By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/12/08
Abington defender Kelly Condon said she was looking to find a balance when she decided on committing to Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., as a senior.
While it was not a Top-10 school, Condon liked the fact that Marist has been successful in recent years at the Division I level and also has a strong academic standing. What’s more, she is majoring in mathematics and is seriously considering the field of education.
Condon and Abington teammate Lisa O’Donnell – who committed in the last minute to Lafayette – are only two of many Philly women’s lacrosse players who signed with Division I programs and are starting their freshman year.
A full list of the Division I signees as compiled by LaxPower can be found by clicking here.
Condon, who committed in the fall of her senior year, said she considered many factors when choosing Marist. “I fell in love with the campus,” said Condon, the MVP of the Suburban One National Conference and a second-team All-Phillylacrosse.com selection. “I was not looking to go to a high top 10 school; I wanted to get a pretty good shot of getting in some games (immediately).
“It (Marist) had a good campus and it has my major. They’ll give me a good education. Anybody I’ve heard from has good things to say about it. It has a good mathematics program and I might turn to being a math teacher.”
Condon first was recruited by former Marist coach Noelle Cebron, a college teammate of Condon’s sister, Megan, at Temple. Last year Tonya Kotowicz was head coach and now Laura Campbell has replaced her.
But Condon said the coaching changes have never bothered her and that she’s adjusting well to college life and the strict training of fall season.
“Every day we practice from 3 to 5 p.m. and on some days we start at 6 a.m. with conditioning,” said Condon, whose team went 10-9 last year and won its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. “I did basically the same thing in high school. We didn’t have two-a-day practices, but I am pretty used to having lacrosse all year around.”
O’Donnell, unlike Condon, did not commit early, and, in fact, was concerned she may miss out because she still had not made her choice as the season moved into late April.
O’Donnell did not play on the club scene in the summer and was somewhat of an unknown. But in the spring she scored 81 goals and helped the Ghosts share the Suburban One National title and reach the quarterfinals of the Class AAA District 1 tournament.
Her top choices were Lehigh and Lafayette, but she was still on the waiting list at Lehigh in late April and was unsure about Lafayette because the coach had left and the team had struggled through the 2008 season at 2-15.
But then former Lafayette great Alison Fisher – a native of Horsham – got the job and O’Donnell’s choice was easy.
“The former Lafayette coach (Kathy Frick) had recruited me, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come here,” O’Donnell said. “Lafayette always was my top choice academically.
“Then I found out Ali was going to coach; I had heard about her. That made it an even easier choice. I knew she could change the program.”
O’Donnell admitted she was starting to worry about finding the right Division I college as the season progressed.
“Around May 1 I had to make a decision and I really hadn’t, so I was nervous,” said O’Donnell, an honorable mention All-Phillylacrosse.com pick. “Kelly (Condon) knew and a bunch of girls in our league had their choices. North Penn had four girls going Division I and I wouldn’t say there was jealousy, but I was not satisfied with my position.”
O’Donnell is considering a major in economics or business and wants to pursue a career in sports marketing or management.
“I am really excited to be here,” O’Donnell said. “My high school coach (Julie Martinez) raves about her (Fisher). She has already made an impact and she’s told us what she wants from us. We hope to pull it all together during the season.”