The end of the road for senior M.E. Lapham
The George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex has been the sanctuary over the last four years for M.E. Lapham.
On that turf field and fields like it, Lapham registered a program record 169 goals and 35 assists in her 60 games at attack for the UConn lacrosse team. She finished second in school history with 204 points.
In her senior season, she led the Huskies to the most program wins (10) since 2007 and tied for the most Big East wins (three) in UConn lacrosse history. Along the way, she tallied 48 goals including 15 free position goals and a career-high 14 assists and 26 ground balls.
Mary Emily grew up in Cazenovia, N.Y. where she always loved being part of a team. She played soccer since she was five, but latched on to the up-and-coming sport of lacrosse while she was in sixth grade.
"I liked the fast pace of the game, it was new and fresh," Lapham said. "I knew I could keep improving and grow as a player."
Lapham continued with her passion for soccer and lacrosse in her four years at Christian Brothers Academy. She was named to the All-Central New York First Team three times, compiling 88 goals and 35 assists in her soccer career. In lacrosse, she was even more dominant scoring 201 goals and notching 148 assists earning her way to the All-Central New York First Team following her junior season and was named a captain as a senior.
Lapham decided that she had a better chance to play lacrosse at the next level. She had visited a good amount of schools, but once she stepped on the UConn campus, she knew it was where she wanted to be the next four years.
The year before Lapham arrived in Storrs, the UConn lacrosse program had suffered the worst season in program history, with a dismal 1-15 record. Each season since, Lapham helped the Huskies achieve a better overall record than the previous year.
"It has been an awesome experience rebuilding and developing a program to show what UConn lacrosse is all about," Lapham said.
As a freshman, she was able to rely on fellow freshman teammates for support and looked up to then-senior Whitney Michele.
"She was the type of leader where she could be my friend but I also wanted to listen to her and earn her respect," Lapham said.
Lapham came out red-hot in her rookie campaign. She started in 15 of 16 games and finished third on the team with 30 goals and 8 assists. She quickly became a team leader.
"She opened up to me right away, telling me everything I needed to know about UConn, lacrosse, and most importantly, about herself," junior midfielder Liz Brown said. "Her love for the game was shown through the tremendous amounts of work, hustle and commitment that she gave to the program over the past four years."
On March 7, 2009, Lapham recorded just an assist in a 15-7 loss vs. New Hampshire. It would be the last time Lapham would finish a game with a zero in the scoring column. She has since scored in 55 consecutive games. Later that season, Lapham recorded a hat trick leading UConn to an 8-7 win over rival Lousiville.
"It was our first Big East win," Lapham said. "After that game, I knew that this is why I am here."
Her personal collegiate success carried over to her sophomore season as she led the team with 36 goals and tallied three goals or more on eight occasions, despite missing the final five games due to illness. But the success also reflected upon the rest of the team, and the Huskies won nine games.
She exploded for a UConn-record 55 goals in her junior season on her way to being named to the All-Big East First Team and IWLCA All-Region First Team.
As a senior, Lapham broke the program all-time goal-scoring record with career goal No, 155 coming in a 14-13 UConn overtime win over Columbia on April 7.
On April 29, Lapham was honored along with five other seniors as part of Senior Day. She scored a goal and an assist in a 12-9 loss to Loyola, in what will likely be her last lacrosse game ever.
Lapham is a Human Development and Family Studies major and is planning to use her degree to find an internship.
Growing up in the shadows of Syracuse University, Lapham was never able to defeat the Orange, but she has certainly laid out a path for future UConn lacrosse teams to do so.
"Her determination and commitment to the team will leave a standing impression on the program and to new players to come," Brown said.
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