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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Amherst’s Larivee helps Bentley reach lacrosse heights

Becoming a team leader is a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but Amherst’s Chelsea Larivee is certainly moving in that direction for the Bentley University women’s lacrosse team.

Last spring’s step included a spot in the starting lineup and a selection to the Northeast-10 Conference’s All-Rookie Team. The team’s choice for Rookie of the Year, Larivee finished third on her team in goals (27), assists (11) and ground balls (40).

This spring the versatile midfielder earned second-team all-conference honors on a team that was ranked eighth in the nation at one point, the highest ranking in Bentley history.

Larivee, a standout on both offense and defense, did a little bit of everything for the Falcons, finishing third on the team in goals (28), fourth in points (36), tied for third in caused turnovers (13) and fourth in ground balls (24).

But it was in one statistical category that Larivee made the most dramatic improvement, leading the team in draw controls with 47.

“Lacrosse is all about possession,” Larivee said. “So I put a lot of emphasis on improving my game in that area.”

Lavrivee is used to winning. At Souhegan she played in Division I title games her first two years and was part of a very talented championship team her sophomore year.

Playing in a very tough division, Bentley improved from 9-8 last year to 13-6 this spring before losing to LeMoyne, 12-2, on Saturday in the conference semifinal.

The Falcons had a pair of wins against New Haven, including a victory in the first round of Northeast-10 Tournament. Larivee, who scored in all but four games, had a season-high four goals against Southern New Hampshire on March 21.

“I think I tried to be a little more aggressive this year,” Larivee said. “As a freshman you try not to step on anyone else’s toes. This year I tried to just let loose.”

As for becoming more of a team leader, Larivee said it’s a role you come to gradually.

“I think the older you get the more you are able to say,” said Larivee, whose older sister Meredith is a Bentley graduate, and whose younger sister, McKenzie, is a basketball and lacrosse standout at Souhegan. “It’s all about everyone working together.”

Larivee is working on a double major at Bentley, marketing and liberal studies.

BEKAH JACKSON

Plymouth State sophomore Bekah Jackson, of Nashua, who sat out most of her freshman year with a thumb injury, is finishing up a record-breaking spring for the softball team.

Jackson had a single-season school record 61 hits going into Tuesday’s ECAC Tournament game with Rivier. She also leads the Panthers in hitting (.433), doubles (14), runs scored (44) and is second on the team in home runs (five) and RBIs (32).

SHANNON CONNERTY

Freshman Shannon Connerty, of Nashua, scored three goals and added an assist, but the Plymouth State women’s lacrosse team was upset by Western Connecticut, 10-9, last Friday in the Little East semifinals, ending the Panthers 13-game winning streak.

Connerty finished the season with a team-high 53 goals and was second on the team in points with 69.

KEVIN McGOWAN

Franklin Pierce sophomore pitcher Kevin McGowan, a Nashua North graduate, is tied for the team lead in wins with six, as the 15th-ranked Ravens open postseason play this week.

McGowan is 6-2 with a 3.27 ERA. In 63 1⁄ 3 innings, he has 73 strikeouts and has allowed 57 hits.

LOGAN GILLIS

Junior second baseman Logan Gillis, of Merrimack, enters the postseason as the leader in both RBIs and doubles for the Bentley University baseball team.

Gillis, hitting .318, has knocked in 38 runs in 50 games and has 13 doubles.

KEYLA SALAZAR

University of New Hampshire junior Keyla Salazar, a Nashua South graduate, finished third in the javelin at the America East Championship on Saturday for the women’s track team.

Salazar’s third-place throw was 155-feet, 3-inches.

KATELYN ROESER

Nashua North guard Katelyn Roeser has committed to Newbury College. An outstanding outside shooter, Roeser was a Division I All-State selection and was named North’s Most Valuable Player last winter. She was twice selected to the state’s All-Academic team.