Simmons Lacrosse closes out its second season as a varsity sport after achieving a 6-6 overall record and going 4-4 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Sharks continued to build the lacrosse program with several returners and a large class of first-year athletes under second-year Head Coach Kate Leonard. Four athletes were named to the GNAC All-Conference Team, three received Rookie of the Week and one received Goalkeeper of the Week honors during the season.
"As a very young team, we started off slowly, unsure of what we were capable of and how we would perform. We lost a few games we really should have won, and the team will remember that next year, coming back for vengeance but also knowing from day one how strong and capable they really are," said Leonard.
Several standout athletes helped to lead the team this season. Freshmen Justine Beauchamp (Exeter, N.H.) and Rachel Wallace (Braintree, Mass.) were outstanding additions to the scoring midfield. Classmate Kelly Last (West Haven, Conn.) stepped up as goalkeeper for the Sharks, and ended the season ranked third in the GNAC in save percentage and second in the GNAC in saves per game. "Justine is all hustle and hard-work. Rachel is a very smart, poised player," said Leonard. "Kelly is a true athlete and an essential part of this team." Sophomores Lee Sutherland (Tuftonboro, N.H.) and Meaghan Maurice (South Portland, Maine) continued to be strong and willing midfielders and great leaders for the young Simmons team.
"We have a large, talented freshman class and I just can't wait to see how great they become over the years. They work really well together and have already created great team chemistry that should carry this team very well," said Leonard.
Seniors Emily Sypher (Orono, Maine) and Jen Szkolt (Bondsville, Mass.) led the team on and off the field, putting as much work into their academics as they did in athletics. "I love how they were such good examples of what a Shark student-athlete should strive to be. We will certainly miss their leadership."
Sypher served as a team captain alongside Maurice. "Meaghan is a fun, light-hearted person who always hustles on the field and has everyone's best intentions in mind. She is a great role model because she puts the team first and works hard to improve her own game. She supports and teaches others, keeps everyone positive, motivated, and aimed at their goals," said Leonard. "Emily really stepped up her game this year in terms of tenacity and she saw great results because of it. The team nominated her as their GNAC All-Sportsmanship Award recipient because she is kind and welcoming to the team."
"Overall, this season was a huge success," said Leonard. "We have a very strong core of returning athletes and each of them has the dedication it takes to improve upon this year's results. The positive atmosphere we created is the best legacy the seniors left us, and because of this I look forward to starting next spring right where we left off this season. We still have a lot to prove and I think the fire has finally been lit to ignite us."