Keagan Pontious is currently the Head Coach of Hope College Women’s Lacrosse.
In 2019, Pontious finished up playing Division II lacrosse at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Her senior year, she was named a NCAA Division II Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse All-American and helped Seton Hill advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time.
Before attending Seton Hill, Keagan was a four-year varsity starter for the Caledonia High School Women’s Lacrosse team. As a freshman, she received First Team All-State Honorable Mention. Sophomore, junior, and senior year, Keagan earned First Team All-State, along with All-Conference awards all four years. Her senior year she was named First Team All-American to finish off her high school career.
Along with playing lacrosse, Keagan also played basketball as her second sport. She ended her senior year by being named Female Athlete of the Year class of 2014 for Caledonia High School.
Coach Gero returns to Aquinas College for her second season as the head coach of the Saints. Before coming to Grand Rapids, Gero was the head coach at DII Adams State University in Colorado and started the DII program at Felician University in NJ before that. Her coaching career began in central NJ at Colts Neck High School, and she coached the high school team for United Lacrosse Club for 3 years before moving to Colorado. Coach Gero attended Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ. While at GCU Gero was a 4 year starter for the women’s lacrosse team and 2 time first team all conference defender in the first 2 years that Georgian Court entered the CACC.
Coach Merrell returns for her third summer with Pure Advantage. She is currently the assistant coach for Aquinas College. Prior to coming to AQ, Merrell served as head coach for the Bandits Traveling Team and Harper Creek High School girl’s lacrosse the past two years. Coach Merrell played collegiate lacrosse for Olivet College, graduating in 2015. While at Olivet, she earned Offensive Player of the Week honors, Second Team All-MIAA twice, and was awarded IWLCA academic honors. She was a four-year captain for the Comets.
Celeste Shefferly has previously served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Kalamazoo College women’s lacrosse team, as well as head coach for Davenport University Women’s Lacrosse Team. She was an assistant coach for DU in 2010, before being named head Coach in July of 2011.
A 2010 graduate of Mercyhurst College (Erie, PA), Celeste lettered all four years as a midfielder and attack player. She was the only Michigan player on her college roster all four years. Her Mercyhurst teams qualified for the National Tournament in 2008 & 2009. In her senior year Celeste was 4th on the team in scoring despite a season ending knee injury with 4 games left to play.
Carly Pieri is a three year starter at Hope College. Last year, she lead her team in the conference tournament scoring the winning goal against St. Mary’s (IN) in the MIAA Tournament Semifinal game. She received MIAA Academic Honor Roll in 2018 and 2019.
Pieri returns to the Pure Advantage youth coaching staff for her third summer.
Liv Ghent is a two year starter at Tiffin University. Ghent is the graduate of Caledonia High School. While attending, she was awarded with All-Conference Honorable Mention and All-State First Team. Liv also earned Academic All-Conference.
This will be Ghent’s fourth summer coaching with Pure Advantage.
Payton Neil is the starting goalie at Grand Valley State University. As a freshman she received Second team All-GLIAC and led the conference with a .522 save percentage in 565:33 minutes of action. Neil recorded a season-high 13 saves in a win over McKendree (3/29).
Neil will be returning to the Pure Advantage coaching staff for her second summer as a goalie coach for all age groups.