By Jean DePlacido
---- — Emily Friend is set to begin her final year on the lacrosse field for the Waring School before taking her talents to Hobart & William Smith College in Geneva, New York. The senior from Hamilton, who was named Independent Girl’s Conference MVP and Academic All American as a junior, first fell in love with William Smith when she first visited the campus in her sophomore year.
“I have been talking to the lacrosse coach for a while, and made my official visit last fall,” said Friend, who is a midfielder. “I stayed overnight with the team, and knew right away that was where I wanted to play. I went for runs with the team, and everybody was so positive; I want to be a part of a community like that.”
Friend applied early decision and was glad to have all the stress of filling out applications over with early. She is interested in studying sports management and nutrition. William Smith had always been at the top of her list, but the highly recruited player was also interested in Hamilton College and Colby.
“I have played soccer all through high school, but from now on I’ll concentrate strictly on lacrosse,” she said. “I will miss soccer next year, but I have to concentrate on lacrosse. It’s a big adjustment, stepping up to the level of play at one of the top Division 3 programs in the country.
“I just wrapped up my last practice with Revolution, my club lacrosse team. I’ve been playing with them all through high school so that was kind of sad, but I’m very excited about our lacrosse season. We’re a younger team, but have lots of enthusiasm.”
The Mavericks open up against Landmark. Waring had won seven straight championships until finishing second last season. It didn’t help that Friend was sidelined with mononucleosis for the final two weeks of the season. She is a captain and plays the game with intensity and passion.
“She’s all about team all the time,” said Waring coach Ambrose Devaney. “Last year Emily led the league in assists, and she was selected All New England Prep the past two years. She’s a great leader, who works harder than anybody. The other kids try to keep up with her, but that’s not easy.
“William Smith is a great fit for her. They have a strong lacrosse program and a good academic reputation. That’s a perfect place for a scholar-athlete.”
Devaney said his favorite lacrosse memory happened last year and illustrated Friend’s skills on the field as well as her sportsmanship.
“Emily was on the fly with the ball in midfield. She faked out a defender, who fell in a heap,” said Devaney. “Friend stopped, picked the defender up, patted her on the back, and still beat the rest of the defense to the goal.”