Stephanie Janice Mark, the program’s all-time winningest coach, enters her sixth season as the head women’s lacrosse coach in the 2018-2019 season. The Tiger lacrosse program has finished in the semi-finals or better and has had players recognized as regional All-Americans in all five of Mark’s years at the helm of the Tiger lacrosse program. The 2019 season sees the Tigers return nine starters from the 2018 squad and they welcome seven first year players to the team, hailing from seven different states.
In 2018 - the Tigers finished the regular season at 8-2 which ties the record for best SCIAC regular season finish and saw captains Sierra Slack and Ciara Byrne depart as two of the best players to ever come through the program - Slack set the career points record, and holds goals and draw controls in a season records, in addition scored a point in every game of her Tiger career. Byrne ranks 1st in Oxy career records in Ground Balls and Caused turnovers and holds the single season record for goals in a season. Seniors Sierra Slack and Ciara Byrne lead the conference in total points and goals in 2018 - Oxy had three positions represented on the SCIAC First-Team - Sierra Slack (attack), Ciara Byrne (mid) and Emma Barrow (Defense), in addition Alessandra Pelliccia was named to the 2nd team All-SCIAC team. All three First-Team All-SCIAC honorees were also named to the Regional All-American West teams. Oxy was also named an IWLCA honor squad - with the team’s GPA above a 3.0 for the fifth straight year under Coach Mark. Senior Sierra Slack was honored by the Oxy Athletic Department with our top honor as the Roy Dennis Scholar-Athlete Award - her career accomplishments include an impressive 4-time First Team All-SCIAC, 4-time All-Region, scored a point in every career game at Oxy, leaves Oxy as career leader in points. Oxy’s other captain, Ciara Byrne was honored with the Glen and Julie Johnson Service Award which recognizes student-athletes that have been outstanding in their commitment to serving others outside of the classroom or field of play.
In 2017, the team finished in 3rd place in the SCIAC - bowing out of the conference tournament in the semi-finals. For the 2nd time in the last four years, the Tigers boasted the SCIAC newcomer of the year with Freshman Alessandra Pelliccia winning the award (2015 Sierra Slack was also SCIAC Newcomer of the Year) and for the first time ever, Alessandra was also named the SCIAC’s Offensive Player of the Year. Overall, three Tigers were named Regional All-Americans - Slack, Pelliccia, & Barrow. Four Tigers were named to the All SCIAC team; 1st team: Slack, Pelliccia, & Barrow, 2nd team: Byrne, All Sportsmanship team - Junior Christina Sabin. Senior Rebecca Reese was awarded the Glen and Julie Johnson Service Award at The Oxy’s, which recognizes student-athletes that have been outstanding in their commitment to serving others outside of the classroom or field of play. Oxy team award winners were: Attacker of the year, Junior Sierra Slack - Midfielder of the Year & Freshman of the year, Alessandra Pelliccia, Defender of the Year - Emma Barrow, Best teammate award - Rebecca Reese, Most Improved - Freshman Marie Whitmore, Unsung Hero - Katherine Drake.
During the 2016 season, the Tigers bowed out of the SCIAC tournament in the semi-finals, after upsetting Redlands in an exciting come from behind victory in the 1st round SCIAC game. Multiple program records were broke during the 2016 season including Senior Kenzi Wright set a single game record with 11 points. Sierra Slack earned All-SCIAC honors for the 2nd straight year and Senior Kenzi Wright also won the prestigious Occidental Athletics Department Grant Dunlap Award which recognizes one Senior Female Student Athlete for her commitment to excellence in the field and in the classroom. Mark currently serves as the SCIAC womens lacrosse administrative chair, a position she has held since 2014.
In 2015, Oxy reached the NCAA Division III Tournament for only the second-time in program history. 2015 saw Sierra Slack be named SCIAC Newcomer of the Year under Mark’s tutelage. Led by Tigers’ senior Beebe Finch Sanders and freshman Sierra Slack who combined for 89 goals, the best one-two offensive combination in the SCIAC that year, Oxy also reached the SCIAC Championship Final.
In Janice Mark’s first season, the 2014 team posted the best SCIAC performance in program history with a 9-3 record and 3rd place finish; and 12-5 overall record. This season also achieved new single season team totals with 80 assists, 232 draw controls, and allowed 155 goals against which is 9.07 goals against average per game.
A record four Tigers were named to the IWLCA All-Region team; Belding named to the first team, and Larson, Wright, and Rosencranz named to the second. This is the first time since 2012 a Tiger has been named to the West All-Region team and first time ever multiple players from Occidental were honored. Belding, Larson, and Rosencranz were named to the 2014 All-SCIAC 1st team and Finch Sanders and Wright were named to the 2nd team. Senior Tori Larson left the program as the all-time career points leader with 219. Senior Rebecca Belding left the program as the all-time ground ball leader with 127.
“We are very excited about the future of Oxy women’s lacrosse and we think we’ve found the perfect person to take the torch and the team to the next level,” Occidental athletic director Jaime Hoffman said. “Stephanie is very bright, has a terrific feel for Occidental and comes very highly recommended.”
Prior to Oxy, Mark became the most winningest women’s lacrosse coach in Allegheny College history; winning 31 games in three years. She mentored Allegheny’s first IWLCA National All-American (2011) and mentored two back to back NCAC Offensive Players of the Year (2011, 2012) during her tenure with the Gators.
Prior to Allegheny, Mark was an assistant with Goucher College (Baltimore, MD) for two years where she also earned her Master’s in education, with an emphasis in athletic program leadership and administration.
As a player, Janice Mark was a two-time First Team All-American at Shawnee HS in Southern New Jersey and South Jersey Player of the Year. She was then a four-year starting midfielder at Johns Hopkins where she was voted the team's Unsung Hero by her teammates. Janice’s leadership helped guide Johns Hopkins to a program best three NCAA tournaments appearances, including a trip to the National Semifinals during her senior season in 2007. She was named to the American Lacrosse Academic All-Conference Team and was named American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Week during her career. She is the school’s current leader in career games played.
Her club lacrosse experience spans nationally having previously been on staff for the Ravens Lacrosse Club (Baltimore, MD) and Pittsburgh Premier Club (Pittsburgh, PA). Currently, she is the high school director and owner of the Los Angeles Aces Lacrosse Club.
Mark is married to Matthew Mark, the head baseball coach at Caltech. They reside in Altadena, CA with their daughter, Caroline and dog Louis, a terrier-beagle mix.