The Verona High School girls’ lacrosse team is on a tear this year. With an 8-3 record, they have scored 143 points against their opponents. But equally as important are the points that their opponents have not scored on the Hillbillies. The credit for that goes to the defense and to three-year varsity starter and goalie Melanie McClellan. With 85 saves on the season and just 19 goals scored against her, she is this week’s Verona Sports Boosters Senior Athlete of the Week.
The buzz about McClellan has been particularly strong in the last week. On April 20, the girls team scored a tight 18-16 win over key rival Mount Saint Dominic Academy. The outcome likely would have been different without McClellan’s 10 saves. Two days earlier, the margin of victory had been equally tight against Villa Walsh Academy, when McClellan made 14 saves on the way to a 12-10 Verona victory.
The key to McClellan’s record seems to be her demeanor. She stays calm under pressure and, in those rare moments when she is scored on, she shakes it off and gets back to the task at hand. It might be that the smiling lightness she shows as a piccolo player during the fall marching band season carries over to the sports field as well. McClellan will have a chance to show off her lacrosse skills in college, when she plays for Montclair State University.
During the 2011-2012 school year, the Verona Sports Boosters will be recognizing a different senior athlete at Verona High School every week. The Boosters support male and female athletes in all VHS sports through a variety of fundraisers and recognition events.