Lehigh Mountain Hawks senior Lauren Beausoleil, left, and junior Kelly McBrearty pose before practice on Tuesday, March 1, 2017, at Frank Banko field. McBrearty is named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and Beausoleil earned second team All-Patriot League honors. (Chang Sun/B&W Staff)

Same face, new place: Ridgewood High School’s McBrearty and Beausoleil

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Junior Kelly McBrearty and senior Lauren Beausoleil have been playing lacrosse together for seven years.

As players on the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team, they each said their relationship has only become stronger since their four years together at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

McBrearty, who played attack in high school but plays defense at Lehigh, said playing on a different side of the field as Beausoleil, who plays midfield, is a welcome change.

“(Beausoleil) was my captain my junior year in high school,” McBrearty said. “She has always been a player I have looked up to when it comes to lacrosse.”

Last season, Beausoleil tied for the second-most goals on the team with 29 and the second-most assists with nine.

Beausoleil agrees that playing with McBrearty is different now than it was in high school.

“Playing with (McBrearty) in high school is nothing compared to what it has been like playing with her in college,” Beausoleil said. “We have become much closer both on and off the field and we have had the ability to play together more.”

Beausoleil said she has tried to be a positive role model for McBrearty. As an older player, Beausoleil said she’s tried to help guide McBrearty since she was a freshman to build her into the best player she can be.

In 2013, the last year the two women played together in high school, the Ridgewood women’s lacrosse team’s record was 18-5. The team won the Group 4 North State Sectionals but lost in the finals.

While McBrearty was still a senior in high school, Beausoleil was already starting her lacrosse career at Lehigh.

“My decision to play at Lehigh was not influenced by (Beausoleil) very much, but the fact that we would be playing together again made the decision much more exciting,” McBrearty said. “She was one of the first people to call me to congratulate me on my commitment. However, knowing that she would be here solidified my decision that much more.”

When Beausoleil first heard McBrearty had committed to Lehigh, she said she was beyond excited. She said she knew McBrearty was a hard worker and a great player from when she played with her in high school and couldn’t wait for her to play lacrosse at Lehigh.

A major adjustment for both women after coming to Lehigh was the year-round training schedule. According to McBrearty, playing college lacrosse is much more demanding than high school lacrosse was.

“Our high school program was very competitive and successful,” McBrearty said. “However, we did not have the extensive training during the offseason as well as in season like we have now in college.”

In addition to year-round practices, the time commitment aside from practice can be challenging.

“In college you have a lot more on your plate than high school,” Beausoleil said. “Classes are tougher, there are mandatory meetings, sometimes 6 a.m. lifts and individual practices to attend.”

Another major difference between high school and college lacrosse is the speed at which the game is played. Beausoleil said that her high school practices were run at a slower pace than those at Lehigh.

“The pace of both practice and the games is almost not comparable to high school,” Beausoleil said. “At Lehigh, our coach, Jill (Redfern), makes sure we are using our time as effective as possible by doing drills one after the other with very little down time.”

Having a training season year-round has helped the two develop a deeper bond. Both women agreed that they have become a lot closer since they’ve been at Lehigh.

“In high school it can be difficult to stay close with teammates when you only are playing together during one season of the year, especially when you are not in the same grade,” McBrearty said.

This is Beausoleil’s last season playing lacrosse for the Mountain Hawks. She said being a senior, she now appreciates the privilege of playing at Lehigh more than ever before.

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