Slattery takes aim at Lasell marks
Ashley Slattery is closing in on the career points record for the women’s lacrosse program at Lasell College in Newton. The senior captain never envisioned such lofty goals while she was a student at Weymouth High.
“I played with some talented teammates in high school and usually on defense, so I was more in the background,’’ said Slattery, who took a year off after graduation to earn money for college, and also served as a volunteer assistant coach for the varsity girls’ squad at Weymouth.
Her first coach at Lasell, Marushka Eddy, moved Slattery to midfield and then to center, and watched her blossom as the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and a second team all-conference selection.
“She saw something in me, and getting those awards [was] both a surprise and a confidence boost,’’ said Slattery, whose arrival at Lasell has coincided with the steady improvement of the lacrosse program.
The Lasers were 8-8 in 2010, 11-8 the following year, and 15-4 last season, when Eddy’s successor as head coach, Cait Connolly, led the squad to a program record for wins. Lasell advanced to the conference title game and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division 3 tournament the past two seasons.
“Ashley controls the pace of the game for us. She’s our leader and she’s mentally tough,’’ said Connolly, whose team was 8-2 overall, 5-0 in the GNAC, and riding a six-game winning streak after a 20-9 win over Emerson on Wednesday. “She’s also elusive in tight spaces, has a great shot, and can shoot with either hand.’’
A three-sport athlete in high school, Slattery was awarded a $500 lacrosse scholarship by the athletic department her senior year.
Her season of coaching, she said, “made me realize that playing is a privilege and you have to work hard. It gave me a new perspective. Now, as a captain, I realize it even more.’’
Through 10 games, Slattery had scored 32 goals and added a conference-best 27 assists. She is the third 200-goal scorer in program history.
A first team all-conference pick as a sophomore and junior, Slattery “does all the little things that make her a great player,’’ Connolly said. She holds the school’s season record for ground balls, and game and season records for draw controls.
“Lasell was a great opportunity and a great fit for me,’’ said Slattery, an exercise science major who aspires to be a personal trainer and eventually a strength and conditioning coach.
“I love the sport. I enjoy being on the field with my teammates, and Coach has been a great teacher,’’ she said.
“We’ve made it to the championship game twice, and I really feel we can go all the way this year.’’
Slattery’s teammates include junior attack Kelsey Conroy (Marshfield High), sophomore backup goalkeeper Michaela Doughty (Scituate High) and freshman defender Suzanne Nguyen (Quincy High).
“Michaela was a defender last year, but we had an injury and she’s stepped up for us. She had some experience as a field hockey goalie in high school,’’ said Connolly.
“Suzanne impressed us in the fall and has been a pleasant surprise. She gives us speed and quickness and we’re working on developing her stick skills, and Kelsey is a hard worker who also brings a spirit of helping others to our team.’’
Ducinski earns pitching honor
Brandeis University senior Casey Ducinski was excelling on the mound and at the plate with a 5-2 record and 3.08 earned run average and a .324 batting average (12-for-37) through 17 games. Ducinski, a Patriot League all-star and team MVP at Duxbury High, was named the University Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week for the first time in her college career.
Over a four-game span, she went 2-1 with seven strikeouts and a 3.00 earned run average in 14 innings pitched, and also went 4 for 10 with two RBIs, two runs scored, and her first career home run on March 29 against Emerson College. Her outings included a complete game 2-0 loss at Wellesley College, and victories in both games of a doubleheader with Emerson.
Fahey, Allen rack up track kudos
Area track standouts receiving conference recognition included Bentley University senior Caitlin Fahey of Bridgewater and Tufts University senior Kelly Allen of Norton.
Fahey was named Northeast-10 women’s Track Athlete of the Week after provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Division 2 championships in the 1,500 meters, after a personal-best time of 4:31.12 at the Raleigh Relays at North Carolina State University, just 0.95 seconds off the school record. Fahey also ran a leg for the Falcons’ 4x800 relay team that posted a 9:36, second best in program history.
Allen, meanwhile, scored 22 points in three events to help host Tufts win the Snowflake Classic. She was second in the shot put (42 feet 8¼ inches), and third in the discus (143 feet 4 inches) and hammer throw (164 feet 1 inch). She was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.
Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@ rcn.com.