Being an athlete and an athletic trainer are two different aspects of participating in a sport. On one side, the athlete is putting her body on the line every day, sacrificing herself for the team just to get a win. The other side, athletic trainers can go as far as taping up an athlete’s ankle before the game, to coming to the aid of a player who just received a life-threatening injury. For senior captain of the Keene State College women’s lacrosse team, Nicole Curry, she accommodates both in her life and continues to be just as successful an athlete as she is an athletic trainer.
Curry, an athletic training major who has started for the women’s lacrosse program at midfield since her freshman year, played at New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy and had a standout scholastic career. Earning first-team All-State honors, the Hampstead, N.H. native also was a U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American as a junior in high school.
After being recruited to KSC by head coach, Katie Arsenault who was just taking over the program and in her second season, Curry bloomed into one of Arsenault’s top players and took an immediate starting role as a freshman.
Curry excels in the transition game for the Lady Owls and is one of three of her teammates that were selected to be second-team All-LEC last season. Curry (19 goals, 20 assists) was not among the team’s top scorers last season but Arsenault said that the lengths of Curry’s importance go much farther than just stats.
“On the field, she’s the most consistent player that I’ve ever seen in my … five years,” Arsenault said. “She’s improved on things, like when she came here she didn’t really know how to play defense that well. She’s now one of the most solid midfielders that we have had and she just consistently goes out there.”
Arsenault continued, “She goes out there and contributes when she needs. She sets more picks than anybody else and makes things happen more than anybody really realizes.”
A humble but aggressive Curry has always had the drive to be the type of player Arsenault has seen out of her captain but her pursuit for success doesn’t stop when she steps off that turf. Being not just enrolled in the athletic training program, Curry also tutors fellow classmates who pursue the same degree.
“It’s a lot of commitment,” Curry said. “I had to take an extra semester in order to play lacrosse for four years so it’s definitely a lot of commitment. I’ve learned how to manage time well over the past four years but it’s been a lot of work.” Curry continued, saying that playing for the lacrosse team is a highlight of her college career and is something she can hold onto for life.
“I loved it [playing lacrosse],” Curry said. “I wouldn’t change it. I love the atmosphere that our team has; we all are very good friends and we hangout with each other all the time.”
Senior teammate, Lauren Brown (53 goals, 4 assists), who’s been with Curry since the beginning and is also another important piece to the puzzle for Arsenault’s Lady Owls, said Curry has been there every step of the way. Not only have they played on the same team the last three seasons, but they have also grown together.
“We’ve definitely been leaders of our class I’d say helping freshmen and underclassmen get better,” Brown said. “We do lead by example and definitely by [Curry] with her strong voice on the field and how she never gives up telling people to push their hardest. We definitely would have had a different team dynamic if she wasn’t here throughout the years.”
With a team that has won the Little East Conference title in the last two seasons and faced trepidations like graduating eight starters after winning the first title, Coach Arsenault is much more proud than just mere words can describe of her captain. Coming back to win it again the following season with virtually a whole new starting lineup led by Curry and Brown is astonishing on its own, Arsenault said.
“She’s [Curry] been like a solid rock through the whole thing,” Arsenault said. “She never once looked at the team and didn’t think it was going to be the same. She just kept her cool the entire time. I don’t know if she’s realized how much the team looks up to her. I think everyone respects her enough that whatever she says really goes and is most beneficial to the team.”
Back home in Curry’s native Hampstead household, being the only girl in a family filled with boys who played baseball, Curry’s aggressive side was certainly pushed at times whenever she played with the boys in the backyard, whether it be basketball or just wrestling around like most siblings do. Curry’s older brother, Patrick Curry, graduated from Newbury College in Brookline, Mass. recently after playing for the D-III baseball program there.
Her brother said that his younger sister has always been one to never back down no matter what sport was being played. “Well we push her and there’s always the joke, ‘you play like a girl’ and stuff like that but she always held her own,” Pat said.
“She’s always been pushed whether it be, my father, my mother. My father’s more of the athletic focus and my mom’s more of the academic focus but either way all of us have been pushed and I think that translates over to her ability to play lacrosse.”
The Lady Owl captain said her brothers have been great in pushing her due justly to the common sibling rivalry.
“I have three brothers and we all play sports even though none of them play lacrosse, we just have that competitive edge that my brothers bring into the family that just carry through with all my sports,” Curry said. “That competitive drive has just pushed me to prove that I’m just as good an athlete as they are.”
Pat said his sister has always been one of the hardest workers he has knows. In college, Curry said her days start at 7 a.m. and don’t end till 9 or 10 p.m. at night when all her homework is finally done.
After being nostalgic of the past, Curry’s older brother was quick to mention how the whole Curry family feels about all the things the only daughter in the family has accomplished not only the field but off the field as well.
“They’re all very proud of her,” Pat said, “Looking back on it now, it’s amazing what she’s done. She kind of jumped into lacrosse kind of late and she just took off. I can speak for myself and say that I’m very proud of what she’s accomplished in high school and college and am anticipating to see her just do great things.”
Now entering her last season in an Owl uniform, Coach Arsenault said her captain has been so solid over the last two years that she doesn’t feel comfortable enough to begin the annual preseason selection of next year’s captain. But with nothing hindering the factor of time, Arsenault hopes for the best out of her captain’s final season.
“She just really wants to play and get involved in it all and she’s confident enough that she’s worked for three years to become the player she is now,” Arsenault said.
She added, “She is who she is and she’s a person where I want people to see that and she gets the respect she deserves from everyone around the league. She’s just such a solid player for us overall, I mean she is our midfield and I just hope everyone sees it. I don’t want her to just feel like she’s leaving here and say, ‘Oh, well that was fun.’ She’s going to do amazing things when she gets out of here, regardless of what field she goes into.”
Curry’s final season as the captain of the Owl’s program is set to begin on March 4 against a challenging Springfield College team. With her hopes high for the coming season, Curry will be using all the tools she’s gained over her career to give this one last season her all.
Dalton Charest can be contacted at