Shipley School senior midfielder Tara Stokes has signed a National Letter of Intent today to play Division I lacrosse at Duke University.
Stokes is a three-time first-team All-Friends Schools League choice and collected 72 goals and 51 assists last year in helping the Gators (16-5) reach the Friends Schools League championship game.
Stokes, an Academic All-American pick in 2009, has 169 goals and 112 assists in her career. She served as captain as a junior and was elected to be a captain again as a senior.
Stokes, who plays club lacrosse for the Phantastix, has played the last two years at the National Tournament and was on the Philly 2 team this past spring. She also plays soccer and squash at Shipley and has been captain two years for each team.
At Duke, Stokes will play under head coach Kerstin Kimmel, a Haverford High graduate. She chose Duke primarily for its well-regarded combination of academic and athletic programs.
“That was a key; I knew they had a great reputation for academic and athletic programs,” said Stokes, who helped her team win the 2007 Friends League title by notching five goals in the championship game. “When I got to campus, I met the girls and the coach and everything clicked. Plus, there is a great Philly group of girls. It was a lot of fun.”
At Duke, Stokes will major in economics. She always was interested in the field, but whetted her appetite the summer after her sophomore year when she was selected to participate in the Drexel University Business Camp, an intensive business education program run by TD Bank (then-Commerce Bank). In the program, Stokes was a member of the team champion in the competitive business stimulation project.
Stokes credited one of her teachers, Mrs. Charlene Weigel, for motivating her to pursue economics as a career. Weigel has taught her in Economics and this year in Global Studies.
“There was a whole series of events that fueled my enthusiasm,” Stokes said of economics. “I always had been curious about it. I love current events, and economics ties into that so well. Plus, I have a teacher that is absolutely fabulous.”
Stokes said the Gators will hope to challenge two-time defending champion Germantown Friends for the league title in the spring.
“We didn’t lose too many seniors, we were a pretty young team last year and we definitely want to get back to the championship game,” she said.