Liz Sugg has no problem doing her part on and off the lacrosse field.

The Erskine senior changed her role on the field this season, becoming a distributor and setting some screens. As a captain, she also became something of a player-coach, willing to help less experienced players improve.

In turn, the Eagles had their most successful season of the program’s six-year existence, finishing 10-4 and falling just one game short of a Class C championship game appearance.

For her role this season, Sugg is the Morning Sentinel/Kennebec Journal Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year.

Sugg was an integral part of an Erskine team that went 9-5 last season. The season was highlighted by a 6-5 upset win over Winslow in the quarterfinal round. Entering this season, Eagles head coach Shara MacDonald made plans to get the most out of Sugg’s versatility.

“Last year, her assignment was to kind of lag behind the cage,” MacDonald said. “Be there to pick up stray balls. Curl it around (the net) if she could. This year, we put her right out front. It was the best place for her, because she’d pick a side, set screens and score goals.”

While there would be plenty of opportunities to score, it was also Sugg’s responsibility to set screens for Erskine’s other goal-scorers, namely, the Linscotts — Jordan and Joanna. MacDonald said she had no trouble changing Sugg’s role, thanks to her selfless attitude.

“Liz has just blossomed into an amazing attack,” MacDonald said. “The part I like about her is, she can go in and score, but she set a lot of screens for the Linscott girls and anybody else who had the ball. She did it all the way up the field. To be able to get somebody to do that, it’s hard, because (players) want to score. But Liz could always see opportunity where some kids didn’t. And she would get herself in place so that her teammates could take advantage of what she was doing.”

Erskine entered the season with an abundance of newcomers to the sport. Sugg took it upon herself to help those players get comfortable with the game.

“The first two weeks of practice and tryouts are always a learning period,” Sugg said. “The upperclassmen are always called upon to help the new girls, and we had a lot of girls in their first year playing. I guess, in regards to my role with trying to help make the team better, I would always try to find someone who didn’t feel as confident with passing, or catching, or shooting, whatever it may be, and try to work with them and give them some of my tips for playing…I think (any advice) helps when you are bringing someone into a new scenario. Just to make them feel comfortable and confident is the best way to teach them how to play any sport.”

Despite mid-season struggles against the likes of Winslow and Cony, Erskine battled throughout the season to finish with the No. 2 seed in the Class C standings. Unfortunately for the Eagles, their season would end like the season before, at the hands of eventual state champion St. Dominic in the semifinal game.

“Overall, the season was great,” Sugg said. “It ended shorter than I would have hoped for, but it was still a great game. Usually, the last playoff games, all the seniors are very emotional, because it’s the last game that they play together. We were, I guess, at peace with it, because we all tried our hardest that game.”

Sugg has done her fair share off the field, too. For the last two years, she has helped build homes in Costa Rica and Guatemala with AFS Intercultural Programs, an international student exchange organization.

“Both trips were extremely moving, and eye-opening,” Sugg said. “To see just how people live differently, but also their (every day) challenges, living in areas where there’s obviously not as many resources and education. It’s really cool, and all the students are always touched by the experience…It’s really cool to say that you built a house.”

Sugg plans to attend Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she will study neuroscience and political science. She also plans to join the Peace Corps after college.

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