March 28, 2008

Farrell Hones Defensive Side of Game

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Despite the balanced offensive numbers, if you ask scouts or players who the Red’s most dynamic offensive weapon is, they will undoubtedly point to senior attacker Courtney Farrell. The 5-3 Syracuse-area native has led the team in scoring for three consecutive years, and is posed to do so yet again for her senior campaign. But this year, Farrell is not just a goal-making machine, she’s a more complete player than in seasons past.
“I think that this year as a senior, I’m really seeing her leadership improve and seeing her maturity on the field,” said head coach Jenny Graap ‘86, “and how important that aspect is to her overall success.”
Leadership is a quality often associated with Farrell. In addition to being a playmaker on offense and leading the team on the field, Farrell makes a significant effort to help the players bond off the field as well.
Most freshmen, with a few notable exceptions, don’t see much playing time during their rookie campaign; their role is more cheerleader and apprentice than superstar. But that divide in playing time doesn’t hinder Farrell from getting to know her younger teammates.
“She’s really close with a lot of the younger players,” said Farrell’s classmate and fellow attacker Charlotte Schmidlapp. “She goes out of her way to hang out with the freshmen, bring them to basketball games and stuff and gets to know them. She sets a good example for the rest of the team, but also she really stands up for the underclassmen.”
On the field, teammates and coaches alike mention her natural talent with the lacrosse stick, which has helped her on defense and in transition, as well as on offense.
“She certainly has a great stick and a great eye for the feed and an excellent shot, so her offensive skills are very developed,” Graap said. “But this year she’s really stepped up her game and improved in the defensive aspect of the game. She’s more consistent, more reliable, more patient on the defensive side of the ball and I think all of those things have really improved her contributions to the entire team so she’s not just Courtney Farrell, an attack player. … She’s Courtney Farrell a terrific all-around [player] and someone who is important on the draw control and in transition as well as on the attacking end. She’s more diverse and more dynamic as a senior.”
“She’s got a knack for a great stick and she gets a lot of good checks off and she’s good in transition, she sees just sees the field really well,” Schmidlapp said. “She can kind of anticipate players and come up with the ball too. When there’s a loose ball she’s nine times out of 10 coming up with it.”
As good as Farrell has been the past three years, you can expect improvement again this year as the team tries to rebound from a 5-10 2007 campaign.
“She’s really stepped up this year,” Schmidlapp said. “She just is a great attacker basically and has great vision and is a great teammate.”