WLAX : Holden develops into consistent scorer for Syracuse in junior year

first_img Comments Published on April 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Near the end of her freshman season, Sarah Holden roared like she never had before. Holden stood in the middle of a circle with her teammates on the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team. To a bystander watching from afar, it would look like nothing more than a team discussing its Big East finale at Rutgers in April 2009.But the team made up what it calls the noise circle. Players make a cacophony of noises to get themselves and their teammates pumped up. The players were yelping and growling. But suddenly, this time, the quiet freshman Holden put them to shame.‘I had no idea I could do that,’ Holden said. ‘It just kind of came out.’Holden, who is now a junior, has changed a lot since her freshman year. This season the midfielder has started in nine of the team’s 12 games. She has scored in all but two of those games, amassing 19 goals on the season. That tally is the third most on the Orange (5-7, 3-1 Big East). Although she is not the team’s star, she said she feels established as a hustle player. And even after moving up the ranks, Holden still roars before every game.By the fall of her senior year in high school, Holden was still not committed to a college. Syracuse head coach Gary Gait arrived at SU that same fall to a recruiting class far from complete. He had seen Holden play against his daughter and remembered her.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘She was dominating at Marcellus (High School) and certainly the best player on the team,’ Gait said. ‘It was a situation where I got here in September and I had to regroup and find some last-minute recruits to fill a class, and Sarah was certainly one of the local standouts.’Holden said that when she got to SU, she went from being one of those local stars to being a rookie on an established college team.Over the past few years, senior attack Tee Ladouceur said the biggest change she’s seen in Holden has been confidence. Holden was a good athlete when she came in, but Ladouceur said she has become a much more effective contributor as she’s matured.‘Now that other people have graduated, she’s stepped into the roles of other people and has a much bigger role on the team these days,’ Ladouceur said.Last season Holden started only once and scored four goals. At the end of that season, she set goals of getting more playing time and earning a consistent starting spot. She worked particularly hard on her fitness in the offseason to achieve those goals.Now not only is she playing and starting more, but she has also scored at least once in each of the past seven games. She said this season she has been a utility player of sorts.‘I’m more of a hustle person, a person that can look to step up more but needs to fit the role of really whatever the team needs,’ Holden said.And although she is a standout in the noise circle, Holden often goes unnoticed in her role on the team because of the presence of strong offensive players such as Ladouceur, Michelle Tumolo and Katie Webster.Yet Holden has been a consistent scorer with the ability to get back and defend. Gait said Holden is particularly good at cutting off the ball, which helps get her open to score.Gait still sees room for improvement in the former last-ditch recruit. Despite the impressive number of goals she’s had this season, Gait wants her role on the team to increase.‘One thing she could focus a little more on is a little dodging and actually taking the ball to the net a little bit more,’ Gait said. ‘She could step up her shooting a little bit and score some more goals for us.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more