It has not taken very long for Monica Yeakel to change the look of UMBC women's lacrosse.
After her inaugural season netted a 5-9 record, Coach Yeakel blended several key veterans with 13 freshmen and produced a perfect 5-0 record in the Northeast Conference (9-9 overall) overall and a league title in the inaugural year of women's lacrosse NEC competition. In 1999, UMBC won a school Division I record 12 games, while repeating as undefeated Northeast Conference champions, and took the league title for the third time in 2000. In the last two years, UMBC has knocked off ranked teams, defeating Old Dominion in 1999 and George Mason in both 1999 and 2000.
The Retriever mentor was named NEC Coach of the Year in 2000.
Coach Yeakel (nee: DiCandilo) has been associated with success as both a player and as a coach at each step in her career. A native of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, she was a two-time high school All American and helped bring Marple Newtown HS to a state title in 1987.
Despite career-threatening knee surgery at Loyola College, the Retriever mentor amassed a bevy of individual and team honors. She was team captain of the Greyhounds for two seasons, and in 1994, earned Colonial Athletic Association First Team, Senior All Star, and All America.
I think this team has developed the mentality that it's not okay to lose. That tremendous desire to want to win the NEC's and make something happen in the NCAA's is here now-from everybody associated with our program."
Coach Yeakel was a member of two of Loyola's "Final Four" and CAA Championship teams. After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, she played for the 1994 and 1995 United States Developmental squads.
In addition to her post-graduate playing experience, Coach Yeakel joined the coaching staff at Loyola and helped the team to another Final Four appearance. She also was a full-time elementary school teacher in Baltimore during the 1994-96 years. At this time, she conceived and promoted a Loyola outreach program where student-athletes tutored and coached children on a weekly basis, a program which she has continued at UMBC.
She was married in 1999 to Chris Yeakel and the couple resides in Timonium, MD.
The Yeakel File
SIXTH YEAR AT UMBC SIXTH SEASON OVERALL
LOYOLA COLLEGE, 1994 HONORS Two-time High School All American (Marple Newton (PA)) 1993, 1994, Team Captain, Loyola College 1994, All America, Loyola College 2000, NEC Coach of the Year COACH YEAKEL YEAR-BY-YEAR Overall NEC 1997 5-9 1998 9-9 5-0* 1999 12-6 5-0* 2000 10-7 5-0* 2001 10-7 5-1 TOTALS 46-38 20-1 *League Champions