BALTIMORE, MD - Kara Reber, coach of the national championship Florida Southern women's lacrosse team, has been named the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year by Inside Lacrosse. The same organization named sophomore Emily Santoli as its Division II Midfielder of the Year.
Reber started the Florida Southern women's lacrosse program in 2012 and just five short years later, guided the Moccasins to the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championship. Reber's Moccasins entered the National Tournament ranked third and advanced to the title game where the they upset #1 ranked and previously undefeated, Adelphi by an 8-7 score to become the first school outside of Massachusetts, New York, or Pennsylvania, to win a national championship. FSC did it in dramatic style, overcoming a 6-3 halftime deficit with a smothering defense that held high-powered Adelphi scoreless for the first 17 minutes of the second half, while the FSC offense scored four-unanswered goals.
The Moccasins tied a school-record for wins (19) and established a new FSC standard for goals against average with a 7.26 mark in 2016. Florida Southern completed its national title run with a 19-3 record after winning 14 consecutive games at the end of the season. Florida Southern also swept through Sunshine State Conference play with a perfect 4-0 record for a second straight season and won the program's first SSC postseason tournament championship.
Individually in 2016, Santoli was also named the IWLCA Co-Midfielder of the Year after scoring 35 goals and assisting on 32 other goals to finish second on the Mocs with 67 points. She led the team with 64 draw controls and was second with 51 ground balls. Santoli joined teammates Gabby Barowski and Rachael Griffth on the IWLCA All-America team. Griffith and Ashley Robertson represented Florida Southern in the IWLCA North-South All-Star game, while Barowski was named the FSC Female Athlete of the Year.
At the national tournament, goalkeeper Taylor Gillis was voted the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after recording eight saves and a .473 save percentage against 21 shots faced. She was joined on the National All-Tournament Team by Griffith, Santoli, Kendall Kerge, Meghan O'Brien, Sarah Rhinesmith.
Reber finished the 2016 season with a 77-17 career record in her five seasons with the Moccasins.