For any athlete, career milestones can provide a boost of confidence due to their rarity. Kaitlin Nolan recently reached a notable milestone in a lacrosse game against the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Nolan, a junior on the Keene State College Women’s Lacrosse team, scored her one-hundredth career goal in a 16-8 win over UMass Dartmouth.
Nolan tallied six goals that day, but one goal will stand out more than any other.
“Obviously I’ll remember my hundredth goal,” Nolan said.
While Nolan said she is more than proud of her recent accomplishment, she also said that she never expected to get there when she came to college. “I would have never imagined that,” Nolan said.
“It wasn’t even one of my goals.”
Thanks to head coach Katie Arsenault and the rest of the Owls squad, Nolan’s game has blossomed since she first came to KSC.
When asked how her teammates have helped her succeed, Nolan replied, “They’re why I’m so successful,” noting that, when she was an underclassmen, her older teammates pushed her to work harder.
“It was nice for her to get the attention she deserves,” Arsenault said. Nolan leads the Owls in total scoring, with 44 goals and 15 assists. Arsenault said it’s more than that, however.
Arsenault added that, despite her status as leading scorer, Nolan always goes out with the intention of playing
and winning as a team.
Laura Gendreau is a junior defender for the Owls, and also happens to be roommates with Nolan. “It definitely makes for a stronger connection on the field,” Gendreau said when asked about the perks of playing with such a close friend.
“I knew she was going to reach it before she did, she never looks at her stats,” Gendreau said in regards to Nolan’s 100-goal milestone.
Gendreau wasn’t the first to explain that Nolan doesn’t check her statistics.
Nolan said she remembers games in which her performance suffered, but hardly ever checks her season statistics to know where she stands.
Along with her success in the points department, both Gendreau and Arsenault said that Nolan has become a leader on the field, mostly by example.
“She came out this fall ready to lead by example,” Arsenault said. “She goes out and she works out everyday.”Gendreau also said that Nolan is one of the biggest components on offense, which contributes to the team’s success.
“It’s more about the hard work you put into it,” Gendreau said. “She definitely encourages to practice how you play, that’s huge with her.”
Part of the reason Nolan has had such a successful career, according to her, is the mentor-like relationship she has developed with Arsenault.
“I’m a completely different player than I was in high school,” Nolan said.
“Katie, my coach, has had a huge impact on me and my success and my confidence as a lacrosse player,” she continued.
Nolan added that the team had a main goal coming into this season, and that was to bond as a group as quickly as possible.
Nolan said that with the amount of seniors that graduated last year, just as many new players would be joining the squad.
The Owls finished their regular season with a record of 5-1 in the Little East Conference.
Crae Messer can be contacted at email@example.com