Hoffman, Everdell join forces in college
Exhibiting athleticism and poise, Arlington’s Kelsey Hoffman has earned conference defensive player of the week honors three times as the starting goalie for the Franklin & Marshall College women’s lacrosse team this season as a junior.
Showcasing her speed and a powerful shot, sophomore attack Emily Everdell of Littleton is the program’s third-leading scorer.
Together, the two give head coach Mike Faith a great 1-2 punch at opposite ends of the field — two reasons that a Centennial Conference tournament title and NCAA Division 3 berth are within reach for the program in Lancaster, Pa.
“Kelsey has worked hard to improve clearing the ball and communicating with our defense, she makes the tough saves and she’s been vital to our transition game,’’ said Faith, whose 13-3 team, ranked sixth nationally, takes on Haverford College in a Centennial semifinal on Saturday
“Emily didn’t get a lot of experience last year playing behind several seniors,’’ added Faith, “but she’s developed into a leader who plays like a senior, and she’s easily our fastest player.”
A graduate of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, Hoffman was encouraged to play lacrosse by her high school teammate, Needham’s Sarah Bullard , a member of the US women’s national team who starred at Duke. Hoffman had a 49.8 save percentage and 8.20 goals against average through last weekend.
“I first heard of lacrosse while in ninth grade at BB&N and I originally tried out as a field player,’’ recalled Hoffman. “The next day I was put in goal and I wound up starting every game for four years’’ at the Cambridge private school.
“This year, I’ve really focused on holding my position and I’m mentally tougher. I realize I’m not going to stop every shot, but as the last line of defense, I can affect the momentum of a game,’’ she said. “And I always tape my right wrist the same way.”
Everdell, an Acton-Boxborough Regional High grad, played in just four games last season, but she has racked up 30 goals (37 total points) and leads the Diplomats with 67 shots attempted. As a freshman last season, she said, she tried to learn from her more experienced teammates.
“I was ready to play this year. I was in game shape and I definitely come from a sports-minded family,’’ said Everdell, whose parents, Peter and Lee, were athletes in high school and whose sister, Christine, is on the track team at the Parker Charter Essential School in Devens.
“I worked really hard this summer to get my stick skills up and that’s given me more confidence,’’ added Everdell, whose mother teaches kindergarten in the Acton-Boxborough district.
Tamara Mills, a freshman midfielder and three-sport captain at Hopkinton High, has appeared in 13 games for Franklin & Marshall.
“Tam played field hockey here and she’s just learning our system,’’ said Faith, “but she can run forever and she gives a lift to our midfield.’’
McCracken surprised with golf award
The honors just keep on coming for revered Charles River Country Club member Harry McCracken, who last week received the Ike Grainger Award for his 25 years of service to the United States Golf Association.
The timing and locale could not have been scripted any better.
The 87-year-old McCracken, executive secretary and treasurer of the New England Golf Association, was running its annual spring meeting at Charles River, where he caddied as a teenager and later served three terms on its board of governors.
Karen Ammerman, representing the USGA’s executive committee, asked to speak.
“Then she presented me with the award and I was just flabbergasted. I had no idea that was on the agenda,’’ said McCracken, a Brookline native who played Charles River as a junior family member prior to Army service during World War II.
A 4-handicapper with the varsity golf team at Bowdoin College, he rejoined the Newton club permanently in 1951, and calls it “my second home.’’
McCracken, a past president of the Massachusetts Golf Association whose many friends in golf circles included the legendary Francis Ouimet, was honored in 1994 with the MGA’s most prestigious bauble, the Frank H. Sellman Distinguished Service Award.
He also has the distinction, along with his son, Peter, and wife, Jane , of making a hole-in-one at Charles River.
“Because of Mr. McCracken and many others of similar spirit, giving back to the game is a concept that does not require explanation at Charles River,’’ said club president Charlie Fox. “We have had seven Ouimet Fund presidents, and dozens of MGA and USGA supporters, but Mr. McCracken is our only MGA president .
“He is both admired and adored at Charles River and throughout amateur golf, and his 50-plus years of serving and protecting the game will continue to inspire us.’’
Here and there
Marlborough’s Bobby Butler, a former University of New Hampshire star who plays with the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, was recently named to Team USA. The squad will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship that begins Friday in Finland and Sweden. . . The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference has named Westfield State freshman Naloti Palma of Westborough its Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week, and Worcester State freshman Jackie Connors of Ashland its Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Week. Palma won the shot put and discus at the MASCAC/New England Alliance championships, while Connors had 11 points over a two-game span.