Hand junior Lauren Cole has developed into one of the best all-around lacrosse players in the area, contributing and dominating in every phase of the game. But she is the first to admit her success didn’t come easy.
“I’m always working hard in the offseason to get better and help my team,” said Cole, who competes for the Nor’easter Lacrosse Club of New Haven in the offseason. “Any success I’ve had is the result of two things, a lot of personal hard work and the hard work of my teammates.”
Cole was a scoring machine this spring, setting a single-season school record with 105 goals. But she also contributed 25 assists, 70 groundballs and 51 draw controls.
She excelled in the areas that don’t show up on the stat sheet with leadership, patience and the maturity to know when to wait and when to attack.
For her effort, Cole has been selected as the Register Girls Lacrosse Area MVP.
“Lauren is obviously very talented,” Hand coach Kevin Siedlecki said. “She’s gotten that way because she is never satisfied. She is always identifying areas she can improve and working on those things outside of practice.
“In terms of the gameplay, she has the ability to take a game over on her own. But she is really good at recognizing when she should do that and when it’s better to work the ball around. The vast majority of her goals come in a true team setting, when she finishes the fast break or receives the feed after the whole team has created the shot.”
Hand has a long tradition of success and each year the ultimate goals are winning the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament and the Class M state title.
The Tigers fell short this season, losing to Cheshire in the SCC final and getting eliminated in the Class M quarterfinals. Despite the disappointments, Cole was still impressed with her team’s effort.
“Heading into this season, we were coming off a 10-10 season in 2013,” said Cole, a two-time Register All-Area selection and the SCC player of the year. “We ended up with 14 wins this season, and finishing 14-6 is a big jump compared to last season. Sure, it would have been nice to win a championship, but I’m really proud of what we accomplished.”
Despite her dominant role in the offense, Cole said she never feels pressure to score a lot of goals.
“The only pressure is the pressure I put on myself,” Cole said. “ I know that if I have a poor game, other girls like Erin Mammele will come through for us.”
Already committed to play at Fairfield University, Cole has one item serving as motivation for her final high school season.
“I’ve never won an SCC championship,” Cole said. “Cheshire has won the SCC tournament the last four years. The SCC title is one thing I’ll be working hard for in the offseason. It’s my first goal. The other goal is to go as far as we can in the Class M tournament.”