EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 9, 2013

Slein will attend the Air Force Academy

Stick-ing it to the competition

High School Lacrosse
Christopher Smith

---- — Central Catholic senior Colleen Slein’s life will change quite a bit on June 23.

Slein will be attending the Air Force Academy. She flies to Colorado with her family on the 23rd, four days before she is required to be there.

“I’m sufficiently nervous,” she said, laughing. “But I know I have a great support system behind me and I know everybody’s excited for me. I really appreciate that. That helps a lot.

“I’ve never experienced anything in a military lifestyle. So I just think the whole military atmosphere will be tough but challenging in a good way. I’m looking forward to it more than I am nervous.”

Slein, a tri-captain for Central girls lacrosse, would like to become a pilot. She, of course, is a very strong student. She takes AP English, psychology and biology.

Slein has no immediate family members who have been in the military but one of her grandfathers was in the Navy and the other was a member of the Air Force.

She visited the Air Force Academy in early September and immediately loved it.

“Our family friends have two daughters who are currently attending there so I got to actually shadow a cadet for a day,” Slein said. “It was an unbelievable experience. I just fell in love with it. After I walked out I was like, ‘Why would anybody want to go anywhere else?’”

The Air Force does have a club team that Slein plans to try out for. She attended a Falcons football game when she visited in September.

“That atmosphere was amazing,” she said. “The cadet section was awesome. There’s such an energy I want to be a part of.”

Slein is from Windham and Paul Cino, now a Windham assistant, coached her in youth lacrosse.

“He’s a huge inspiration to me because he actually went to West Point,” she said.

“He’s helped me a lot and given me a lot of advice (about being in the military),” Slein added about Cino. “So we keep in touch. I’d say our families are pretty good friends.”

Central junior Kelly Daigle added about Slein: “She is one of the best captains I’ve ever had on any of the teams I’ve been on. All three captains this year are very strong captains. Colleen is a great person overall. She has a nice personality and is funny but she can be serious and get us in line when we need to be put in order. And the fact that she’s going into the Air Force, it’s just great. It’s a great path for her to take.”

Central success

Slein has seen a lot of improvement with Central since she joined the program as a freshman. Central entered this week having gone 68-32-1 since its inaugural season in 2008.

“In the past four years I’ve definitely seen progression from a team that was weak fundamentally and now we’re really strong fundamentally and we’re beginning to work as a team passing around,” Slein said. “And our transition looks great. So I’m excited. It just keeps getting better.”

Central’s offense this year has been anchored in large part by attacker Kelly Daigle, who already has surpassed the 30 goals she had last year and had an eight-goal performance late in April in a win over Arlington.

The eight goals was her career high.

“I didn’t really even know how many I was scoring,” Daigle said.

“I was just getting the opportunities, getting open and getting the passes and putting them in. We had come off a loss and we were all pumped up and wanted to come back strong. And we came back strong against Arlington.”

Methuen looking strong

Methuen girls lacrosse went just 2-10 last year in its inaugural varsity season.

This year has been a much different story.

Methuen has a 7-3 record and 4-1 mark in the MVC.

“I feel like a big thing is motivation and just me instilling into the girls that they do have the talent and what it takes to continue to progress as we have been doing,” Methuen coach Krystal Ortiz said.

“Their skills are improving. Definitely a huge improvement from last year.

“A big thing I’ve been trying to instill with them is just seeing things ahead of time and anticipating plays,” Ortiz added.

Abby Galloway-Burke has been vital to the offense. She scored nine goals in a recent 23-11 victory over Dracut.

“With Abby’s background in basketball, I think that helped a lot with her game because girls lacrosse is a reflection of basketball with a lot of the movement and scoring,” Ortiz said.

Like father, like daughter

Pinkerton junior Kennedy Daziel enjoys playing for her dad, head coach Rob Daziel.

“My dad has been my coach since I was 6 years old,” Daziel said.

“So when we’re on the field together, I just look at him as my coach and he looks at me as another player. We talk about lacrosse at the dinner table all the time.”

People always ask her whether it’s weird to be coached by her dad.

“No, it’s not weird for me because it’s so natural,” she said. “It’s been happening my whole life. It’s really no different from being another girl on the team.”

Daziel is one of Rob’s four daughters. All of them play lacrosse. Kennedy’s older sister Riann was the Mount Olive’s offensive MVP and an all-conference player this spring. She netted 44 goals and added 11 assists for a team-leading 55 points.

“It’s really the family thing,” Kennedy said.

“My grandmother is so into it. When I was actually born, she got me a lacrosse stick.”

Pinkerton power

Pinkerton girls lacrosse has looked strong this year. It entered Tuesday vs. Belmont with a 9-2 record. “I’ve had multiple go-to (scorers) this year,” coach Rob Daziel said.

“There’s a solid four girls who are consistently scoring. Her (Kennedy Daziel), Maggie McCarthy and Erin Coutts and a few others (are scoring). And Sierra Sanchez is a nice addition this year. So they’re all doing well.”

Terrific Zullo

Zach Zullo has anchored a stingy Whittier boys defense that has held three different opponents to just one goal.

“He’s been the most hard working and physical,” Whittier coach Ryan Richards said.

“His stick handling is unbelievable. He’s been shutting guys down on the right side.”

BOYS FAB 5 (records entering Tuesday)

1. Pinkerton 11-1

2. Andover 8-3

3. Londonderry 7-2 (doesn’t include Monday)

4. North Andover 10-3

4. North Reading 10-4

Honorable Mention: Whittier 10-1, Pentucket 8-4, Brooks 7-4, Pelham 7-3

GIRLS

1. North Andover 10-4

2. Windham 10-1

3. Londonderry 6-4

4. Pinkerton 9-2

5. Methuen 7-3

Honorable mention: Andover (3-5-2*) Central 9-4, Phillips 6-2, Brooks 6-3

* Doesn’t include Monday