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McLaughlin seizes opportunity in lacrosse

McLaughlin seizes opportunity in lacrosse

Jun 14th , 2011

The followiing story was printed in the Fremont Tribune:

By Tony Gray

Bree McLaughlin finally found an outlet for all her offensive energy.

The Plattsmouth native was named the first All-American of Midland University's club lacrosse team during its trip to the national tournament in late May.

McLaughlin earned the honor after leading the program in scoring with 34 goals this spring as a sophomore. She added 13 assists for 47 total points and ended with a shooting percentage of 61 percent.

All the offensive success is something new to her. McLaughlin is also a goalie on Midland's soccer team - a position she has played all her life.

She said she saw lacrosse as new opportunity when she first stepped on the field two years ago.

"It looked like a lot of fun; I never really watched it before but heard about it," she said. "It was frustrating at first, I'm not going to lie. I went from playing defense and blocking shots to being on the attacking end and trying to fake out that goalie.

"I like it. I like being able to get the best of both worlds."

Her soccer world didn't spin at all in the fall. She suffered a knee injury and didn't spend one minute on the field. She said it was tough, especially after seeing action in 13 games and starting five during her freshman year at Dana.

She first started playing lacrosse for coach Kevin Blair at Dana and when the school closed its doors last summer she came to Midland as part of the Dana@Midland initiative.

Blair said despite not growing up playing lacrosse, McLaughlin stuck with it and finally started to see the success he knew she could have.

"It's kind of been a process with her; she's a great athlete and always had great confidence in her soccer skills but she was a little bit hesitant about it last year," he said. "She scored a few goals early this season and I think she kind of really enjoyed the feeling of that and it was a driving force inside from that point on."

Blair said he was somewhat surprised when he first saw her on the lacrosse field as a freshman and is continually impressed with her motor.

"She has incredible moves. Lacrosse is a game where you are really rewarded for your quickness and agility and she has both of those," he said. "I have to keep talking to her about pacing herself. As a midfielder she's going 100 yards constantly - it's from a little more than a jog to a sprint for 60 minutes so you have to be in pretty good shape."

Her moves and drive on the field helped her reach new heights this season.

She led the Central Plains Women's Lacrosse League in scoring and was named an all-conference midfielder.

The scoring surge was unexpected, McLaughlin said.

She said she finally started to feel comfortable toward the end of last season and it carried over to this season.

"I just kind of picked up where I left off," McLaughlin said "I didn't expect anything; I wanted to be that leading scorer but it was still kind of shocking yet nice to know all the hard work can pay off. I still have a lot to learn, no doubt."

She led a crew of seven Midland players who finished in the top 10 in scoring in the CPWLL.

McLaughlin said she credits her teammates for the team's success this year.

"We have such good leadership on the team which really helps; it's nice knowing that there is somebody always there that's got your back to cover you," said the nursing major. "Normally we were playing with 10 people while other teams had 22 on their roster so we were busy."

McLaughlin won't go so far as to say she expects to lead the team and conference in scoring again next season. She said she's fine with whatever happens as long as the team can accomplish the same feat it did this spring.

"I expect us to make it back to nationals, I'll say that much," she said.

http://fremonttribune.com/sports/college/midland/article_71472bc6-93e4-11e0-baf6-001cc4c03286.html