When the college recruiting process begins, some student-athletes are drawn to programs close to home.
Such was the case with Boston College standouts Kenzie Kent (Norwell, Mass.) and Dempsey Arsenault (New Hampton, N.H.), UMass midfielder Stephanie Croke (Norwell, Mass.) and Boston University attack Kailey Conry (Needham, Mass.).
Despite that tendency, many of New England’s top players head outside the region for their college lacrosse careers. From that, New England Lacrosse Journal has highlighted 20 players to keep an eye out for this spring who don’t feature on local teams.
The 20 players, listed below in alphabetical order, don’t include freshman, as expanded stories on first-years will follow suit. Nine are from Connecticut, while another five are from Massachusetts.
Colgate | D | Jr. | Fairfield, Conn.
This former three-sport star at Greens Farms Academy (Conn.) is a two-year starter for the Raiders, one who has recorded 35 ground balls and 19 assists. The Raiders have steadily improved during Backe’s two years on campus, but the Patriot League has been run by Loyola and Navy as of late.
Marist | D | Sr. | Rutland, Vt.
After a reduction in playing time as a sophomore, Boyle bounced back in 2018 to the tune of a All-MAAC Second Team season. As the Foxes shared the MAAC regular-season title last year, Boyle led the team in caused turnovers (19) and finished fourth in ground balls (25).
Cal Berkley | M | R-Jr. | Simsbury, Conn.
Local fans should recognize Christmas for her starring role at Westminster School (Conn.), though now she’s well known in the Pac 12, too. Christmas enjoyed a breakout season in 2018 (33 goals and six assists), leading to the second-most points (39) on the Bears.
Princeton | A | Jr. | Sudbury, Mass.
D’Orsi is one of the premier attacks in the Ivy League, an assertion reinforced by her Second Team All-Ivy League nod last year. The former St. Mark’s (Mass.) star has 107 career points (80 goals, 27 assists) so far, plus has represented the U.S. U-19 national team. Princeton has won the Ivy League tournament championship each of D’Orsi’s two years on campus, falling both times in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina | GK | Jr. | Londonderry, N.H.
Hennessey spent her freshman season backing up fellow New Englander Caylee Waters (Darien, Conn.), then seized the starting job in 2018. The former Brewster Academy (N.H.) star isn’t guaranteed to start in 2019, but her role at this ACC powerhouse program should be interesting to track nonetheless.
Michigan | M | Jr. | Darien, Conn.
Kirby has featured in every game since joining Michigan for the 2017 season, truly bursting out as a sophomore with 24 points (22 goals, two assists). The Wolverines puttered to a 7-10 record last year, but the former four-time state champion at Darien (Conn.) High School has acclimated well to life in the Big Ten.
Duke | M | Soph. | Hingham, Mass.
Landry started all 17 games as a rookie, offering 12 goals and 11 ground balls for a sub-.500 team out of the ACC. The Blue Devils haven’t recorded a winning season since 2016, but this former Hingham (Mass.) High School star is a building block for the future.
Stanford | M | Jr. | Rye, N.H.
Lemos made a name for herself locally at Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.), where she led the Lions to a 16-1 record during her senior season. After seeing little playing time as a freshman, Lemos’ role at Stanford expanded in 2018 with eight points (seven goals, one assist) in 17 appearances.
Denver | M | Jr. | Tiverton, R.I.
Little, a transfer from the University of Vermont, started 18 games for the Pioneers last year, scoring 15 goals and adding five assists. The former Tabor Academy (Mass.) standout’s efforts helped Denver to a NCAA tournament second-round appearance vs. Maryland. Denver also finished third in the Big East during Little’s first season in the program.
George Mason | M | Jr. | Amherst, N.H.
Since switching to the Atlantic 10 for the 2014 season, George Mason has largely been in the conference’s top third. That trend continued in 2018 with Johnson playing a key role, making it 61 career points (48 goals, 13 assists) through two seasons.
Lafayette | A | Sr. | New Canaan, Conn.
Novick has started every game for the Leopards across the past two seasons, finishing second on the team with 48 points (43 goals, five assists) last year. She’s a former prep school standout at Convent of the Sacred Heart (Conn.) and member of the U.S. U-19 national team. Her twin sister, Matty, also plays for Lafayette.
Notre Dame | D | Sr. | Wilton, Conn.
Pearsall is a three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, one who started 19 games last spring for a 10-9 Fighting Irish team. Along the way, Pearsall picked up 26 ground balls and caused 22 turnovers. She was a three-sport athlete in high school, also playing basketball and soccer.
Northwestern | M | Soph. | Waltham, Mass.
It’s typically hard for first-years to break into a lineup, but Pinzone showed promise during her initial season under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller (Hingham, Mass.), a former standout at Thayer Academy. Pinzone made 16 appearances and was tied for the team lead in goals for first-years, suggesting bright days are ahead at the Big Ten program.
Saint Joseph’s | M | Sr. | Londonderry, Vt.
Sabol will serve as one of four captains for the Hawks this spring, and it’s easy to understand why given she has 77 career points (58 goals, 19 assists) through 56 games. The former Burr and Burton Academy (Vt.) standout has been a model of consistency, helping SJU navigate the Atlantic 10.
Davidson | M | Sr. | Winchester, Mass.
Sgroi’s impact was curbed during her first two seasons for the Wildcats, posting a combined 10 goals and three assists. Then, as a junior, Sgroi enjoyed a breakout campaign of 23 goals and nine assists as Davidson made the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Before college, she was a standout at Newton Country Day School (Mass.).
Drexel | M | Sr. | Glastonbury, Conn.
Shettle served as co-captain as a junior, speaking to the leadership she offers Drexel, a CAA program. Across the past two seasons, Shettle has 33 caused turnovers and 34 ground balls, so perhaps the former Glastonbury (Conn.) High School star will go out with a bang in 2019.
Columbia | M | Soph. | Fairfield, Conn.
The former three-sport athlete at Fairfield Ludlowe (Conn.) High School enters 2019 on the tail end of a breakout sophomore season that included 13 goals and five assists. She does a bit of everything for Columbia, one of two schools – Brown University is the other – without an Ivy League title.
Army West Point | M | Jr. | New Canaan, Conn.
Stewart took home Second Team All-Patriot League honors last year after posting 28 points (24 goals, four assists), following up a freshman season of 26 points (17 goals, nine assists). She’s a former three-sport captain at New Canaan (Conn.) High School, one who should help the Golden Knights build off a 10-7 season.
North Carolina | D | Soph. | Windsor, Conn.
Trenchard, who has experience with the U.S. women’s national training team, started 21 games as a freshman at this ACC powerhouse program. That should come as no surprise, given she was a three-sport captain at Loomis Chaffee (Conn.) and a two-time first-team USILA All-American.
Denver | D | Sr. | Groton, Mass.
Wilkinson is a three-year starter for the Pioneers, one who has contributed 54 ground balls, 33 caused turnovers and five draw controls across that span. Last year, Wilkinson played a major role in Denver’s first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2014. Now, the team will look to capture its first Big East title.