Her path to earning offensive player of the year honors in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference was not always direct.
But ultimately, Lexi Lenaghan knows she made the right decision in her move to Babson College.
The Notre Dame Academy-Hingham grad started her collegiate lacrosse career at Hofstra, where she was named to the Colonial Athletic Association all-rookie team. She compiled 32 points as a sophomore.
However, she yearned to be closer to home, and play at the Division 3 level, allowing her to focus more on academics. She also reunited with her former high school teammate, Mairead Williams, who transferred to Babson from New Hampshire.
On the field, the return to form was immediate. Last spring, as a junior, she broke the program’s single-season scoring record, collecting 102 points on 68 goals and 34 assists. This season, she was even better (86 goals, 32 assists, 118 points) in a 13-6 campaign that included an 8-0 mark in the NEWMAC.
Babson fell short, 11-10, in the conference final to Springfield College.
Lenaghan walked with the graduating class last Saturday, but will return to Babson in the fall to earn her final credits.
The Globe got a chance to catch up with the Hanover native after her record-breaking final season.
Q. What does it mean to finish your senior year as the NEWMAC’s Player of the Year?
A. It was a goal of mine, the second I walked onto the field at Babson — I wanted to be recognized as the best player in my conference and this year, I saw no one in my way of that goal. It was also a team goal as well because my team supported me through everything and everything I did was a result of their hard work.
Q. Your first year at Babson, you broke the single-season scoring record. This season, you broke that record. Satisfying?
A. It’s so surreal to me. Coming from Division 1 to Division 3, I was settling for nothing but being above average coming here. I wanted to leave my footprint and my own legacy, even though I was only [at Babson] for a year and a half. That was something that I personally wanted to achieve from the second I stepped onto that turf.
Q. What do you look for in shot selection?
A. There’s kind of two different ways I go about this. When I’m dodging, I’m usually dodging from behind so I look for ways to get that powerful shot off because as soon as I get around that defender, there’s an open lane and if my hands aren’t up, I’m not going to get shooting space. Cutting is more precise and focused shots because they happen so fast. Cutting to the middle is a focus thing because you have to know where you’re going to put the ball before it’s in your stick by noticing where the goalie is and what stick her hand is in.
Q. Do you plan on staying involved with the game?
A. A lot of people ask if I’m going to coach in the future and I definitely want to stay involved with the sport. I want to focus on my career in business first and foremost, but I have a great connection with my high school team [NDA] and I’d love to volunteer there and my younger sister [Olivia, a junor at Thayer Academy] still plays lacrosse. I’ll probably play with the girls in the fall just for fun, it’s something I can’t really shake.
Q. As a business major, what’s been your hardest class at Babson?
A. Managerial accounting . . . I think anyone at Babson will tell you that. The curriculum for that specific class is a grind to say the absolute least, with the library hours we put in. I had to retake this class because Babson didn’t accept my credit for it from Hofstra, and taking it a second time, it was a completely different course because of how Babson teaches it.
Q. What are your plans for the summer?
A. I’m working at Dell EMC as a summer sales intern for 10 weeks to go through a rigorous sales training program.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I really would love to work in commercial real estate post-college but I’d like to try to dip my feet in different industries to see what I like the best and just to have experience in all that I can.