PA Girls’ Lax Squad Well Represented in College Play

Since being started by veteran Pinkerton Academy multi-sport coach Bryon Murphy many years ago, the PA girls’ lacrosse program has produced superb teams and athletes season after season. Just ask the opposition.

Now coached by former Londonderry High School boys’ lacrosse All-American Rob Daziel – who has led his Lady Astros to state championships each of the last two springs – the Pinkerton varsity squad has had many players go on to have noteworthy collegiate careers in the sport. And this past spring, several Pinkerton lax coaches were able to state proudly that their own children had enjoyed fine collegiate lacrosse campaigns at their respective schools.

Daziel’s eldest daughter, Riann Daziel, enjoyed a strong sophomore campaign for the University of Mount Olive Lady Trojans in Mount Olive, N.C.

The skilled attack helped her talented team to a 12-6 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the Carolinas Conference, in whose tournament the Lady Trojans got as far as the semifinals.

Daziel played in all 18 of her squad’s games with 17 starts, potting 37 goals (tied for second on the team), dealing out seven assists, notching 44 total points (tied for second), and scooping up 21 ground balls (fifth).

During her fine 2014 campaign, the ex-Lady Astros’ star enjoyed a six-point match against Erskine College (five goals, one assist), four-goal outputs against Chowan University and Converse College, and three-goal finishes against Catawba College, Saint Leo College, Lees-McRae College, and Coker College.

As a college freshman during the spring 2013 season, the Pinkerton grad was named a Second Team All-Conference selection and her Mount Olive team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player after leading the Lady Trojans in both goals and total points.

During her impressive Pinkerton lax career, Daziel set program records for goals in a game and goals in a single season, and she breached the 100-goal plateau for her career.

In answering questions for her University of Mount Olive team profile page, Daziel said the main reason she ventured so far afield to attend college in North Carolina was, “To play the sport I love, lacrosse,” and she admitted that her favorite guilty pleasure is “Re-watching game film multiple times.”

She hopes to work in human resources after graduation but there’s lots of lacrosse to be played before then.

Riann’s younger sister Kennedy, who was a vital part of the Pinkerton girls’ lax state title team this past spring, has graduated and will play her college lacrosse at Southern New Hampshire University.

And speaking of ex-Lady Astros who have played collegiate lax in the Granite State, Daziel’s PA lacrosse assistant Jackie Driscoll’s daughter, Maddie Driscoll, enjoyed a strong freshman campaign for the Plymouth State University women’s team this past spring. The Lady Panthers enjoyed a superb 2014 season, going 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the Little East Conference. Maddie Driscoll played in 10 of the squad’s games with one start.

The freshman defender helped to lead both her Lady Astros’ lax and field hockey teams to Division I crowns in her senior year of 2012-13. In moving on to PSU, Driscoll began attending the alma mater of her mom Jackie (Steele) Driscoll, who was a 1991 Plymouth State grad and a three-sport standout in field hockey, swimming, and lacrosse there. Jackie Driscoll was inducted into the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.

But it was likely a decision that stirred up some mixed emotions in the Driscoll household in the past months when Maddie decided to transfer to Fitchburg (Mass.) State for the coming school year.

And 2012 PA grad Katie Jones – who played high school lax with both Riann Daziel and Maddie Driscoll at Pinkerton – served as the back-up goalie on the Salve Regina University (Newport, R.I.) women’s team this past spring.

The sophomore biology major appeared in one contest for the 5-11 Salve Regina squad, but starting senior keeper Josephine O’Reilly has moved on through graduation and veteran Jones will likely be counted upon more heavily during the 2015 season.