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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

From the land down under to St. Joe’s

Kelly runs downfield (Photo by Sideline Photos, LLC).

Freshman attack Stephanie Kelly starts her career off strong

Freshman attack Stephanie Kelly captained the Australian Women’s 2017 U-23 Asia Pacific Lacrosse Championship (ASPAC) held in Fukuoka, Japan and Jeju Island, South Korea. Kelly also led the U-18 Victoria State team to a national title, a runner-up finish and a third-place finish. She was a four-time “Most Valuable Player” for the squad.

Earlier in her career, Kelly was a representative for the 2015 U-19 Australian Women’s World Cup Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) in Scotland. She was Australia’s leading scorer, with 25 points as the team finished in fourth place.

In her debut season for the Hawks, Kelly has established herself as a prominent player in the Atlantic-10. The  two-time A-10 rookie of the week said that her technical play as a lefty and positive energy allow her to contribute on the field.

“I’m a very strong lefty on the team,” Kelly said. “I also bring a lot of fun and excitement. I try to keep everything positive on and off the field.”

Women’s lacrosse head coach Alex Kahoe said that Kelly has stepped up and established herself as a major part of the offense.

“She has come in as a freshman and really made her mark on the offense,” Kahoe said. “She’s stepped up to be a key player for us.”

As a result of  her diverse lacrosse experience, Kelly said that international play is significantly different than college.

“The coaching style is different in America,” Kelly said. “It’s a lot more insightful. Compared to games in Australia, it’s much more aggressive and fast-paced here.”

Kelly said that her transition to college lacrosse was difficult at first. She said it was challenging to adjust to the level of play.

“I’ve had international experience previously, but college is another step up,” Kelly said.  “It was hard to get used to. You have to be quick otherwise you won’t do well. “

Kelly said that she has been able to grow as a leader throughout her experience at St. Joe’s.

“I feel comfortable enough around players to say what I want to say,” Kelly said. “Since being here, my leadership skills have definitely improved.”

Kahoe said that Kelly’s significant role in the offense has helped her to step up as a team leader.

“At certain moments, She’s put in the role as the quarterback of the offense, “Kahoe said. “As a player behind the crease, there’s definitely times she needs to step up and be a leader.”

Kelly said that she’s developed as a player throughout this season but she can still make improvements.

“I’ve definitely developed since I first came in,” Kelly said. “There’s still room to improve. During practice, I’m working on different positions so I can be everywhere on the field.”

Kahoe said that Kelly needs to continue working on team chemistry to further herself as a player.

“She needs to continue to build chemistry with her teammates,” Kahoe said. “She needs to embrace her role. Every day she’s coming out of her shell more and more.”

Even though Kelly is in the early stages of her college career, she said that she has bigger goals for the future.

“I want to keep developing every year as a player,” Kelly said. “Once I graduate, I definitely want to play in the World Cup. After that, I’ll reassess.”

Kelly and the Hawks will begin conference play on March 29 at home on Sweeney Field against University of Massachusetts.


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