clinics attendance, which has doubled during that time. She was instrumental in starting the elite night camp and increased the number of overall clinics as well. Ghent is also charged with overseeing the team’s academic progress, an area in which the Hawks have flourished recently. Last season the team enjoyed its highest grade point average to date.
In 2015, Monmouth defender Vangeli earned Third Team All-America honors from Mid-Major Lacrosse.com after a breakout season which earned her First Team All-MAAC honors.
Ghent was a member of Denise Wescott's staff that captured back to back conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, the Hawks boasted the 21st best scoring defense in the country, allowing just under nine goals per game. Ghent also mentored the 2013 Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in Gianna D’Urso, who was selected to the prestigious North-South All-Star Game. In 2012 the MU defense made conference tournament history when the unit allowed just seven goals over two games, including three in the Championship Game against Mount St. Mary’s. In her four seasons as an assistant coach, four defensive players earned first team all-conference honors, three have earned spots on All-Tournament Teams and D’Urso was named MVP of the 2013 conference title game.
She made an immediate impact during her first season, guiding a defensive unit comprised entirely of underclassmen to a record breaking performance in the 2012 Northeast Conference Tournament. En route to winning its fourth overall NEC Title, the Hawks allowed a historic low of seven goals in two games, including three in the championship match against Mount Saint Mary's.
Ghent came to Monmouth from nearby Rutgers University where she served as a player-assistant coach as a junior and senior. The Silver Spring, MD native had her playing career at Rutgers cut short due to a number of knee injuries she suffered as a freshman and sophomore. After her second year in Piscataway she decided to become a player-assistant coach on Coach Laura Brand-Sias' team, preparing practices and helping organize and plan camps and clinics. She also helped Brand-Sias on the attacking end before being put in charge of the goal keepers as a senior. With Ghent heading up the netminders, RU's goalies finished second in the Big East in goals against average and third in the league in save percentage. She also was a club coach for Ultimate Goal in New Jersey and has coached for the Rebels Lacrosse Club.
Off the field she earned All-Big East Academic Honors twice and received the 'Genna Camiolo Award for Perseverance and Dedication. In high school she played three varsity seasons at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, leading the Falcons to four straight league titles. She served as captain as a senior and earned First Team All-League honors as a senior.
Vice President/Director of Ahletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil on Ghent:
"We are excited that Eileen Ghent will lead our women's lacrosse program," said McNeil. "She has been an important part of Coach Wescott's staff over the last four seasons, as they captured a pair of conference titles before transitioning to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. "She is an up and coming coach and I am confident that she will continue to lead this program in the right direction."