Meghan O’Connor McDonogh is one of Catholic University’s most decorated coaches as evidenced by nine Landmark Conference championships in 10 years of the league’s existence as well as nine NCAA Tournament appearances in 11 seasons at the helm of the Cardinals.
McDonogh also serves as an associate athletic director as well as the Senior Woman Administrator (SWA).
Coach McDonogh now boasts four-straight Landmark titles and earned her 13th NCAA Tournament victory in 2017 after another nationally-ranked season. McDonogh and her group of 13 seniors reached remarkable heights as the group went undefeated in both regular season and playoff conference games over their four-year span and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinal this past season.
The Cardinals made it a Landmark Conference three-peat in 2016 and road the momentum to two NCAA Tournament victories and a second-straight appearance in the National Quarterfinals.
The 2015 season saw Catholic capture yet another league title and two NCAA tournament victories before falling to the national No. 1 seed and eventual champion by just one goal in the Elite 8. In addition to a No. 5/6 ranking and a 16-4 overall record, the Cards went undefeated in league play for the sixth-consecutive season.
2014 provided the Cardinals with a stellar 12-6 overall record with a perfect 6-0 record in the Landmark Conference. CUA completed a fantastic conference tournament by taking the 2014 Landmark Conference Championship, where they defeated Susquehanna 20-9. The Cardinals earned a NCAA Tournament berth where they played Franklin & Marshall in the Second Round.
2012 saw the Cardinals post a 16-6 record, which included their fourth unbeaten Landmark Conference regular season in the last five years. CUA ripped off nine straight wins towards the end of the season, including both conference tournament contests and two NCAA Tournament games, which propelled the Cardinals to their third NCAA Regional Final in the last five years.
CUA checked in at No. 11 in the final IWLCA top-20 poll and raised its win total to 78 over the last five seasons, good for an average of nearly 16 victories per year.
It was a banner year for the program from an individual standpoint, with Mary Swarthout becoming the first student-athlete to be named a two-time First Team All-American. Swarthout was also named an ECAC All-Star, and First Team All-Region and All-Conference performer.
In all, six Cardinals were named to the All-Conference Teams, with Swarthout receiving Player of the Year laurels for the third straight season, and Lindsay Brophy being named Rookie of the Year. Four student-athletes were then named to the All-Region Teams and Swarthout was selected to the prestigious North-South Senior Game.
The achievements were not limited to the playing field, with Mallory Vogel being named the IWLCA Division III Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Swarthout receiving Academic All-America and All-District accolades. In addition, Mary Robinson was named to the Landmark Conference All-Academic Team and 11 Cardinals received Academic Honor Roll accolades from the conference.
In 2011, McDonogh guided CUA to a 15-4 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark within the Landmark Conference. The Cardinals won a fourth straight conference title and a first-round NCAA Tournament game and eight student-athletes were recognized as All-Americans. In addition, four Cardinals received All-Region accolades, eight were named All-Conference and Swarthout was voted the Landmark Conference Player of the Year for a second consecutive season.
For their efforts, McDonogh and the CUA coaching staff were named the 2011 Landmark Conference Coaching Staff of the Year, marking the second time in four years they received the award (2008).
In 2010 CUA was forced to deal with losing one of the top players in the entire country as All-American Kate Robinson suffered a season-ending injury. That did not stop McDonogh from guiding the Cardinals to a third championship and NCAA berth, however, as they rattled off 12 wins in their final 14 games and won an NCAA Tournament game for the third straight season. As a result of the team’s success, nine players received All-Conference recognition, while four were named All-Region and two earned All-America distinction.
The 2009 season will go down as one of the most successful in school annals as CUA posted an impressive 17-4 record and advanced to the regional final of the NCAA Tournament. Individually, eight Cardinals earned All-Landmark Conference honors, four received All-Region accolades and two, Robinson and Swarthout, were named All-Americans. Robinson, who was also named the Division III Midfielder of the Year, was the first-ever women’s lacrosse student-athlete to receive First Team All-America honors in school history.
In 2008 McDonogh and her coaching staff were named the Landmark Conference Coaching Staff of the Year after leading the Cardinals to 17 victories, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the conference, as well as a spot in the NCAA regional championship. CUA’s 21-10 victory over Goucher in the 2008 conference championship game earned the Cardinals their first-ever berth into the NCAA Tournament. Six players were named All-Landmark that season, including Robinson who also earned the Player of the Year award as well as All-America laurels.
During McDonogh’s first season in 2007, CUA tied the then-school record for victories with 11, which included a pair of wins over nationally ranked opponents.
McDonogh came to CUA from the University of Louisville, where she established and ran the women’s club lacrosse program and also began the transition of the program from a club sport to a full varsity team.
McDonogh began her coaching career at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002 where she worked primarily with the goalkeepers and organized camps as well as high school tournaments. While at Berkeley she also held the operations manager and merchandise coordinator position with the San Jose CyberRays of the Women's United Soccer Association.
Following her time at Cal-Berkeley, McDonogh spent a year at Division II Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina where she was an assistant coach and helped lead the Saints to the NCAA Final Four for the first time.
McDonogh began her lacrosse career at American University during her junior year after playing soccer at AU as well as Syracuse University for one season each. She graduated from American with her B.A. in women's and gender studies in 2001.
The Atlanta, Ga., native then went on to The University of Georgia where she received her master's degree in sport management in 2002. While at Georgia McDonogh played on and coached the UGA club lacrosse team. During her tenure the squad was ranked as high as second in the nation and advanced to the WDIA national championships.
In 2011 McDonogh earned her Ph.D. from Louisville in sport administration.
McDonogh is heavily involved in women's lacrosse at many levels. She is the Vice President of the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association (IWLCA) Board of Directors. Previously McDonogh served as the president of the Southeastern Women's Lacrosse League and she was also on the US Lacrosse Board of Directors and US Lacrosse Women's Division Board of Governors.