Who Are The Directors/Coaches of NorCal RIZE?
The directors of NorCal RIZE are Julia Southard and Juliet Mittlemann. The two teamed back up after coaching the Northern California National Lacrosse Team for 3 consecutive years, and their days as student-athletes at Brown University, back in the early 2000’s.
Coach Southard (Coach Jules) served as an assistant coach at three Division I programs, including LaSalle University, Cal and the University of Connecticut. She was the director of recruiting operations at Cal and UConn, working directly with student-athletes, parents and coaches during the recruiting process. Southard was responsible for bringing in some of the top recruits in the country, which had a huge impact on the programs for years to come.
Southard has spent time working with many local youth clubs, club teams and high school teams. She served as the Head Coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School for three years and currently serves as the Head Coach at St. Francis High School in Sacramento. Southard also runs a thriving business that focuses on goalkeeper development, working with individuals, groups and club teams in order to provide expert goalkeeper coaching. She has worked with over sixty individual goalies in Northern California, helping with the production of two All-Americans. She also runs goalie clinics throughout the year. She also co-owns and manages Athletic Endeavors Recruiting, a company designed to educate and work directly with student-athletes and families throughout the college recruiting process. She has worked with almost fifty athletes on an individual basis, seeing them off to schools at the Division I, II and II I levels.
“Coaching is amazing because you get to see total transformations. You see good athletes become great lacrosse players. You see good people become great teammates. You see timid girls become confident young women, and you have a hand in that. Hard work isn’t always popular, but once you commit to it wholeheartedly you realize that you are capable of anything. You can RIZE above anything if you have people who believe in you.”
Coach Mittlemann (Coach J) has been coaching lacrosse for sixteen years and started her coaching career while attending Brown University. Her life's work and enthusiasm has always involved coaching and instructing lacrosse. Juliet has a prolific background in girls’ and women’s lacrosse. Juliet founded, directed and coached the girls’ lacrosse program at Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, CA for nine years, was the Girls Lacrosse Director and Head Coach of the Youth Girl’s Lacrosse Program for the Los Angeles Lacrosse League, launched her own private lacrosse company in May of 2009 (Los Angeles Women’s Lacrosse) and coached at the collegiate level at Pepperdine University. Juliet also served as the assistant coach for the 2007 women’s elite lacrosse travel team, Team USA California. The team traveled to Japan to compete in the 2007 International Friendship Games, playing different teams from the cities of Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto. After the 2007 season as the assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Pepperdine University, Juliet became the co-head coach. That following summer she returned to coach the 2008 Team USA California. The team traveled to compete in China for the 2008 Beijing Games and Japan for the 2008 International Friendship Games, competing in Tokyo and Sapporo.
In May of 2013, Juliet was elected to serve as the head coach for the Women's Developmental National Team (WDNT), Los Angeles/Orange County Team. The team traveled to Pennsylvania that May to compete in the US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament. That same summer, Juliet was elected amongst coaching nominees nationwide to be the head coach of one of four girls lacrosse teams representing the top sixty lacrosse players across the country at the US Lacrosse All-American Showcase Tournament in Orlando, FL. Both in May of 2015 and 2016 , Juliet was elected to serve as the head coach for the WDNT NorCal Team 1 alongside Coach Julia Southard. As of 2017, Juliet serves as the Sub Regional Chair for the US Lacrosse Northern California National Teams and takes the team to compete in the annual US Lacrosse Women's National Lacrosse Tournament.
Juliet was with the Menlo-Atherton Youth Lacrosse club as their Girls Lacrosse Director for 5 years and coached for 6 seasons as the Girls Lacrosse Director and Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach for Menlo-Atherton High School.
"The greatness of a team not only comes from the individuality of the athletes, but from their collective ability to be the best possible teammates to and for each other.” “I will continue to give my devotion, time and enthusiasm to coaching and to ameliorating the lives of the students and athletes around me.”
Claire Mancini (Coach Claire)
Claire Mancini joins RIZE as a widely recognized and notable coach in California! Claire has been a part of the lacrosse community since 2010 as the Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach at the Castilleja School. She will continue as the Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach in the upcoming year, as well as teaching in the Fitness and Wellness department. Claire has a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Claire played Division I lacrosse at UMASS and still enjoys being extremely competitive and training for and competing in triathlons. She is a world class athlete and a tremendous addition to our coaching staff. Claire is the assistant coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Stacey Myers (Coach Stacey)
Stacey Myers has been the head varsity lacrosse coach at Woodside High School for the last five years. Upon her arrival at the Woodside program, they had not won a game in four years. Over the course of her five seasons with Woodside, the team won their first division championship and made it to the first round of playoffs! This was their team's best finish to date. In addition to coaching high school, Stacey has coached for a variety of youth teams in the Bay Area, inclding the Menlo-Atherton Grizzlies. Stacey attended UC Davis where she was a student athlete on the National Championship club lacrosse team from 2008-2012. Stacey is currently a resource specialist in Palo Alto, CA and is the head coach for the CRIMSON team.
Janine Sung (Coach Janine)
Coach Janine works full time at Stanford University, School of Medicine as a Biobank Manager. Currently Janine is an assistant lacrosse coach at Menlo-Atherton High School, working in tandem with RIZE owner, Juliet Mittlemann. Prior to coaching at M-A, Janine was the Head Lacrosse Coach at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA. She established a stronger program by selecting competitive athletes and restructuring program goals. In 2009, Janine reinstated the University of California, Santa Cruz Women’s Lacrosse program. She was the President and Captain for three years while being a strong defender on the field. Janine was awarded Division 2 - First Team Defense honors in 2011 and 2012. Janine was also brought on staff at her alma mater, the University of California, Santa Cruz as the Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator. The program reached the Western Women’s Lacrosse League Championship and took 1st place in Division II with a National Team Rank of 8th. Janine is an active member of the Baylax Lacrosse club, a post collegiate team in San Francisco, and competes on the weekends and multiple tournaments. Sharing many of the same philosophies and defensive prowess with the RIZE directors. Janine coaches the RED team.
Doug Arakawa (Coach Doug)
Coach Doug’s athletic background starts with being a 3 sport Varsity athlete at Gunn high school. He lettered in Football, Soccer and Baseball. Doug was all-SPAL in soccer and baseball, and was all SPAL and all CCS as a pitcher his senior year. Doug was recruited to UCSB as a pitcher but suffered an arm injury and had to quit baseball his Freshman year. After finishing with a BA in communication studies, Doug attended the University of the Pacific dental school. He then returned to Palo Alto and has practiced dentistry ever since. Doug is currently the Varsity head coach at Gunn High School and has been since 2012. His daughter attended Gunn from 2009 to 2013 and played Varsity lacrosse for 4 years. Upon Doug’s first season as head coach in 2012, the team went 14-6 and 11-3 in league making it to the playoffs for the first time. Since then Gunn has gone 81-34-2 and 64-20 in SCVAL league play. Gunn has made the playoffs 6 straight years and has made it to the league finals in 2015, 2016 and 2017. “Having enjoyed sports as a participant and spectator all of my life I find that coaching has been one the most rewarding and challenging things I have ever done. Helping to guide and mentor young women at the high school level is something I take great pride in and will continue to do for the foreseeable future.” Doug is a head coach for RIZE Bay Area RED team.
Kevin Miller (Coach Kevin)
Kevin joins the RIZE staff as he is finishing up his fifth year as assistant/goalie coach at Woodside High School. Kevin grew up in the central valley of California and started getting involved with lacrosse in college. Kevin is a tremendous multi-sport athlete and brings his experience from other sports, like basketball and soccer, and applies many similar concepts and strategies to lacrosse. Kevin currently works in sales for a software startup out of San Mateo. Kevin is the assistant coach for the CRIMSON team.
Sarah Westover (Coach Westie)
Coach Westover, better known as "Westie", will be attending USC in the fall of 2017. She committed to play for the Trojans during her sophomore year. She has been a member of the varsity team at Saint Francis HS of Sacramento for four years. She had an illustrious playing career at SFHS. Westie led the team in nearly every statistical category, set the program record for total goals, was named team MVP during her junior and senior years and was selected to First Team All Conference. Westie captained her team to an NCS birth during her senior season. "Westie is a rare breed. She works harder then any athlete I have ever met. Her goals and dreams are lofty, but with a work ethic and passion like hers, she is completely limitless. Her skill and athleticism are undeniable, but she is an even better person. USC is gaining a gem of an athlete and person."
Jamie Eagan ( Coach Jamie )
Jamie joins the RIZE staff after completing her second season as the Varsity Head Coach at Berkeley High. Last summer she coached the Norcal 2 team at the Women's National Lacrosse Tournament. In the previous seasons, she coached for the Berkeley Lacrosse Club and Oakland Lacrosse Club and she is currently coaching for the Menlo-Atherton Grizzlies youth team's fall ball season. When the sport of lacrosse was introduced at Jamie's middle school in New Jersey it was love at first sight. Her school made an exception and allowed her to join as the team manager a year before she was eligible to play. She went on to play for one of the top high schools in the nation. She was recruited to play for Division I schools but ultimately decided to attend New York University. Jamie continued playing lacrosse on adult leagues in New York and now in the Bay Area. She is currently an officer for one of her two teams and is still very active in playing at tournaments across the country. Jamie is a head coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Bianca Pham (Coach BPham)
Bianca joins the RIZE staff after her first season as the Varsity Assistant Coach at Los Altos High School and is now the JV Assistant Coach at Menlo-Atherton High School. From sunny San Diego, Bianca’s love and ambition for sports began as a little girl. Starting out with tennis at a young age, she played singles competitively and was once ranked #2 in Southern California. But during the 8th grade, a friend introduced her to lacrosse and she fell in love with the sport, never looking back! She went on to achieve recognition as one of the Top 30 players in San Diego and was recruited by several Division III schools, but decided to attend University of Pennsylvania where she continued to play club lacrosse and earned a BSE in Computer Science/Engineering. During work hours, Bianca is an Engineering Project Manager for the Machine Learning team at Apple. But after hours, her devotion is to coaching lacrosse and mentoring young athletes on how the principles of teamwork, discipline, confidence, and attitude you learn on the field also applies to success in your life off the field. Bianca is an assistant coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Bernadette “Berney” Arrogancia (Coach B)
Berney has been coaching lacrosse for five years. Even before then, Berney has always had a passion for sports since she was very young, growing up playing basketball and volleyball as a student-athlete every year since the third grade. Fast forward to the summer of 2007, Berney picked up a lacrosse stick for the very first time at a sports camp for incoming freshman and lacrosse quickly became her favorite sport. A couple months later, she began her high school career as an honor student and tri-athlete running cross-country, playing basketball as a starting point guard and playing lacrosse as an elected team captain. Over the 4 years, she split time playing on the field as a midfielder and in front of the net as a goalie. She won several awards during those years including 2009 WBAL All-League Lacrosse Team Honorable Mention Skyline Division, 2010 WBAL 2nd Team All-League Lacrosse Team Skyline Division, and 2011 WBAL 1st Team All-League Lacrosse Team Skyline Division. In 2013, she began her coaching career at her alma mater Mercy High School. She now completes her fifth season serving as the Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach for Mercy High School and will continue to coach her sixth season in the upcoming year. Berney is born and raised in the Bay Area. “Coaching is one of the best experiences and opportunities I’ve had in my life.. It’s become a meaningful way for me to give back to my community, a way to pass on what I’ve learned to the younger generation and a way to make a positive difference in their lives through the sport I love. When I hear an athlete say “because of lacrosse/the team” about something they’ve accomplished or a challenge they overcame, on and off the field, in a game or in their personal life..it truly makes it all worth it. That’s what it’s all about.” Berney is a head coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Jessica Seggman (Coach Jess)
Jessica Seggman (Coach Jess) comes to Rize with 13 years of lacrosse experience. Returning for a third year as head coach for the Menlo-Atherton High School Girls JV lacrosse team, she helped her team land 1st place in the 2018 WBAL JV League with an overall record of 12-2. Seggman was also the head coach of the Menlo-Atherton Grizzlies 14 UB youth club team for two seasons. As one of the founding members of the first girls lacrosse team in the Los Angeles Unified School District at Palisades Charter High School, she simultaneously played for the LA Express girls club through the Adrenaline Starz program, contributing to their first Starz Cup Championship. All of her hard work paid off when she became the first female lacrosse player in LAUSD to be recruited to play college lacrosse. She began her college career playing Division III at North Central College in Illinois. The following year she was invited to play defense for the travel team--Team USA California, in the 2010 International Friendship Games, playing in both Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. Upon her return to California to become captain and play club lacrosse for the University of Santa Barbara. During that time she coached various youth clinics and club teams for Santa Barbara Lacrosse Camp, Los Angeles Women's Lacrosse League and the Los Angeles Lacrosse League. Coach Jess is a head coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Alex Grauke (Coach G)
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Alex was a multi sport athlete, playing football, volleyball and basketball in high school. He worked 4 years with the YMCA working with high school students before graduating from San Jose State University. After graduating, he discovered lacrosse and how incredible the sport is and became the JV Head Coach for Carlmont High School for 4 years before taking over as Varsity Head Coach for Sequoia High School in Redwood City. He has previously coached with the club program Team NorCal Lacrosse before joining RIZE in summer of 2018. He has also been coaching football at Sequoia High School since 2016. "Coaching is so much more than guiding the next superstar. It's teaching them valuable life lessons that help these athletes grow into strong, confident adults." Alex is a coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Bene Webster (Coach Bene)
Coach Bene Webster hails from Massachusetts, where she attended Mount Holyoke College as a Division III student-athlete and obtained her B.A. in psychology. While at Mount Holyoke she had successful career as a 4-year starting low-defender landing NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team honors, 2013 ECAC Champions, 2013 NEWMAC Championship Runner-Up, 2009 ECAC Championship Runner-Up and NEWMAC semi-finalists. While at Mount Holyoke she served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and ran afterschool sports programs for middle school students. After college Bene joined Teach for America and taught 3rd grade in New Orleans for 3 years. Bene has an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Relay Graduate School of Education and an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently she works as a user experience research contractor at Google. Bene has tons of energy and loves working with young women leaders and athletes. Coach Bene is a head coach for RIZE Bay Area.
Kelsey Myers (Coach Kelsey)
Current Stanford player
Three-time all-state (2016, 2017, 2018)
Team MVP as a senior
Won three conference championships (2016, 2017, 2018) and two regional titles (2016, 2017)
Three-time all-conference and two-time all-state in field hockey
2018 District Field Hockey Player of the Year
Served as team captain of the field hockey and lacrosse teams as a senior
Julia Cooper (Coach Julia)
Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll
Played in one game
Totaled four saves, one ground ball, 4.71 goals against average and one goal allowed (.800 save percentage)
As a Freshman (2019)
Played in 10 games
Totaled 22 saves, 11 ground balls, two caused turnovers, 9.76 goals against average and 28 goals allowed (.440 save percentage)
Season-high four saves against Fresno State (Feb. 21) and Cal (April 19)
Season-high four ground balls in win over UC Davis (Feb. 24)
Prior to Stanford
Served as team captain as a senior
2018 Under Armour All-American
2018 all-Metro second team and team MVP
Two-time league champion (2016, 2017) and 2018 runner-up
Part of school's 198-game winning streak
Caitlin Chicoski (Coach Caitlin)
Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll (2020)
Prior to Stanford
Three-time US Lacrosse All-American (2016, 2017, 2018)
Two-time US Lacrosse All-Academic (2017, 2018)
2018 USA Today All-USA second team
2018 Bay State Conference MVP
Two-time team captain
Three-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic (2016, 2017, 2018)
Three-time Boston Herald All-Scholastic (2016, 2017, 2018)
Three-time EMGLCA All-Star First Team (2016, 2017, 2018)
Four-time Bay State Conference All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Finished career with 260 goals, 71 assists, 205 draw controls, 175 ground balls and 98 caused turnovers
Helped team to first-ever sectional and state titles in 2018
Team ranked No. 18 in final 2018 ILWomen National High School Power Rankings
Also played for Mass Elite club team (2012-18)
Four-year letterwinner in soccer
Team captain, team MVP and Bay State All-Star in soccer in 2017
Also lettered in basketball
Maggie Bellaschi (Coach Maggie)
Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll (2020)
Prior to Stanford
Team captain of the field hockey, swimming and lacrosse teams
Earned 11 varsity letters: lacrosse (4), field hockey (3), swimming (3), track (1)
2018 US Lacrosse High School All-American
2018 Washington Post All-Met second team in lacrosse
Three-time lacrosse team MVP and four-year starter
Two-time all-league in lacrosse (2017, 2018)
Two-time all-league in field hockey (2017, 2018)
Held school record as member of 200-meter butterfly relay
Qualified for state meet in track and field as member of the 4x800-meter relay
Mackenzie Chapman (Coach Mack)
Prior to Stanford
Four-time all-conference and three-time all-state
Two-time US Lacrosse All-American
Two-time US Lacrosse Academic All-American
2018 US Lacrosse Jackie Pitts award winner
2018 state championship MVP
State champions in 2018 and state runner-up in 2015 and 2017
Top scorer in the state as a junior and senior
Served as team captain as a junior and senior
Also lettered in soccer, swimming and water polo
Academic All-American and 4x50 free relay school record holder in swimming
Jessica Mucci (Coach Jess)
Jess comes to RIZE with 15 years of lacrosse experience. She picked up as stick as a freshman in high school and has been playing and coaching ever since! She is New York native that moved to the Bay Area in 2013 and has established herself as a coach in the lacrosse community. Most recently, Jess was the Head Varsity Coach at both Camplindo and San Ramon Valley High Schools in the East Bay and was able to lead both teams to the top of their league. Before joining RIZE, Jess gained 5 years of club lacrosse experience working for Tenacity where she was the head coach of their top HS teams, as well as a director of summer camps and leagues.
Jess also spent her time coaching at the Division 1 lacrosse level. She was the Head Coach at Saint Mary's College of California from 2014 - 2017, being promoted from serving as the assistant in 2013. She also helped support youth lacrosse in the East Bay area by coaching for the NCJLA Lamorinda Club. In 2012 Jess began her Division 1 coaching as the assistant at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
Jess also worked for the English Lacrosse Association in Manchester, England. Jess was employed as a Schools Coaching Officer and was placed at Rendcomb College. She was the Head Coach: U14 Lacrosse, U15 Field Hockey, Assistant Coach: Varsity Lacrosse, U15 Lacrosse. She was also a course instructor for Psychology and the Youth Lacrosse Director. While in England, she continued her playing career and was selected for the West of England Squad to compete at the annual Territorial Championships.
Jess played Division 1 Lacrosse at the University of Connecticut, where she graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2011. During her time at UConn she competed in the Big East Conference where she was a four-year starter on the defensive end and served as team captain for the 2011 season. In 2011, Jess was selected to play in the North-South Senior All-Star game as well as advanced to the final round of U.S. Team trials. While at UConn, Jess traveled to Australia in 2009 where she played on the South Australia Burnside Club Team. She had the opportunity to learn and play the game from another perspective and her team advanced to the league championship for the first time in club history! Coach Jess is a head coach for RIZE Bay Area Black team and Sacramento Red team.
Jennifer Morris (Coach Jenn)
Coach Morris adds twenty-four years of coaching experience to the RIZE club. After growing up near snowy Syracuse, NY, and attending and playing lacrosse at Ithaca College, the warmer weather and need for coaches brought her to West Coast in the mid 1990’s. She began her coaching career at UC Davis with what was then the collegiate club program prior to it’s NCAA status in 1997, and afterward spent three seasons at St. Mary’s College with their collegiate club team as well. After returning to the East coast for an assistant coaching stint at the University of Richmond, Jenn was hired as the first ever head coach at NCAA Division I George Washington University. She led the program for three seasons until she decided to return to her favorite place where she stepped into her current role as a high school coach. She has been the head coach at Davis High School for 11 seasons and during that time has had the opportunity to coach multiple athletes that have gone on to collegiate careers. Jenn was named as an IWLCA All-American her senior year in college and loves sharing her knowledge of the game with her athletes. A big supporter of the US Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament Jenn helped coach Pacific Regional teams in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. Selected as SVLL Coach of the year in 2013, 2015, and 2018, Jenn is the most proud of the success her players have in college and beyond. Her biggest goal is to teach her athletes to love the game. Coach Morris is a head coach for RIZE Sacramento CRIMSON and AUBURN teams.
Daniella McMahon (Coach Dani)
Coach Dani is a current member and captain of the Stanford Women's Lacrosse team. A junior midfielder, Dani has started 32 of her 38 games during her Stanford career. Coach Dani earned MPSF Rookie of the Week during her freshman season. In 2018 she earned a spot on the 2018 Pac-12 All-Tournament team, 2018 All-Pac-12 First Team, IWLCA All-Region Second Team as well as Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention. She was a member of the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament championship team in 2018 and won the first draw control in the first-ever Pac-12 Conference game.
Taylor Scornovacco (Coach Taylor)
Areta Smith (Coach Areta)
Marsie Salvatori (Coach Marsie)
Trudie Grattan (Coach Trudie)
Megan Walatis (Coach Megan)
Megan is a head coach for the Sacramento STARZ team.
Nicole Pugh (Coach Nicole)
Nicole is a rising junior attacker on the High Point University women’s lacrosse team. During her time there she has helped the team earn two Big South Championship titles and two NCAA tournament appearances. She is a Davis high school alumni where she was a four-year letterwinner on the varsity lacrosse team. She was awarded all conference recognition all four years as well as offensive MVP her junior and senior year, she also served as a captain her senior year and was named a US Lacrosse All-American. Nicole also played on the varsity field hockey team at Davis high school in which she was awarded First Team All Conference her junior and senior year. Nicole is a head coach for the Sacramento SCARLET team.
Mikie Schlosser (Coach Mikie)
Mikie has an impressive lacrosse background, starting right here in Northern CA. Born and raised in Davis, California, Mikie attended Davis Senior HS where he was a 2x All-American, 3x first team all-conference, 2x league MVP, 3x Team Captain, and 2x league champion! He attended the University of Michigan and served as a team captain for two years. Mikie currently plays professionally for the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse (MLL). He was instrumental in helping the Outlaws take home 2018 MLL championship. In 2019, Mikie was an MLL All-Star, while also serving as a team captain for his Outlaw squad. Currently, he is training with team USA in an effort to make the 2022 roster. Mikie will be coaching our RIZE Sacramento teams.
Jordyn Sacks (Coach Jordyn)
Coach Jordyn has had a passion for lacrosse as soon as she started as a player in 2011 and completed 5 seasons of lacrosse before she became a coach. While playing she received the Most Improved Award her first year on the team (2011), the following year she received an All-Star award (2012) and her final year playing lacrosse she became Team Captain. Coach Jordyn has coached for a total of 5 years with various programs, most notably she has been with Vista Del Lago High School for a total of 4 years. The first 2 years of her career at VDLHS she was the Head Coach of JV and the other 2 years she was promoted to Assistant Varsity Coach. Other programs that she has been with include Folsom Lacrosse Association (2016), Tenacity Project (2016-2017), Lacrosse 101 (2018), and Lady Talons (2017-2019). While coaching for various programs she has had to work with girls of all ages and levels of skill which diversifies her experience greatly. She encourages her philosophy to players of playing smart, playing hard and working together on and off the field. Jordyn will be coaching our RIZE Sacramento teams.