Head Coach Valerie Hickman Lohr
Valerie Hickman Joined Shady Side Academy as the girls field hockey coach for the 2017 season. Prior to SSA, she led the Pace women's field hockey program, as their first-ever coach. Hickman comes to SSA with an extensive background in field hockey as she was a four year player for Division I Lehigh University. She was also a member of the women’s lacrosse team for the Mountain Hawks during her time at Lehigh. She was selected to the 2001 Patriot League Winter/Spring Sports Academic Honor Roll as well as being the Treen Scholarship for Academic Merit Award recipient. She graduated from Lehigh in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History. Hickman went on to earn her Juris Doctorate Degree from The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law in 2006.
Hickman has been involved with collegiate field hockey since her graduated as she served as an assistant coach at Dickinson College from 2003-07. She worked with the goalkeepers and developed game planning as well as player training. She moved on to the United States Field Hockey Association Futures Program for Region 6 Site B in New Jersey as the head coach and head trainer in 2009. She coached under-16 field hockey players and oversaw assistant coaches as well as player training and skill development.
She was also the assistant field hockey coach at Stevens Tech for three seasons. She was involved in all aspects of the program from maintaining budgets, recruiting, game strategies, player development, film exchange and scouting.
Hickman is a member of the United States Field Hockey Association and holds Level One Coaches Certification. She is also a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
Assistant Coach Betsy Gorse
Betsy Gorse joined Shady Side Academy in 1988 as a Certified Athletic Trainer, physical education teacher and Varsity field hockey coach. For nine seasons she led the Varsity team, initially members of the (now defunct) ISGAL. In 1993, the field hockey team was one of the first SSA teams to join the WPIAL and they won the WPIAL title that first season. Gorse coached four WPIAL championship field hockey teams (1993-1996) before joining the SSA Middle School in its first year of co-education (1997).
She teaches health and physical education and is the field hockey and swim coach and athletic director at the Middle School. Coach Gorse is married to Keith, a professor at Duquesne University and has two children, both SSA alums: Erin (2012) and Tyler (2016).