How many college athletes can claim to be a five-time captain and a two-time national champion? Sarah Albrecht is one, and the 31-year-old Braintree native is proud to own that distinction.
She arrived at Northwestern University in 2002 after a stellar career at Thayer Academy in Braintree. The Wildcat women’s lacrosse team was embarking on its first season as a varsity sport. The all-freshman team voted Albrecht a captain, a title she held for five seasons, including her sophomore year, when she was sidelined by a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“I was nominated as a freshman and kept it for the entire five years,” said Albrecht, who is in her third season as the women’s lacrosse coach at the University of New Hampshire.
“I was very fortunate.”
In the 2006 national championship game, a 7-4 win over Dartmouth, Albrecht netted three goals and four assists, earning her Outstanding Player honors. A two-time All American, Albrecht finished her career with 71 assists and 128 goals.
She was on the US women’s national senior team for seven years, twice was selected to the All-World team, and was on the 2009 squad that captured the World Cup in Prague. (Albrecht retired from the national team in 2013.)
Not surprising, she finds it difficult to circle a favorite moment.
“Our senior year at Thayer was a great year winning the ISL championship, and then at Northwestern in 2005 we were national champions,” she said. “To have that journey through the four years was pretty awesome. Then we came back in 2006 and were able to win it again at Boston University.”
Albrecht got into coaching as an assistant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, followed by a three-year stint at Harvard. She returned to UMass as associate head coach for two years before accepting the head job at UNH in 2012. Married in January, Albrecht and her husband, Shawn, reside in Portsmouth, N.H.
Her New Hampshire squad is 3-7 with six games remaining. “We’ve had a pretty hard stretch but we have some pretty important [America East Conference] games coming up,” she said. “It’s important for us to improve each day.”
She tries to instill the lessons she has learned from her mentors along the way, including Hingham native Kelly Amonte Hiller, her coach at Northwestern.
“I try to be a pretty positive coach,” said Albrecht. “I was fortunate to have a great teacher in Kelly and I hope to pass on that knowledge in terms of stickwork and other things. I like motivating the kids in a positive manner. The biggest thing is to have passion and drive for what you are doing and not be afraid to show it.”