Lauren Pickett, a sophomore at Messalonskee High School, is part of a team that is representing Maine at the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania this weekend.

The 16-year-old Sidney resident is one of three sophomores to make the 18-member team.

“I’m just going down there for the experience,” she said last week. “I’m excited to play with a great group of girls and practice with them and play against so many great players. I’m nervous, but I’m also excited to show off what I can do.”

Over 70 teams, at least one from each state, take part in the two-day tournament, which is spread out over seven divisions. The Maine team, which began play on Saturday, will match up with teams from California, Ohio and Oregon.

Pickett made the team after a tryout of about 75 girls at Thomas College.

“It’s an opportunity for her to play with really high-caliber players, which always makes you a better player,” said Messalonskee coach Ashley Pullen, who helped run the tryouts.

It’s also a chance for Pickett to get college coaches to notice her. She said over 100 college coaches attend the tournament to scout future prospects. Pickett, who hopes to play for a Division I college but is keeping all her options open, admitted the butterflies have been building up because of the audience and the competition.

“It can be intimidating, but I think it’s a mental game,” she added. “If you go in nervous, you just have to shake it off and show what you have.”

Pickett, a lefthander, plays primarily attack for the Eagles, who are 10-1 this season and No. 1 in the Class A North Heal points standings. But she is also one of the team’s most versatile players.

“Honestly, she could play anywhere on the field,” Pullen said. “When Nathalie St. Pierre was injured earlier in the year, she played a lot of midfield. She played defense in the drills at the tryout. She’s a lefty, but her right hand came a long way in the offseason.”

Pickett has the best hands and best stickwork on the Messalonskee team, Pullen said.

“She has a great eye for feeding and assisting and really good knowledge of making sneaky cuts, knowing where to cut, how to attack and when to attack. And she can obviously finish,” Pullen said.

Through 10 games, Pickett had 26 goals and two assists with 19 draw controls and 33 ground balls.

After this weekend’s tournament, Pickett and Messalonskee teammate Ally Turner, a sophomore from Oakland, will head to Springfield College to take part in tryouts for the Brine Lacrosse Pride of New England, where they will compete for a roster spot on the New England team for the 2016 Brine National Lacrosse Classic in Virginia July 19-22.

Turner, a midfielder, had 39 goals and 19 assists through 10 games for the Eagles.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.