Kristen Skiera came to the United States Military Academy at West Point with the perfect resume to build up the emerging Black Knights women’s lacrosse program.
A former standout attack player at Duke University, Skiera has been the head coach at the United States Military Academy since 2014. She’s helped the Black Knights get on their feet since transitioning from a club to a varsity team in 2015.
It’s not Skiera’s first time building up a program. She came up as an assistant under legendary Naval Academy Coach Cindy Timchal, and was on board when Timchal transitioned the academy’s club team into a varsity program.
“Cindy made building a program look kind of easy… I picked up so many little things in terms of organization, recruiting and on-field coaching,” Skiera told the Capital Gazette.
So, when the military academy needed a coach, there was no one better than Kristen Skiera to take on the position. When she stepped foot on West Point’s campus, women’s lacrosse was still a club team that went 8-3 and appeared in the finals of their conference.
The Army women’s lacrosse team played its first NCAA games in 2016. The Black Knights finished their inaugural season at 5-12, and 0-9 in the Patriot League. They finished 2017 with the same record, but picked up their first conference win.
Since then, the Black Knights have posted two winning seasons, and finished 2019 14-5, good enough for third in the Patriot League, behind tournament-bound Loyola and Navy. They got off to a 7-0 start in 2020 before the season was cancelled.
“It’s just a matter of time until Army gets it going. They just need to land some good recruits and Kristen is just the person to do that,” Timchal told the Capital Gazette of her emerging conference rival.