By Dave Kurtz
Courtesy of Pac-10sports.com
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/8/11
La Salle University was a late entry in the Kelly Furman sweepstakes.
But once the Explorers piled all their chips on the bargaining table, Furman, the three-sport star and Boyertown senior, was convinced that the Division I program in Philadelphia was the right landing spot.
“It was an offer I couldn’t really look past,” said Furman Tuesday during a mock signing ceremony at the high school, announcing her intentions to attend La Salle. “The coach talked to me the last week of April, I made one visit and they made an offer.”
To borrow from ‘The Godfather’ – it was an offer that Furman simply couldn’t refuse. Months ago Furman was pretty much committed to attending Division III Ursinus College, where she’d play soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring, following in the footsteps of her older sister Allison.
Allison Furman was a first-team IWLCA All-Metro Region and first team All-Centennial Conference selection in 2011 as a senior midfielder for the Golden Bears, and Kelly figured that would be a good fit for her academic and athletic pursuits.
But that all changed dramatically as the school season wound down and Boyertown made some serious noise in the postseason, winning its eighth straight Pioneer Athletic Conference championship and advancing to the first round of the PIAA Tournament as the sixth seed from District One.
The Bears’ strong playoff run, keyed by Furman’s electrifying play, obviously piqued La Salle’s interest. A door had suddenly swung open, and Furman was more than willing to jump through.
“It will be different, but I’m ready for the big city,” said Furman. “I should see time at attack or midfield (as a freshman). Last year, La Salle struggled , but they were really young. Before that, they were competing for league championships. I hope I can help them get back to that, and make a difference.”
Furman made a major difference in the fortunes of Boyertown girls sports during her tenure. There were six championships – one in soccer (2009), two in basketball (2010, 2011), three in lacrosse – and Kelly was a major player in every one.
“The past years it’s been a pleasure to watch her, see her grow as an athlete,” said Boyertown athletic director Madison Morton. “Now that she’ll be specializing in one sport, she’ll really have the opportunity to grow beyond what we’ve seen in high school. She’ll be focusing on one sport, and we’ll be able to see a side of her we haven’t seen before.”
Furman, who will major in chemistry at La Salle, thinks the transition to one sport will be an easy one. But there is always the chance she could incorporate soccer into her athletic curriculum further down the road.
“When La Salle recruited me, they told me I could play both (soccer and lacrosse) if it would make or break the deal,” said Kelly, the daughter of Ed and Barb Furman of Gilbertsville. “But one sport is hard enough to do at the Division I level. I could play soccer later, but right now I’m ready to start a new thing.”
That new thing will be demanding and require a year-round commitment. La Salle will be playing in five tournaments during the fall and ramp it up again with its full-scale spring schedule. In between, there’s strength and speed conditioning and skills work.
“I’ll be working out all year round, so it’s not like I’m going to have much off-time,” said Furman, a first team All-Pioneer Athletic Conference midfield selection this spring who finished her scholastic lax career with 105 goals and 70 assists. “There’s pool workouts and weight training. I’m excited to be focusing on one sport, to put all my efforts into lacrosse.”
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