FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP: Two-Sport Athlete Earns Accolades

Over 40 Crimson athletes were named first-team All-Ivy during the 2010-2011 seasons.

One athlete received the honor twice. Her name is Melanie Baskind.

Baskind, a captain of the Harvard women’s lacrosse team in 2011 and a newly-elected captain of the soccer team, had a remarkable junior campaign to say the least.

In the fall soccer season, Baskind finished tied for first in the Ivy League in goals with nine. In the spring lacrosse season, Baskind finished 13th in the conference in scoring, averaging 1.75 goals per game.

“Mel is the most unbelievable person that I know,” said fellow soccer captain Lindsey Kowal. “Her character and personality are unparalleled.”


Despite being tabbed by some as the top lacrosse recruit in Massachusetts during her senior year at nearby Framingham High School in Framingham, Mass., Baskind at first decided to focus solely on soccer at the collegiate level.

She made her mark on the soccer pitch immediately, earning the 2008 Ivy League Rookie of the Year Award. But after her sophomore soccer season, Baskind felt one sport just wasn’t enough.

That spring, she picked up her lacrosse stick for the first time since high school and immediately entered the starting lineup. The sophomore rookie made the transition look seamless, starting all 15 games and finishing second on the Crimson in scoring.

If there were any questions about whether Baskind’s lacrosse play would hinder her performance on the soccer field, they were quickly answered this fall.

Baskind started 16 of 17 games, boasted the highest shooting percentage on the team, and had a career-high nine goals.

In one memorable contest against Princeton, Baskind accounted for all four of Harvard’s scores in the 4-0 win, finishing with two goals and two assists.

This spring, Baskind captained the lacrosse team to its best finish since 1994, finishing first on the Crimson in groundballs and fourth in scoring.

But Baskind’s teammates were most impressed by her ability to step up when the team needed it most. When the Crimson trailed 6-0 to New Hampshire on April 1, Baskind ended Harvard’s scoring drought with an unassisted score that ignited an 8-0 Harvard run.

“Mel is a huge momentum player,” lacrosse teammate Danielle Tetreault said. “She’s one of those people that leads by example. People feed of Mel’s energy.”

Despite her personal accomplishments this past year, Baskind was most excited by the growth she saw in both the soccer and lacrosse teams.

“[Getting named first-team All-Ivy] is a nice perk, but it was more of a fun year just in terms of both the teams really getting better and seeing so much improvement from last year,” Baskind said.

Looking forward to next year, Baskind hopes that improvement will earn her a different award—Ivy League titles.

“The goal right now is to win two Ivy championships next year, and I think it’s a pretty realistic goal,” Baskind said. “I don’t even feel like I’m shooting for the stars by saying that one.”

—Staff writer Martin Kessler can be reached at