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    Needham, Sudbury players emerge as game changers for Notre Dame women’s lacrosse


    Dalton, Sexton help boost Notre Dame

    Needham teen Alex Dalton was the Globe’s Player of the Year in girls’ lacrosse last spring, an offensive force who sparked Hingham’s Notre Dame Academy to the Division 1 state championship.

    Rachel Sexton was a Globe All-Scholastic in 2012 who helped lead Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High to four Dual County League lacrosse titles, and, like Dalton, earned All-America recognition.

    As teammates at the University of Notre Dame this spring, they played starring roles for the nationally ranked women’s lacrosse squad, which finished 10-9 in its first season competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference.


    Sexton, a sophomore, scored seven goals in two NCAA tournament games while Dalton, who was converted to defensive midfield in her first collegiate season, led the ACC in ground balls and forced turnovers.

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    Perhaps the team’s most improved player, Sexton was second on the team in goals (33) and third in points (40). She played in just six games as a freshman reserve with three goals and an assist, and she surpassed that point total with four goals and an assist in this spring’s season opener against Cincinnati. Her brother, John , who graduated from Lincoln-Sudbury this month, is headed to the South Bend, Ind., school in the fall as a recruit for the men’s team.

    The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association named Dalton to its all-West region and all-rookie teams. She was second on the squad with 38 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers, and also chipped in with 22 draw controls. Dalton led ND’s defenders with three goals and five points.

    “Rachel has an incredible ability to change speed and find the back of the net. Her strongest performances at the end of the season came against some of our toughest opponents,’’ said Notre Dame head coach Christine Halfpenny, “and Alex’s athletic gifts of speed and agility made her one of our top match-up defenders. She made smart adjustments during the course of a game, something that you don’t see most rookies do easily.’’

    Needham’s Salaun was squash star

    At 5 feet 6 and 135 pounds, Henri Salaun was slight in stature but his accomplishments were huge.


    A longtime Needham resident who died at the age of 88 early this month, Salaun was a nine-time finalist in the US Open in singles squash, and won the title four times. He was a member of the inaugural class of the US Squash Hall of Fame in 2000, and an age-group champion on the New England tennis circuit.

    At a 1965 tennis tournament held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill, Bill Powers , the superintendent of Needham’s school system at the time, was both a winner and a loser, thanks to Salaun.

    The then-39-year-old Salaun, who had not won at Longwood since 1944 when he played in the New England boys championship, defeated Powers en route to the singles title in the junior veterans division. Then the two teamed up for the doubles crown.

    Salaun coached youth soccer in Needham, and was a member of the Needham Pool & Racquet and Needham Tennis clubs.

    Blaze team advances in AAU tournament

    The North Central Blaze, a team of 10th-graders coached by 2009 Ayer High graduate Mark Jenkins , won the Amateur Athletic Union’s Division 3 state boys’ basketball championship last month, and qualified for the AAU East Coast championships to be held June 27-30 in Hampton, Va.


    Area players on the squad include starting guard Jonathan Durben and forward Peter Fredericks , both Ayer residents who attend Ayer Shirley Regional High, and forward Thomas Jackovitz of Harvard and the Bromfield School.

    “They all worked incredibly hard,’’ said the 23-year-old Jenkins, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Connecticut. He was manager for the women’s team that won the NCAA title in 2010, and was given a Huskies championship ring.

    Eddy, DeLucia join
    NE-10 Hall of Fame

    Southborough resident Marc Eddy was the NCAA Division 2 record holder with 121 career touchdown passes as the quarterback for Bentley, graduating from the Waltham college in 2005. Franklin’s Stephanie DeLucia won 70 games on the mound and hit .466 for her career on the softball diamond for Assumption College as a member of the class of 1999.

    Both were honored as inductees to the Northeast-10 Conference’s Hall of Fame at its recent year-end banquet. The 2001 Bentley national champion field hockey team was also inducted.

    Eddy led the Falcons to their only two NCAA tourney berths, and received the Agganis Award as the top senior football player in New England.

    DeLucia won the NCAA Division 2 batting title in 1998 with a .566 average. She is still the Assumption program’s leader in runs (155) and doubles (63), and ranks second in hits (260), third in triples (12), fourth in RBIs (124), and fifth in home runs (16).

    Local notables

     Skidmore College senior women’s tennis captain Lee Ford of Newton was named the Liberty League’s Player of the Year and was a repeat Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American in doubles after reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division 3 tournament.

     John Andreoli, a former St. John’s High and UConn baseball star, was named to the Southern League’s North Division all-star team. An outfielder with the Double A Tennessee Smokies, the Cubs farmhand was leading the league in stolen bases.

     Belmont’s Katy Ananian, goalkeeper on the Wheaton College women’s lacrosse team, has been named a tricaptain for next season.

     Wellesley College won this year’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Women’s Presidents Cup. The Blue captured three conference championships and finished second in three other sports.

     Dean College athletic director John Jackson was named the Under Armour AD of the Year in the junior/community college division for the third time.

    Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.