Allison LaBeau — the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team’s top scorer — was not the team’s No. 1 recruit.
In fact, the junior attacker was playing on her club’s B team when Lehigh’s head coach Jill Redfern saw her play at a camp during her junior year of high school. LaBeau said Redfern contacted her high school coach after and said she was interested.
LaBeau verbally committed to Lehigh a week later.
She was awarded Patriot League Rookie of the Year at the end of her freshman season, and she now leads the team in scoring with 57 points in 12 games, already surpassing the 48 points she scored last season.
“Our coach (Redfern) kind of refers to her as a diamond in the rough,” junior goalkeeper Taylor Tvedt said, “because she was so underrated, and then she came in and immediately filled a top position for our scoring unit.”
LaBeau has led the Mountain Hawks in scoring every season since she was a freshman, and each year her number of points per season has increased.
“I’ve taken the experiences that I’ve learned (from) in the past two years and have built off of those,” LaBeau said. “Also, our coaches kind of build the offense around certain players, so I get a lot of touches on the ball.”
In addition to scoring, LaBeau has seen improvement in her confidence and composure on the field. She said she’s grown from freshman year where she would sometimes get nervous and throw the ball away. Now, she said she has more confidence to run out and find space in games.
Associate head coach Shannon McHugh and Tvedt also see an improvement in LaBeau’s confidence.
“(LaBeau) has grown in terms of her confidence and leadership,” McHugh said. “She always comes to practice ready to compete, and she’s one of the nicest and most calm players to coach.”
Tvedt described her as fearless, saying people can see the composure and confidence she has in herself, which rubs off on her teammates as well.
Tvedt’s compliments for LaBeau do not stop once she’s off the field. She said it is hard to think of anything negative about her.
“She’s such a sweetheart, which is interesting because it doesn’t exactly transfer onto the field where she’s really aggressive and competitive,” Tvedt said. “Off the field, you wouldn’t imagine that. She’s a really good friend and would do anything for anyone.”
LaBeau picked up lacrosse when she moved from upstate New York to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, in fourth grade. She said it’s a huge lacrosse town where many people play the sport. She said the environment contributed to her starting up with the sport.
LaBeau is not the only one experiencing success this season. The Mountain Hawks are 9-2 with five regular season Patriot League games remaining before the Patriot League Tournament. Although it’s the team’s best record since 2010, LaBeau thinks the team can continue to get better every day.
LaBeau cites the close bond all of the players share as one of the main reasons for the team’s success and easy connections on the field this year.
“Our coaches do a good job of bringing in the same type of people,” LaBeau said. “Everyone gets along with each other really well, and if you have connections off the field, it’s really easy to make connections on the field.”
For the past two years, the Mountain Hawks have lost to Boston University in the quarterfinals of the league tournament. Both she and McHugh agreed one goal is to make it past that first round of the Patriot League Tournament, as well as winning the championship.
“We definitely want to make it to the championship game,” LaBeau said. “It’s definitely attainable with the drive that our players have this year and the mentality that every single person wants to get there.”