Arguably the best women's lacrosse player in Lehigh history, Jill Altshuler raised the bar for women's student-athletes at Lehigh athletically and academically. An All American competitor on the field and in the classroom, Altshuler idealized what it means to be a student-athlete at Lehigh and on the national level. Altshuler is the third member of the Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame to be inducted in her first year of eligibility.
"Jill embodies all of the pure qualities of collegiate athletics: outstanding performance in the classroom and on the playing field," said head coach Jackie Keeley. "Jill combined her athletic skills and intellect with an unmatched work ethic to consistently achieve great success on the national level. Her determination and work ethic quickly separated Jill from her peers. She demanded excellence of herself both on the lacrosse field and in the classroom. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach such an amazing lacrosse player, excellent stu-dent, and wonderful person. She has defined success for Lehigh Women's Lacrosse."
Altshuler made an immediate impact the minute she stepped foot on the collegiate lacrosse field. She began to pileup league and national individual honors beginning in her freshman season when she was tabbed an All Patriot League selection, the league's Rookie-of-the-Year, and a Brine Regional All-American. Those individual honors were merely the groundwork for what was to be a highly successful collegiate career.
As a sophomore she was again selected to the All Patriot League team and received Regional All American laurels from Brine. It was in her junior year that she really became prominent on the national level.
As a junior she led the nation in scoring and was named a Brine National All American for the first time. Altshuler again received All Patriot League honors and was named the Lehigh Valley Athlete of the Year.
Altshuler completed her Lehigh career with one of the best senior seasons in Lehigh sports history. As a senior captain she led the nation in scoring with 97 goals, which ranked second
on the NCAA all-time single season scoring list at the time. She led the Mountain Hawks to a 14-3 record, an ECAC Cham-pionship, and a number 14 national ranking. She was again named a Brine National All American and the Lehigh Valley Athlete of the Year. Altshuler was the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and became a four-time All-League selection. She was one of 51 finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award and was one of 12 recipients of the Pro Am International 'Give and Go' award representing the true meaning of student-athlete by achieving recognition in the sports world without compromising the academic development of young people. She finished her career with 242 goals and 308 total points, which both ranked in the top ten nationally at the time.
"Jill is pretty remarkable," said former teammate and All American Liz Brode Ota. "In all of her success, Jill was incredibly unselfish and pushed us to work harder. She came in as a true leader right from the start. She led by example and always worked harder than everyone else on the field. She had fun while she worked and never got stressed. Jill was always calm and relaxed on the field even when the game was on the line. She always knew how to get the job done and helped find a way for us to win."
Academically Altshuler was head of the class. She was a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society and a member of the Psi Chi Psychology Honors Society. With a 3.80 grade point average in Psychology, Altshuler received Academic All American honors from GTE and the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association. She was an ECAC Merit Scholar Athlete Award winner and the recipient of the Patriot League's highest honor, the 1996 Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Altshuler currently resides in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. She is a guidance counselor and head girl's lacrosse coach at Cantonsville High School. In 2001, she led Cantonsville to a Regional Championship in her first year as head coach.