Photo Illustration by Matt Weir / The Collegian
Coach Sue Behme and lacrosse team try to establish new identity with recruits
With such a high level of competition for recruits, it is hard for most teams in college sports to land just one High School All-American.
But to land three All-Americans after only one year of competition â€“ thatâ€™s nearly impossible.
A year into her tenure as the Fresno State womenâ€™s lacrosse head coach, Sue Behme is making noise around the country with her recruitment of three All-Americans from three different regions of the United States.
Coach Behme hopes that Sara Weber, Natalie Harrington and Margaret Wolford, each High School All-Americans from California, Oregon and Ohio respectively, can help not only build the programâ€™s reputation, and also give them an advantage on the field.
â€œThey were the top players in their region,â€ Behme said. â€œThey each will have the opportunity to be impact players on this team.â€
The three freshmen each hope to contribute to a program that is still trying to establish its identity as a premier program.
â€œI thought it would be interesting to start with a new program that is trying to build something,â€ Weber said.
Last year at Tesoro High School, in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Weber finished the year with 66 goals and 18 assists while winning 57 ground balls and forcing 23 turnovers.
In her senior year, she had many accomplishments including being named to the Pacific Team for the High School Girlâ€™s Annual National Tournament in Maryland.
She also earned First Team All-County honors and was the high school team MVP.
Another of the All-Americans that coach Behme and her staff recruited in the off-season is Natalie Harrington, from Oregon.
She led her Oregon City High School to the state championship game and was named MVP of that game. She had 83 goals and had 22 assists while posting a shooting percentage of 61 percent.
Harrington was named the 2009 Westside Lacrosse Oregon Player of the Year. She is a three-time First Team All-State member from 2007-09.
One reason that Harrington wanted to attend Fresno State is the community and academics of the school.
â€œI wanted to come here because of the community,â€ Harrington said. â€œ I also think that the academics fit well with what I want to do.â€
Harrington also added that it would be cool to help continue to build the lacrosse program here at Fresno State.
The third member of the heralded recruiting class is Margaret Wolford from Ohio. At Worthington Kilbourne High School in Columbus, Ohio, Wolford was the all-time leading goal scorer and assist leader.
Wolford wanted to attend Fresno State for the academics but also she wanted to continue to help build the program as well.
â€œI saw it as a great opportunity to be a part of something new,â€ Wolford said.
In her senior year, she earned First Team All-Ohio, was the team captain and the teamâ€™s offensive MVP. She was also named as an honorable mention All-American in 2008.
Wolford does feel some pressure but knows that playing at this level will help her through her career.
â€œI definitely feel pressure. I want to continue to grow and get better,â€ Wolford said.
Behme hopes that these three All-Americans help her continue to build a winning legacy at Fresno State. She says that sheâ€™s trying to recruit the best athletes.
â€œThe lacrosse staff recruits the best student-athletes, that is our number one priority,â€ Behme said. â€œWe are looking for quality athletes.â€