Mere weeks after competing for the Italian national team in the women’s lacrosse world championships, Stephanie Colson is ready for a new challenge as coach of Episcopal’s girls lacrosse team.
The former NCAA Division III national player of the year and two-time national champion comes to Houston from St. Swithun’s School in England, where she taught and coached following a distinguished playing career at Gettysburg College.
“Everything I heard about (Episcopal), everyone I talked to … the job itself, the role I’m going to be in … it all just checked all my boxes and more,” Colson said. “I’m excited about this program and to grow it as needs to be grown, but I’m also excited about the people I’m going to be working with. The school seems amazing. It’s far from home but I had to go for it. It’s too good of an opportunity.”
Colson grew up in Westminster, Maryland, a lacrosse hotspot. Her mother and three sisters also played lacrosse in college.
At Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, Colson helped lead the Bullets to consecutive national titles in 2017 and 2018. She was named the DIII national player of the year and national tournament most valuable player in 2018.
After the 2017 season, Colson was featured in Sports Illustrated’s June 26 issue in the magazine’s “Faces in the Crowd” section after scoring two goals, including the game-winner, in Gettysburg’s 6-5 championship win over The College of New Jersey.
Colson, who graduated from Gettysburg in 2019, recently wrapped up play for the Italian national team in June, scoring 24 goals in seven games.
“I started playing lacrosse after I started playing soccer, and I loved soccer,” Colson said. “But lacrosse is a very intellectual game, and that really attracted me to it. While you have to be super athletic and shifty and be able to play both sides of the ball, you have to think and be really gritty. I think it’s so much fun to fight for every ground ball. Being a midfielder, I loved being able to have an impact on the entire field.”
Colson talked more with VYPE:
VYPE: What are some of the virtues you will harp on at Episcopal?
COLSON: Winning is important but it’s not everything. I was in their shoes once, and the really important thing is to enjoy your time. On top of winning and just growing the skills and the game, I really want to make sure they’re having the best couple of months playing lacrosse for their school.
VYPE: What are some of the things you feel are important in building a good player?
COLSON: I’m a firm believer that you have to be competitive, and you have to be fighting every single second of the game. Nothing’s over until the whistle blows. I’ve always been a big believer in that small things win games and championships. Getting the ground balls, a good slide on defense. I really want us to celebrate the small things that add up to the big things. That makes a huge difference in terms of mindset and culture.
VYPE: What are your early impressions of the lacrosse community at Episcopal?
COLSON: It’s not as big as it is in Maryland, which I knew, but I think that makes it really exciting. It makes me even more so want to get involved. I’m so excited to see how it goes. I talked to the previous coach, and she told me how the girls are dedicated, they want to learn, they want to play. I can’t wait to get started.
VYPE: Is there a nervousness or anxiety when you’re coming to a new place and building a sport like lacrosse here?
COLSON: Definitely. There is a little bit of pressure that goes with it. Being new, I’m not 100 percent sure what to expect. That adds to the anxiety. But I have a lot of support in Houston. I have a lot of people I can rely on to talk to and ask questions. I think that alleviates a lot of the stress. I’m always down for a new adventure, something that’s exciting and a challenge. I’m ready.