Healey of women’s lacrosse dedicates confidence to her team performance
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Sophomore Nicole Healey of the women’s lacrosse team is off to a hot start this year, as she leads the team with 20 goals in nine games.
Midway through the season, Healey’s 20 goals is two thirds of the 30 goals she scored during her entire freshman season. She has also managed to record five assists and total 25 points.
Healey attributed her increase in scoring to simply getting used to playing lacrosse at the collegiate level.
“I think it’s just confidence,” said Healey. “Freshmen year is obviously a learning experience and a transition from high school to college. Getting the confidence in my freshman year, that I can go out and play at this level, is really all I needed.”
Healey’s confidence showed in the Owls’ seventh game of the season vs. Saint Leo University, as she scored three goals, leading Southern to an 8-6 victory.
Maureen Spellman, the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, was very pleased with not only Healey’s performance vs. St. Leo, but also her overall season up to this point.
“Healey is a force and she knows her main job is to score goals for us,” said Spellman. “She really came through that day, understood her job, and finished the goals that she had the opportunity to score. She’s someone we look at to run the offense.”
On top of being one of the best players on the team, Healey is also one of the most dependable players. She started 16 out of the 17 games in 2015 season, and has started all nine games this year.
There’s more to the Owls offense than just Healey, yet most of it comes from the underclassmen.
The top three leading goal scorers on the team are Healey, freshman Samantha Cozzolino (15 goals) and sophomore Carolynn Keal (13 goals). Spellman believes that the lacrosse team could be building something great with all this young talent.
“We’re still a very young team and the statistics reflect it. Everyone still has a lot to learn, so I think it’s going to be something really special when they’re seniors,” Spellman said.
With the underclassmen doing most of the heavy lifting on the team, they’re also looked as leaders on the team. Spellman believes that Healey has led the team by example this season.
Healey has tried to embrace the role of a team leader and knows that it’s something the team needs.
“I think that it’s important that I try to help us stay together so we play as a team and a unit,” said Healey. “Obviously if I’m not doing my job we’re going to struggle. So it’s important that I make sure I’m doing my job, and make sure the rest of the team is playing to the level they can play at as well.”
Healey’s success on the playing field also translates inside the classroom. Healey was a Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection during her freshman year.
Just like Healey’s transition from high school lacrosse to college lacrosse, her academics went just as smooth.
“I think it just comes down to organization skills and just prioritizing your time,” said Healey, “Making sure I do what I need to do on and off the field always comes first.”
Healey’s goal scoring threat hasn’t stopped, as she recorded her fifth hat trick of the season this past Saturday in the Owls’ 17-5 loss against Saint Anselm College.
The next time to catch Healey perform for the Owls will be on April 7 against Stonehill College.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications