By Molly Tow
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/28/11
Merion Mercy rising senior defender Grace O’Connor has made a commitment to play Division III lacrosse at NCAA Champion Gettysburg College.
In 2011, O’Connor helped lead Merion Mercy claim its third straight Athletic Association of Catholic Academics championship.
O’Connor, who plays club for the Brandywine Majors, is planning to major in a business-related subject at Gettysburg.
“I knew right when I walked on the campus that it was a good fit for me,” said O’Connor. “Gettysburg is exactly the kind of school that I was looking for and has a very competitive program that I can’t wait to join. Coach [Carole] Cantele is so enthusiastic about the team and is an incredible coach!”
Gettysburg won its first ever NCAA title in 2011, as it beat Bowdoin, 16-5, in the championships. Cantele, a graduate of Nether Providence (now Strath Haven), Cantele was named the IWLCA Coach of the Year and boasts a career record of 267-88 in 19 years.
Conestoga rising senior midfielder Emily McAleer also has committed to Gettysburg.
O’Connor is the second girl from Merion Mercy to make a commitment to play college lacrosse. Teammate Bonnie McShane has committed to Division I St. Joseph’s University.
Merion Mercy reached the second round of the District 1 tournament where it lost to eventual champion Downingtown East.
“We had a few ups and downs as a team this past season,” O’Connor said, “but we finished the season strongly with a big win in our championship game against Villa.”
A conference championship is rewarding, but O’Connor still sees room for improvement and further progress in 2012.
“Our goals will definitely be to be able to go to districts again, and hopefully get the chance to go to state playoffs,” said O’Connor.