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Meet the seven Pingry seniors—equally committed in the classroom as they are in their sport—who earned this year's conference, county, Prep, and state honors. 

Middle School Teacher and Varsity Lacrosse Coach Meredith Finkelstein Inducted into New Jersey Hall of Fame

Middle School history teacher, Assistant Coach of the Girls' Varsity Lacrosse Team for 10 years, and former high school and Division I college standout Meredith Finkelstein was recently welcomed into the 2019 New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Her induction means that Pingry now boasts three state Lacrosse Hall of Fame coaches—she joins Director of Athletics Carter Abbott and fellow Middle School history teacher and Head Coach of the Boys' Varsity Lacrosse Team Mike Webster, both of whom also hold the honor. Ms. Abbott was inducted as a player in 2009 and Mr. Webster was inducted as a coach in 2010. (In addition to sharing this honor, the three lacrosse legends also boast a whopping seven NCAA National Lacrosse Championship titles among them.)

No novice to athletic recognition, Mrs. Finkelstein, who grew up in Maplewood, was inducted into Columbia High School's Hall of Fame in 2015 and again in 2018 for her participation on the 1995 girls' lacrosse state finalist team.

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to be inducted to the N.J. Lacrosse Hall of Fame," she said. "Reflecting on my involvement in lacrosse brings up such amazing memories of teammates, friends, and coaches, who I am still close with today. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities lacrosse has given me and for the relationships I made through the sport." 

Mrs. Finkelstein's lacrosse biography, presented at last weekend's induction ceremony, provides ample proof of her accomplishments in the sport:

At Columbia High School, Ms. Finkelstein was a four-year varsity starter in lacrosse and team captain as a senior. She was the leading  scorer for the Cougars during both her junior and senior seasons, and broke the all-time career scoring record with 277 points. Mrs. Finkelstein earned all-county honors in '95, '96, and '97, all-state honors in '96 and '97, and was named All-American in '97. She was a member of Columbia's state finalist squad in 1995. In 2001, she was selected to the Star-Ledger's Girls Lacrosse Team of the Decade for the 1990's.  

In addition, Mrs. Finkelstein lettered four years in soccer at Columbia and was named team captain as a senior. She broke the single-season and career save records as a goalie for the Cougars, and earned all-conference, all-county, and all-state honors as a junior and senior.

After Columbia, Mrs. Finkelstein earned a full athletic scholarship to The University of Maryland to play lacrosse. She was a four-year lacrosse starter for the Terrapins, winning four NCAA Division 1 National Championships, and captained the 2002 squad. She scored 90 goals and had 35 assists during her career at Maryland, and was named to the 2002 All-ACC Tournament Team. Following graduation, she was a club player with the New York Athletic Club and held various coaching positions.

Assistant Coach of Big Blue since 2010, Mrs. Finkelstein has helped lead the girls' team to three appearances in the finals of the NJSIAA Group 1 State Tournament. Last spring, with a record of 16-5 and ranked #10 in the state by, they edged out Mount St. Mary for the Central Jersey Group 1 state crown.

Outside of Pingry, Mrs. Finkelstein coaches 4th-grade boys and 2nd-grade girls for Ridge Youth Sports in Basking Ridge. Her 10-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, who, she recalls, was smiling from ear to ear during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, are among her proudest fans.

Read about the legacies of Ms. Abbott, Mrs. Finkelstein, and Mr. Webster (pictured right) in the sport.

Congratulations, Coach Finkelstein!

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,