FEMALE BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP: Focus on Teammates Gives Sophomore Chance to Excel
When opponents focused on defending sophomore attacker Jennifer VanderMeulen, who has led the Ivy League in goals for two consecutive seasons, an opportunity opened up for her teammates to shine.
And sophomore midfielder Danielle Tetreault seized the chance to put up some results.
The midfielder finished the year second on the Harvard women’s lacrosse team with 42 scores, more than doubling her rookie effort and topping the Ivy League in free position goals. She also led the squad in assists for a combined 49 points.
“She definitely had a breakout season,” junior tri-captain Melanie Baskind said. “She worked really hard in the off-season. She’s taken up more of a leadership role and has been really helpful for our team this year.”
Although Tetreault played an integral part of the Harvard offense in her freshman year, tallying 20 goals and 10 assists, she had a far larger impact on the field this season.
“I think [VanderMeulen] had a lot of pressure on her since she had a great year last year… which opened a lot of us up to crash the goal and to step up,” Tetreault said.
Tetreault wasted no time in showing she would be an offensive threat in her sophomore season, contributing six goals in the Crimson’s opener against then-No. 6 Stanford.
But Tetreault was not just a threat on offense.
The midfielder was also a strong presence in Harvard’s defense, winning a team-high 29 draw controls, collecting 15 ground balls, and causing seven turnovers.
“In order to be successful as a midfielder, you have to pick up on things really quickly since you are splitting your time between the offense and the defense,” Baskind said. “[Tetreault] is an awesome dodger and is helpful on the attack, but the fact that she can go back and forth so quickly from offense to defense says a lot about her.”
Tetreault’s efforts did not go unnoticed, as she was named to the All-Ivy League second team and earning a spot on the Ivy League All-Tournament team in the Ivy League Tournament.
But she doesn’t want to stop there.
“My confidence grew this year,” Tetreault said. “When you come in your freshman year, the change to college is a big adjustment. It helps to have a year of experience knowing what it is like to play at the college level. Next year, I want to continue to improve my role as a midfielder through transitions and the tough breaks.”
—Staff writer Stephanie E. Herwatt can be reached at email@example.com.