Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/15/10
Courtesy of SuburbanOneSports.com
Meredith Lavin’s resume is an impressive one.
The Central Bucks East senior was captain of her lacrosse team as both a
junior and senior and also was recognized as one of the league’s elite players, earning first team all-league honors in each of the last two years.
But that’s just the beginning.
Lavin – chosen as a Univest Featured Student-Athlete by SuburbanOneSports.com – also is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Spanish Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars. An honors student who carried a rigorous course load of advanced placement classes, Lavin boasted a 4.22 cumulative grade point average.
For good measure, Lavin is a Doylestown Hospital Teen Volunteer and is a member of the school’s Key Club. She has volunteered her time to numerous other local organizations as well.
But perhaps even more telling than all of that is a question that, according to coach Megan Macauley, the Patriots’ lacrosse team asked over the course of the year when a tough situation arose.
“What would Meredith do?” or “WWMD” were favorite sayings of this year’s squad when the players weren’t sure which way to turn.
“Meredith is a great role model,” the Patriots’ coach said. “She always gives 110 percent, and she’s the type of person who is very analytical and very studious.
“She achieves both on and off the field at an extremely high level.”
Lavin, according to the Patriots’ coach, was the undisputed leader of the Patriots’ lacrosse squad.
“She led by example, and she’s a leader on and off the field,” Macauley said. “She never has a bad thing to say about anyone. She’s an absolutely terrific person. “
Lavin also happens to be a pretty terrific lacrosse player as well.
As a junior, she was first team all-league on attack, and this year, she was first team all-league midfield. She led the Patriots in goals and assists and was the recipient of the Most Valuable Offensive Player award for the 2010 season.
“She’s extremely poised,” Macauley said. “She’s got great shot placement, and her stick skills are phenomenal.
“She very consistently works on them – not just in the season but out of season as well.”
It was a work ethic that undoubtedly had its start in the family’s backyard when Lavin first learned the sport under the tutelage of her father, who played collegiate lacrosse at the University of Massachusetts.
“That was his favorite sport also,” Lavin said. “That’s really where I got the knack for it.”
By the time she was in third grade, Lavin was playing lacrosse with the Central Bucks Athletic Association. She also dabbled in the other sports and competed in softball, soccer and field hockey as well as cross country and track and field for CYO.
“But lacrosse really stuck with me, so I stuck with that throughout my high school career,” she said. “I like that it is fast-paced and involved different things – you have to cradle and run at the same time, and catching and throwing are skills you need.
“Basically, I was good at it.”
Lacrosse quickly became a year-round commitment for Lavin, who joined the highly competitive club circuit with Tri-State the summer before ninth grade. The next three years she competed with the elite Ultimate Goal Lacrosse Club.
“Just having the year-round play kept my skills in check, and I kept in shape most of the year,” Lavin said. “When you go to a tournament, you would see people from different states and their technique and style.
“That’s where I learned different things.”
Lacrosse apparently runs in the family, and Lavin periodically ran into her cousin, who played for the Long Island Yellow Jackets.
“I would watch her play, and her style was totally different than mine,” Lavin said. “I learned some of my skills from her.”
This fall, Lavin will take her talents to perennial Division III power Washington and Lee where she plans to continue her lacrosse career.
“I know the college game is a lot faster and different, but hopefully I can develop as a player and reach my full potential that I know is out there,” Lavin said. “I just have to work hard to reach it.
“They have a pretty strong program. Hopefully, I can become part of that.”
The decision to attend Washington and Lee was a last-minute one.
“I went down there one week and met with the coaches and fell in love with it,” Lavin said. “The coach called me back the next week. I went on an overnight, and I knew it was the school for me.
“It was one of those things where you step on the campus, and you know it’s for you.”
Lavin will major in biology with plans to attend medical school or possibly pursue grad school and work in research-based biology.
“I have always wanted to be a doctor,” she said. “At first, I wanted to be a vet, but I’m allergic to cats, so I couldn’t do that.”
An interest in medicine runs in the family – Lavin’s father is involved in medicine and her aunt is a nurse.
“My dad watches all the Discovery health shows, and I would watch them with him,” she said. “I wasn’t squeamish about it like the rest of my family is. I was fine with it.”
To ensure that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, Lavin volunteered at Doylestown Hospital.
“I thought it would be a good experience – it would give a chance to be inside the hospital and also help people at the same time,” she said. “I also got to explore my options because if I felt I couldn’t handle the hospital setting, then that wasn’t the road for me.
“I’d know I wouldn’t want to go through all those years of school and not be happy.”
Lavin enjoyed her experience, confirming her career choice was a good one, and volunteering is clearly in her blood. She also volunteers her services for the Irish Skirmish, a benefit lacrosse tournament that is held annually. She participated in the Race for Hope in Philadelphia and helped organize and donated Easter eggs to the annual Easter egg hunt put on by A Woman’s Place.
“I like the gratification I receive from helping other people,” she said. “My parents instilled those values in me of helping others very early on in age, and it stuck with me.”
Lavin also believes that competing in sports teaches important life lessons as well.
“Teamwork is obviously key in sports and in life because if you can’t work with others, you’re going to go nowhere,” she said. “You have to be able to communicate with others and talk about what you want to do, and also, just the time management because I had to manage my school work and sports, so I had to have a good work ethic and study habits.
“You also have to find enjoyment in what you do. I wouldn’t be playing lacrosse if I didn’t like it.”
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