Coach Jessica Barden
Varsity Head Coach:
Jessica was a captain and All-American Lacrosse Player at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She started playing the sport for the first time as a freshman in college but quickly learned that her basketball skills transitioned easily into the game of lacrosse and she has never looked back.
Barden boasts a lengthy list of accomplishments and honors. Since 2002, she has held the head coach position of the four-time state champions, Chaparral Varsity Girls Lacrosse Club. In 2004, she founded and still manages AZ Girls Lacrosse, LLC, a league for girls in grades K-9. In addition to starting a program for the youth in 2004, she also founded Arizona Storm, Arizona's first and only post-collegiate team. She co-founded Desert Heat, a competitive traveling team to help girls be exposed to more opportunities outside of Arizona and Pink Empowered a non-profit to help support players who need more assistance to play the game.
She has received other formal recognition, including the Women’s Sports Association Community Leader of the Year Award for 2006-2007 and the YWCA Tribute to Women Sports Leader Award in 2007. From 2004 to 2008, she was on the Executive Committee of the AGLA. She has served on the US Lacrosse Board of Directors and continues to serve on several on-going committees with USL. She also served on the Arizona Chapter US Lacrosse Board of Directors.
US Lacrosse recognized her with the 2010 Excellence in Growing the Game award. This award is for an individual who supports the US Lacrosse mission and vision, working effectively and tirelessly to develop lacrosse in a particular geographic area. She was also recently on the cover of the US Lacrosse Magazine in 2012 as "One of the Top 10 People Changing Youth Lacrosse Now."
"Knowing and working with Jessica reminds us why we do what we do at US Lacrosse," said Mary Cate Slay, US Lacrosse manager of youth development. "She embodies the spirit, honor and growth of this game for young women and is a natural leader for all who are lucky enough to work directly or indirectly with her. She has volunteered countless hours at the local and national levels and we are proud to add her name to the past decade of Youth Award recipients."
"I am continually amazed at her enthusiasm and commitment to growing the sport in Arizona," said Marie Baca, US Lacrosse Arizona (former) chapter president. "While Jessica’s love and commitment to the game is evidenced on paper, nothing beats seeing the amazing interaction she has with players, parents and fellow lacrosse coaches."
Asst. Varsity Coach:
Conor started his lacrosse career at a very young age in Westchester, New York. He played close defense throughout youth leagues, middle school, and high school, serving as a varsity captain during his senior year. He was named an Academic All-American for Section 1 Lacrosse. Conor also played on various travel teams, playing in tournaments throughout the Northeast.
In college, Conor played on the University of Maryland Club Lacrosse Team for all four years of his undergraduate tenure as a long stick midfielder (LSM – defensive specialist). He served as an officer of this student-led team since freshman year and become a president, captain, and player-coach during his junior and senior years. He managed the team of over 100 players by developing rosters, building practice plans, and organizing gameplay, taking them to multiple national championship tournaments. He also was responsible for player safety, using his experience as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) to assist with in-game injuries. Conor’s primary focus was changing the culture by implementing various volunteer events, frequent academic study sessions, additional training sessions, and a more inclusive team environment. Conor is looking forward to tying his experience and love of the game to the incredible talent at Chaparral.
Asst. Varsity Coach:
Claire grew up in Sykesville, Maryland and began playing lacrosse at age 6. She played four years of Lacrosse and Field Hockey at Century High School where Claire won two State Championships as a Sophomore and a Senior. She holds a Maryland State Record for most assists in a state championship game.
From there Claire went on to play lacrosse at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. She appeared in 68 games tallying 40 goals and 47 assists. Helped team to two CAA finals and received the CAA's Commissioner's Academic Award all four years. Claire graduated from Hofstra in 2013 and received a bachelor's degree in Early and Elementary Education and English.
Claire went on to coach lacrosse and Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York for three years. Her primary focus was coaching the attack-developing motions, plays, and working on proper stickwork and shooting techniques. Claire graduated from Long Island University in 2015 with a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages.
Claire currently teaches 3rd grade at Scales Technology School in Tempe, Arizona. Before coming back to Arizona, she taught for 4 years in Manhattan, New York at Our Lady of Pompeii School.
D2 Varsity Coach:
Blaine was born and raised in Phoenix and started playing lacrosse her junior year of high school. She was first introduced to the sport when she joined a club team at Desert Heat. During her senior year, Blaine also played one season for Pinnacle High School where she won a State Championship in 2019.
Currently, Blaine is a sophomore in college at Arizona State University where she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. She continues to play lacrosse for ASU’s club team and is excited to begin coaching for Chaparral and help lead the team alongside Sarah!
D2 Varsity Coach:
Sarah Minton has been actively involved in Arizona girls lacrosse for 9 years. She started playing lacrosse through Arizona’s youth program, Desert Stix, and middle school/high school program, Desert Heat, and quickly fell in love with the sport.
Sarah went to Xavier College Prep in Phoenix and played four years on their varsity lacrosse team, serving as captain her junior and seniors seasons. She also played on the Arizona Women’s National Team during her senior year, and was selected to be captain for that team as well. As a current sophomore at Arizona State University, she is still involved with lacrosse playing on the ASU Women’s Club team and serving on its executive board.
In 2017, Sarah was awarded the U.S. lacrosse award for Sportsmanship and Leadership for the state of Arizona. Then in 2019, she was awarded the U.S. Lacrosse Jackie Pitts award, being only one of four recipients across the country. She was a three time Arizona All-Star during her high school career and was a 2nd team middie.
Sarah is very excited to be working with Chaparral Girls Lacrosse this season because as an 8th grader she played on Chap’s JV team, served as captain, on the team that won the state championship in 2015! She is super happy to be a part of the Chap Lax family once again, hoping to bring them to new levels and relive some great memories!
Junior Varsity Coach:
Celine grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. She began playing lacrosse when she was 8 years old with Jess’s Desert Stix program. In junior high she played for Desert Heat’s club teams. As an eighth grader, she pulled double duty, also playing and serving as captain for Horizon High School’s Junior Varsity squad.
As a freshman, Celine made the Varsity team at Horizon. Her prep career was full of honors, including opportunities to compete against some of the nation’s top high school players in major tournaments while competing on the ‘X-Team,’ an organization that handpicked players from across the country.
Celine was recognized as the defensive all-state player of the year in 2014. As well as being selected to represent Arizona at the 2014 US Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament. She was heavily recruited to play on Colorado Mesa’s D-II women’s lacrosse team, but ultimately chose to attend the University of Arizona to further her academic career. As a freshman in Tucson, Celine capped off her lacrosse playing career as a starting midfielder on the Lady Lax Cats club team.
She graduated from the UA in May 2019 with a bachelors degree in Public Health. Celine now works full-time for Clinical Research FastTrack, while additionally pursuing her masters degree in public health with an emphasis on epidemiology from Benedictine University.
Strength & Conditioning Coach Jamie