Today: Jun 25, 2024

Shaw and Walter ready to lead the way

Aaron Johnson – Special to the Southern News

As a big gust of wind ripped through Jess Dow Field, equipment and personal belongings were scattered all over the sidelines, but the Southern Connecticut State University Women’s lacrosse team continued to brave the intense winds as they prepared for the upcoming season. 

Two Owls stand out in particular, senior attackman Katie Walter and senior midfielder Jess Shaw. Both have been recently named captains after being nominated by teammates. Something that Shaw said she feels is a meaningful gesture.

“It’s a great honor,” said Shaw, a nursing major from Beverly, Massachusetts. “It kinda show that they (our teammates) look up to us.”

Shaw started all 16 games for the Owls last season, finishing second on the team in points with 27 (22 goals and 5 assists). Walter, who majors in elementary education and history, finished last season with two goals, one assist, and 19 groundballs. Both dealt with their share of adversity over these past four years, fighting through injuries and losing many of their teammates to transfer. Walter said she takes pride in the fact that the two of them have persevered through the ups and downs.

“We stuck it out for the whole four years,” said Walter, who deals with a nagging injury after coming back from a torn ACL. “It’s kind of reoccurring, but you know, you have to just push through it.”

Shaw, who also has dealt with several pesky injuries including a foot to a knee, said she also plans on fighting through the pain for her team.

“It’s hard but it’s our last year, so it doesn’t really matter what the pain is,” said Shaw

It is that kind of attitude that has earned the respect of their teammates and of the coaching staff, including head coach Kelley Frassinelli.

“They have just been the epitome of what you want as representation for your program,” said Frassinelli, who also is the head coach of the field hockey team. “They are hard working athletes, they’re hard working with their academics, they are involved in all the community service, but they’re also involved with their team. 

Frassinelli also spoke about the leadership roles that the two have taken on as the captains, both on and off the field. 

 “They’ve been a huge role model for the players, work ethic wise on the field and just with their game, in general, where they have taken it this year,” said Frassinelli.

Frassinelli said she is proud of the improvement that both Shaw and Walter have shown since entering the program as freshman. It is given that captains work hard: Theses two go above and beyond the call of duty. 

 “They’ve grown as players over the years, but this year in particular just having that extra (confidence) that has helped them, kind of turn that corner,” said Frassinelli.

Shaw and Walter both said how much coach Frassinelli has meant to the two of them and to their growth as players. Shaw reminisced back to her freshman year being away from home.

“She’s such a role model, my freshman year I was a long way from home and she helped me with everything,” said Shaw.

Walter smiled as she praised her coach for always being there for her players.

“She’s always there for you if you need anything, you can call in the middle of the night and she will be there,” said Walter.

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