March 14, 2007

Dowd Paces W. Lax With Speed, Vision

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In her three years on the women’s lacrosse team, junior Noelle Dowd has become an indispensable member of the squad, on and off the field. More than just a speedy and aggressive midfielder, Dowd is an all-around player with keen field vision and a natural aptitude for leadership.

“It’s great to play with Noelle because she has such a good sense of the field and helps covey that to others,” said senior captain Margaux Viola. “She always has ideas about improving our offense and many people look to her for this guidance.”

A native of Yorktown, N.Y., Dowd began playing lacrosse in sixth grade.

“Growing up in Yorktown where lacrosse is a huge part of the community, it was very natural that I would pick it up,” Dowd said.

At Yorktown High School, Dowd was a four-year starter and earned numerous accolades, including first-team high school All-America honors in her senior season. Dowd also garnered praise as skilled soccer player, basketball player and track and field athlete.

Here on East Hill, Dowd started off her Cornell lacrosse career on the right foot. In her freshman season, she started five times, scored five goals and had three assists in the 13 games she played in 2005.

Still, it wasn’t until her sophomore year that Dowd fully emerged as an intimidating force on offense.

In 2006, Dowd started all 16 games, scored 30 goals and had seven assists. Aside from being one of the leading scorers on the team, Dowd proved her skill all over the field, becoming one of the best players at forcing turnovers and picking up ground balls. This season, after just four games, she is already well on her way to meeting and exceeding the standard she set last year.

“Noelle is a really quick player who has an incredible ability to shake any defender in a 1-on-1,” Viola said. “She is probably the best rider on the team when we’re trying to get the ball back. She has a ton of caused turnovers and at the same time has very few turnovers herself, making her a consistently dominant player.”

To get ready for games, Dowd doesn’t have any strange pre-game rituals, but she does listen to music in order to focus on the game. It has been working for her these past three years as Dowd has already achieved a lot. Last year, she was a part of one of the most successful women’s lacrosse teams that Cornell has seen in years.

“By far my proudest lacrosse achievement would be being part of the first Cornell women’s lacrosse team to win the Ivies,” Dowd said.

While Dowd is clearly a talented player, her focus is not on her own achievements but on the success of the team. This season she will be working hard to help the 2007 squad realize its full potential.

“My goal is to be the best team we can possible be,” Dowd said. “We want to be national champions. There are no limits.”