We are pleased to introduce the new Girls Lacrosse Head Coach for the Spring season, Xena Valenzuela! Xena graduated in 2018 from Georgian Court University (GCU) with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Dual Certification in Elementary Education and Special Education. Throughout college, Xena coached recreational youth programs in both Manalapan and Colts Neck, NJ. In 2018, she began coaching a travel lacrosse program called, Team 91 NJ, and has experience coaching 5th-9th grade athletes. In 2019 and 2020, she was the assistant varsity coach at Middletown High School South.
Xena is no stranger to the sport of lacrosse, as she began playing when she was a Junior in high school. She played as a member of the first-ever lacrosse team at Middletown High School South in 2013 when the program started. She played her junior and senior years, which helped with the recruiting process at GCU. With her acceptance to continue playing lacrosse at the collegiate level, Xena played from 2014-2018 as a midfielder. Over the course of the four years, she was a 3-time First Team All-Conference player, a 2-time All-Tournament player, and the 2018 Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Xena currently works as an elementary school teacher in Middletown during the day and continues to coach the youth Team 91 NJ travel lacrosse team on the side.
Xena’s coaching philosophy is to create an environment that encourages athletes to be the best versions of themselves and to hold themselves accountable. She stated her ambitions for the upcoming season and team, “I will help to develop communication skills and provide opportunities to develop skill levels in a structured learning environment that challenges athletes while also offering both encouragement and support.” She also expressed that she will demonstrate effective leadership and instill confidence in her athletes knowing that their wellbeing and development is of the utmost importance, on and off of the field.
“The most important and valuable quality in an athlete is the ability to be coachable”, she says, “the best players, in any sport, have a true love for the game and are always striving to make themselves and the team better in any way that they can.”
Xena’s goals for this season are to help, grow and develop the Mater Dei Prep Lacrosse program. “I strive to improve each player’s understanding and appreciation for the game of lacrosse while establishing an environment that is safe for them to grow on and off of the field.”
Welcome, to Mater Dei Prep and best of luck this Lacrosse Season, Coach Valenzuela! Go Seraphs!