Coaches & Staff


Lynn Merrill, Managing Director
Lynn played lacrosse at Loyola Academy, then at the University of Illinois, where she earned degrees in Spanish and International Studies. Lynn is also Managing Director of the Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association (IGLA), Assistant Varsity Coach at Northside College Prep High School and a US Lacrosse certified official.

Michelle Sebastian, Partner and Director of Coaching
After playing Division 1 lacrosse at Vanderbilt University, Michelle coached Hinsdale Central High School—leading them to 3rd, 1st, 3rd and 3rd in State, respectively—and now coaches at Montini Catholic.  Montini had never won a playoff game, but within 4 years at Montini, she and Lakeshore Coach, Virginia Kosenkova, took the team to a State Championship, winning 2nd place in 2013.   Michelle is a founding member of the Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association, a Partner of Lakeshore Lacrosse, and the mom of three beautiful girls. 

Devin McCue, Chicago Stars and Indoor Director, National Premier Travel Coach
Devin grew up in Chicago and attended Loyola Academy, where she was a founding member of the lacrosse program. After playing Division lll at Allegheny College, she returned to Chicago for her Master’s Degree in Education. She is currently a coach at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois.

Claire Banta, Administrative Director
Claire grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and played varsity lacrosse all four years at Bishop Ireton High School. She went on to play Division 1 lacrosse at the University of Virginia. After graduating in 2013 with a degree in drama, Claire moved to Chicago where she works with IGLA and Lakeshore Lacrosse. She works in Coach Development, Training, Recruiting and as the National Premier Travel 2019 Team Coach.

Jennifer Devens, Director of Marketing
Jennifer comes to Lakeshore with a BA in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois. Her career has centered around marketing, advertising and media. Jennifer has practiced her trade in Chicago, London and Boston, where she also worked in Public Relations. She transitioned into new media sales and interactive marketing with e-commerce site Plum District. Jennifer has admitted having little athletic talent, but what she lacks on the field she makes up for as the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest sports spectator.” Jennifer is thrilled to be involved in such an energetic organization that empowers and encourages girls to reach their full potential not only in lacrosse but in life. Jennifer is a native of Chicago and continues to call Chicago home, where she enjoys living along the lake with her husband and two children.

CarolLynn Ellison, Director of Officials
After growing up playing lacrosse in the Philadelphia area, CarolLynn moved to Chicago with her family in 1999 and has been involved in Illinois lacrosse ever since. A national rated official, she officiates NCAA throughout the country. She has seven beautiful children.

Gwen Tegart, Controller
Gwen grew up in Northbrook, IL and attended the University of Denver where she received her undergraduate degree in Accounting and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.  She worked for many years in public and private accounting before staying home to raise her children.  She and her husband currently reside in Wheaton, IL with their two teenage children.  

Kaitlin Sheridan, Director of Tournaments
Kaitlin is from Ellicott City, Maryland where she won 4 WCAC Championships  with Good Counsel High School in Olney .  She went on to play defense for Towson University in Maryland.  As a Tiger, she won 3 back to back CAA championships (2012-2014) and was named CAA tournament MVP in the spring of 2013.  Kaitlin was named team co-captain for the 2013-2014 season.  Towson competed in the first and second round of the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons.  Since graduating in 2014 Kaitlin has coached high school and college camps and clinics and also for the Rebels Lacrosse Club in Maryland.

Kerry Kobe, Website Management
Kerry grew up playing lacrosse in Northern Virginia and went on to play at the University of Notre Dame on the Inaugural Division I team. After moving to Chicago in 1998, she served as founding coach of the Hinsdale Central HS girls’ team and President of the Chicago US Lacrosse Chapter. Kerry is the VP of Information Technology at an investment firm, as well as the owner of a web and graphic design business.
Bridget Olp, Founder of Lakeshore Lacrosse
Bridget founded Lakeshore Lacrosse in 2003 to promote girls’ and women’s lacrosse opportunities in the Chicagoland area. A nationally ranked official, she officiates NCAA lacrosse throughout the country. Bridget also founded the Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association ( in 2006. 
Taryn Abbassian

Taryn began playing lacrosse with Lakeshore Lacrosse in 2003. She was a four year Varsity starter at Vernon Hills High School and went on to play Division III lacrosse at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Taryn was a four year starter and captain for the Red Devils. After college, Taryn took a position as a School Coaching Officer with the English Lacrosse Association. She spent four years coaching high school and college lacrosse in the UK as well as coaching for the Scotland U19 lacrosse program. While abroad, Taryn also had the opportunity to play for two different European Lacrosse and UK lacrosse club champions with Oxton Lacrosse Club and Putney Lacrosse Club.

Christina Amato
Christina grew up in Seaford, New York, and has been playing since 2nd Grade. She helped start the girls Varsity program at her high school in 2000. She was 4 year Varsity Starter at Seaford High School and went off to play for a year at Adelphi University, Garden City,NY. After recovering from an injury, she was an Varsity Assistant Girls Lacrosse Coach at Seaford High School, coached 3 Middle School Teams and a Junior Varsity in Seaford, NY and East Meadow, NY. Christina has her Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts, and a Certification in Art Education. She moved to Illinois in 2013 and currently teaches Art at West Elementary in Crystal Lake, IL. Christina is involved with the Crystal Lake Hawks Boys Lacrosse Program and help start up the Crystal Lake IGLA program.
Emily Bernard

Emily played lacrosse at Granby Memorial High School in Granby, Connecticut where she started on varsity for three years. She then went on to play as a goalkeeper at Robert Morris University in Chicago, winning the NWLL National Championship in 2014. She will graduate Spring 2016 with a degree in Accounting and Business Management. Emily has been playing lacrosse since 2002, refereeing since 2009, and coaching around the Chicagoland area since 2013.

Whitney Capps

Whitney has been coaching with Lakeshore Lacrosse and IGLA for several years. Prior to that, she worked with OPRF and Wheaton Warrenville as a specialist goalie/defensive coach and was the head coach of Oak Park’s off season club team. Whitney graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 after playing four years of D1 WWLL (Western Women’s Lacrosse League) lacrosse. She played defense, mid-fielder and goalie. When she’s not playing lacrosse, Whitney works with Chicago Public School students to get themselves into college or she is enjoying some great food, art or music (or maybe all three at once!). She’s still an active athlete, playing rec frisbee and football. She also practices yoga and trapeze.

Michael Cavello

After growing up in Naperville,  Michael decided to pursue high school lacrosse at Culver Military Academy.  During his time at Culver, Michael was the starting goalie on the prep lacrosse team from 2012-2014. While playing at Culver he won  the North American Elite Lacrosse Champions (2012, 2013, 2014) and was on Under-Armour All-American Midwest Lacrosse Team (2013). Currently, Michael is a student at DePaul University and is an assistant coach of the mens varsity program at Neuqua Valley High School.

Wei Chenh

Wei Chenh is a Chicago native and played lacrosse at Lane Tech High School on the Varsity team all 4 years. Wei was the core of the team from 2001-2004 and earned MVP honors sophomore, junior and senior years. In 2003, Wei earned Second Team All-State honors. After high school, she was recruited to play lacrosse at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. where she was the highest scorer in 2005. Wei has since coached at Lane Tech High School and Robert Morris University, where she was part of the 2014 NWLL National Championship team. She currently coaches for the Eagles Co-op (Sandburg-Stagg- Andrew High Schools) as well as Lakeshore Indoor, Chicago Stars Travel and Midwest Select Travel at the high school level.

Mikayla Clark

Mikayla grew up in Eden Prairie, MN where she played basketball, soccer and lacrosse at Eden Prairie High School. She went on to play Division 1 soccer at University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. After competing her freshmen year, she transferred to the University of Denver to play Division 1 lacrosse. Mikayla graduated with a degree in communications and marketing in 2013. After coaching and working in Minneapolis for the past two years, she relocated in the fall of 2015 and working at an advertising agency downtown.

Beatrice Conley

Beatrice grew up in Rochester, NY where she played four years of varsity lacrosse, earning 2 All-American honors at Brighton High School. She then went on to play 4 years of Division 1 lacrosse at Northwestern University, being a part of 2 National Championship teams and earning 3 Academic All Big Ten studying Human Development & Psychological Services. In college, she found a passion for coaching as the Assistant Coach for Wildcat Elite. After college, she coached two years as the head coach of Wildcat Elite 2017 and joins the Lakeshore coaching staff eager to continue coaching and help grow the sport.

Michelle Dillon
Michelle attended Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago, IL where she was a founding member on their first varsity lacrosse team. She fell in love with the sport and went on to play as a goalkeeper at McAuley as well as on the Lakeshore National Premier U19 Team. Michelle graduated from Beloit College, where she was captain of her team, with a degree in Business Economics. She currently coaches Lakeshore Chicago Stars and Indoor as well as at McAuley High School.
Lanie Dolan

Laine was a three-year letter winner in lacrosse at Loyola Academy. She was a two-time All-Conference and All-State selection as a junior and senior and an All-American honorable mention as senior. Laine helped her team to Illinois state titles each of her final three seasons. She is now playing defense for Marquette University’s Division I program.

Laura Finfrock

Laura started playing lacrosse at Chicago suburban Deerfield High School and went on to play at Adrian College in Michigan. In her senior year she finished 37th out of 200 goalies in DIII, had a .482 save percentage, and was named MVP. Laura earned a degree in biology. She is currently the head coach of Glenbard West High School and a goalie coach for Lakeshore National Premier.

Alex Gambacorta

Alex earned varsity letters in both girls lacrosse and basketball at Loyola Academy.  She helped the Ramblers to Illinois state titles as a junior and senior.  Alex also competed in the Brine National Tournament with the Illinois-Wisconsin National Team.  She began coaching with the National Travel program in 2015 and will be at senior on the Marquette University team in 2017-2018.

Lynn Gerbec

Lynn grew up in Chicago and began playing lacrosse at Northside College Prep High School. She went on to play Division III lacrosse at Oberlin College and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. Lynn is the Head Varsity Coach at Northside College Prep High School and plays with the Lakeshore Women’s Adult Team. She recently obtained her Masters in Education.

Sarah Walker Gutierrez
In high school, Sarah played for both Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, and for Lakeshore club and travel teams. After transferring from Gettysburg College to the University of Missouri in 2009, Sarah started playing with the women’s club team, earned a spot on the All-Division 1st Team, and earned a degree in Social Studies Education.
Maddie Harman
Maddie began playing with IGLA and Lakeshore Lacrosse. She later moved on to play defense at Hinsdale Central High School. Her love for lacrosse carried over to college where she played defense at Miami of Ohio. She coaches Lakeshore Indoor, Chicago Stars and Midwest Select and loves sharing her passion for the game with her players!
Meghan Harte

Meghan is from Downers Grove, IL. She starting playing lacrosse as a freshman at Montini Catholic High School and played on the varsity team sophomore, junior and senior years.   As a junior, Meghan and her team made it to the state final and as a senior, she was named to the second team all state. She also played with Lakeshore throughout her high school years. Currently, she is a sophomore at John Carroll University where she plays on the Women’s Lacrosse Team. As a freshman, she earned a second team Ohio Athletic Conference selection and will be a team captain as a sophomore.

Emily Cochran Jakacki
Emily grew up in West Bloomfield, Michigan and started playing lacrosse in 7th grade.  She graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart as a high school All American and two-time All State recipient.  She was recruited to play at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was an All Ivy midfield/ attack player and captain her senior year.  Emily was invited to play in the 2006 IWLCA North-South Senior All Star Game.  Upon graduation, Emily was inducted into the Catholic League Hall of Fame in Michigan in 2006.  Emily stayed at Penn working in the Penn Athletics Department  in development and admissions for 2 years while pursuing a masters degree in Higher Education Management.  Emily moved to Chicago in the fall of 2008.  Scurrently resides in the city with her husband, Tom, and works for Advocate Illinois Masonic as the director of neurosciences and cancer programs.  She has been a coach for over 10 years and currently coaches the rising sophomores and juniors with Lakeshore National Travel teams.
Sarah Jonathan
A Clayton, CA, native, Sarah started played lacrosse her sophomore year at Clayton Valley High School and led as varsity captain her senior year. At Lake Forest College, Sarah helped establish the women’s club lacrosse team and served as co-captain for four years. She was named Second Team All-American during her junior and senior years and was a three time Academic All American. Starting with IGLA and Lakeshore Lacrosse, she has now coached for more than 5 years at the youth, high school and collegiate levels.
Jacqueline Kelly

Jacqueline started playing lacrosse with IGLA in 6th grade.  She fell in love with the sport and went on to play Lakeshore Travel. She played her freshman year of HS at Lyons Township on varsity before transferring to Montini Catholic and playing there.  Junior year, she was honored as both All State and All American.  As a Lakeshore National Travel player through HS, she received the help and support to be recruited to play Division l at UC Davis.  Jacqueline enjoys the competitive aspect of the game and loves to help young players discover their potential.

Kaley LaForce

Kaley is from East Aurora, NY.  She graduated from John Carroll University where she was a member of the inaugural women’s intercollegiate lacrosse team in 2014.  She was team captain for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. She earned First Team Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) honors, and Second Team IWCLA All Region in 2015. In 2016, she earned First Team All OAC and First Team All-Region.

Francesca LoVerde

Francesca grew up on the Southside of Chicago in Beverly. She started playing lacrosse when she was a freshman at Mother McAuley and her senior year transferred to Montini Catholic High School. During her high school career, she was a member of the US Lacrosse National Team for Chicago Metro and the Under Armour Midwest Underclass Elite Star team. She went on to play Division 1 lacrosse at the University of New Hampshire as a defender and graduated in 2017. Francesca started playing with Lakeshore when she was a sophomore in high school and started coaching with us upon her graduation from high school in 2013.

Kendall Santulli Maloney

Kendall grew up in Hinsdale, IL.  She was a four year varsity member at Hinsdale Central High School, where in 2007, her senior year, they won the state championship. She was named All-American her junior and senior year and was co-MVP with her twin sister Samantha. She continued her lacrosse career and played Division 1 for Northwestern University. She was a part of the 2008 and 2009 National Championship teams, 3 ALC Championships and received All Academic Big Ten honors. She currently lives in Bucktown with her husband and runs business development for ACE USA, a property/casualty insurance company.

Molly Marciniak

Molly earned three letters in girls lacrosse at Montini Catholic High School.  She served as team captain as a senior in 2014, while totaling 45 goals and 88 draw controls.  Molly helped Montini to a state runner-up finish as a junior in 2013, a season in which the squad also captured regional, sectional and supersectional titles.  Competed with the Illinois-Wisconsin National Team in 2013 and the Lakeshore Lacrosse National Team from 2012-14.

Keeley McCarthy

Keeley grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She played lacrosse all four years at St. Ignatius College Prep.  She received All-State honors her senior year. During high school she also played with the Lakeshore Lacrosse National Travel team. She then went on to play lacrosse for the Indiana University Women’s Lacrosse Club. While at Indiana, she was the team captain her sophomore through senior years and team president her junior and senior years. She currently coaches the junior varsity team lacrosse at St. Ignatius.  She also plays on the Lakeshore Adult team. Keeley is a Special Education Classroom assistant for Chicago Public Schools.

Fran Meyer
Sarah Milligan
Born and raised in Vernon Hills, IL, Sarah played lacrosse for VHHS and was a captain her senior year. In college, she played for Lake Forest College’s club lacrosse team, where as a senior she served as co-captain and made Second Team All-American. Sarah has coached for IGLA and Lakeshore Indoor and National Premier programs.
Kristen Murray

Kristen was an All-American and All-Ivy defender at Brown University, where she was also an All-Ivy field hockey player.  She was inducted into Brown’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.  She was a High School All-American at Friends School of Baltimore and is also a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.  Kristen has 19 years of coaching experience at the high school and youth level in Illinois and Ohio. She has been the assistant coach at New Trier High School since 2005.  Prior to New Trier, she coached for eight years at Shaker Heights HS in Ohio.  During her high school coaching career, she has coached 24 All-American Players, three state champion teams and 8 state runner-up teams.  Kristen helped start the youth lacrosse program in Wilmette in 2006 and has coached IGLA teams in Wilmette since 2010.  She is also on the IGLA Board of Directors.  Nationally, Kristen currently serves on the US Lacrosse Board of Directors and has served on the USL rules committee since 2011.  She has been a Master Trainer for USL’s Coaching Education Program since 2005 and conducts coaching training clinics throughout the country.  Kristen and her husband Todd live in Wilmette and have three children: Kelsey (20), Gus (17) and Lucy (13.)

Sarah Piazza

Sarah is from Maryland where she played lacrosse for NEMS club team and C.W. Milton Wright High School where she helped lead the team to four State Championships. For two of those years (2012 &2013) she was a team captain. In 2021 she was named to the ESPNHS watchlist. Also, while in Maryland she played on Baltimore Metro Team 1 and the Under Armour Baltimore Team. After high school Sarah went on to play Division 1 lacrosse at Penn State University. She just recently graduated this past Spring and moved to the Chicago area. Sarah is really excited to be able to continue her love of lacrosse here in the Midwest!

Nicole Pullano

Nicole Pullano grew up in Glenview, IL. She first started playing lacrosse at Glenbrook South High School. There she was named First Team All-American her senior year, Team MVP in 2011, All-State in 2011, and All-Conference in 2010 and 2011. Nicole also played on Lakeshore’s National Premier Travel team in 2010 and 2011. After high school she continued her lacrosse career at San Diego State University as a defender. Nicole recently moved back home to Chicago after college and is happy to be part of the Lakeshore family again.

Ifat Ribon
Ifat grew up in Ann Arbor and played at the University of Michigan. After graduating with a BBA and minor in Spanish, Ifat moved to Chicago, where she began coaching for IGLA and plain g with the Lakeshore Adult team. She is now president of Lakeshore Adult, organizing games and tournament teams for post-collegiate players in Chicago.
Colleen Savell

Colleen played lacrosse at Wheaton Warrenville South and was on the Varsity team for four years. She then played lacrosse at University of Illinois. At University of Illinois, she was the President of the team her Senior year. Colleen has been coaching at Benet Academy as the Assistant Varsity Coach since 2015. 

Kaitlin Sheridan
Kaitlin is from Ellicott City, Maryland where she won 4 WCAC Championships  with Good Counsel High School in Olney .  She went on to play defense for Towson University in Maryland.  As a Tiger, she won 3 back to back CAA championships (2012-2014) and was named CAA tournament MVP in the spring of 2013.  Kaitlin was named team co-captain for the 2013-2014 season.  Towson competed in the first and second round of the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons.  Since graduating in 2014 Kaitlin has coached high school and college camps and clinics and also for the Rebels Lacrosse Club in Maryland.


Taylor Sopron

Taylor is from LaGrange, IL and has been playing lacrosse for 13 years.  In high school, she was a 3-year varsity starting goalie for Lyons Township High School receiving All-West Suburban League honors twice and Defensive MVP.  Taylor went on to play Division III lacrosse for Carthage College.  She was a 2-year captain and received multiple honors as the CCIW Defensive MVP and First Team All-Regional two years in a row.  She graduated from Carthage with a degree in Physical Education, Health Education, and Adapted Studies. Taylor has coached lacrosse from the kindergarten level to the collegiate level since 2011.  She currently teaches physical education and is the head varsity coach of the Downers Grove Co-Op team.

Megan Sullivan

Megan grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts and was a three sport athlete at Winchester High. In 2008, Winchester won its first lacrosse state championship and Megan was named Boston Globe’s Player of the Year. She was also a two time First Team All American (2007, 2008). At Notre Dame, Megan was elected Team Captain of the 2012 team that finished with a 13-5 record. She was voted Team MVP and received Notre Dame’s Leader of Distinction Award at the end of the season. Megan was also named to the All BIG EAST Second Team and IWLCA West/Midwest All Region First Team in 2012. She was part of the 2009 Notre Dame BIG EAST Championship Team and earned a Notre Dame Monogram four years in a row.  Megan and her younger sister, Lauren, were the ninth set of sisters to play lacrosse together at Notre Dame.

Emma Tomlinson

Emma recently graduated from New Trier High School where she played on the varsity team for three years.  As a junior and senior, she earned All Conference and All State honors and is excited to continue her lacrosse career next year at Tufts University.  After playing Lakeshore National Premier, she is excited to have the opportunity to now coach for Lakeshore after coaching summer camps at New Trier where she began to love working with younger girls and teaching the game.  In addition to lacrosse she also used to play volleyball in high school and is working as a part time math tutor this summer!

Martha Venchus

Martha started playing  lacrosse in sixth grade at a local high school camp.  She played both Chicago Stars Travel and National Premier Travel  with Lakeshore until her senior year of high school.  Martha attended Montini Catholic High School were she played varsity lacrosse for her three years there until transferring to Glenbard East High School.  While there, she was the assistant coach for the Downers Grove North/South High School team. Martha attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa were she started as a freshmen, received all academic, and second team all conference, and led the team in caused turnovers.  She then continued her education at Illinois State University where she was the president of the women’s club lacrosse team, acting as the coach for the fall ball season, and later entering the team into a Division II WCLA league.  Martha coaches Lakeshore Indoor, Chicago Stars and Midwest Select.

Kendall Vail

Kendall began playing lacrosse in Massachusetts in 1982. She played 4 years varsity in high school as well as at Ohio Wesleyan University; where she was a team captain her senior year. Kendall moved to Chicago after graduation and continued to play for Lakeshore Adult (way back in the 90’s). She began coaching for IGLA in 2006,  Lakeshore Regional Travel in 2010.  She was Head Varsity Coach at Benet Academy and Wheaton High School and currently coaches JV at Montini Catholic.

Lizz Vargas

Lizz is a Chicago native. She began her lacrosse career at Lane Tech High School, where she played on the Varsity team all four years. She went on to to play at Robert Morris University, where she was part of the 2014 NWLL National Championship team. She has a wide range of coaching experience, from young girls that play for IGLA to women at the collegiate level. She currently is an assistant coach at The University of Chicago, and coaches for Lakeshore Indoor and Chicago Stars at the high school level.

Helder Weil
After growing up in Colorado, Helder played varsity goalie with the top ranked Colorado State University women’s club team. Here in Chicago, she has taught middle and high school Spanish and has coached the Neuqua Valley Wildcats and the Lakeshore Select and Travel teams. Helder also plays with the Lakeshore Women’s Lacrosse Club.
Maggie Zentgraf

Maggie hails from Charlottesville, Virginia where she graduated from Charlottesville High School and was a First-Team All-American senior year in 2006. Maggie attended Notre Dame from 2006-2010, earning 3 NCAA tournament bids, 1 sweet sixteen appearance, a Big East Championship and was named Captain her senior year. From 2010-2014, Maggie went on to pursue social work for the City of Charlottesville as a youth counselor and assisted with club high school leagues and local travel teams. She was the defensive coordinator at Western Albemarle High School in 2013, ending as District and Regional Champions and honored with Regional Coaches of the Year and a bid to the state final four. Maggie was a former Virginia National team selector and coach for the 2012 and 2013 trip to National Tournament. In the 2014 season, Maggie was the assistant coach at Beloit College, leading the 2nd year team from 4-7 to 10-7, receiving First-Team All-Conference and Rookie of the Year honors. In 2015 as the Head Coach, Beloit College went 9-8, first-time bid to the conference tournament; 4 First-Team All-Conference, 1 Second-Team All-Conference, Defensive Player of the Year and one 2nd Team All-Regional awards. Maggie currently plays for Eastbay Athletics out of Oakland California, Lakeshore Adult league and was selected to try out for the Women’s US National Team in June. She currently works for the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago and is the Lakeshore National Premier 2018 Coach.