Athlete of the Week: OA Girls' Lacrosse Player Jocelyn Paul
The leading scorer in Oliver Ames lacrosse history scored her 200th goal this season.
At the beginning of the 2010 lacrosse season, Jocelyn Paul netted her 100th career goal. On its own, that accomplishment is highly impressive, but since reaching the milestone as a junior, her lacrosse resume has only gotten more extraordinary.
Earlier in the season, Paul surpassed Brittany Engle as the leading scorer in Oliver Ames lacrosse history, and last Friday, she recorded her 200th career goal in a thrilling game against Canton.
“It felt great to have reached that milestone. I couldn't have asked for a better game to score my 200th in,” she said.
Picking up lacrosse her freshman year, she has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. She recalls being in her backyard three years ago, simply trying to figure out the fundamentals of cradling and passing before tryouts started. Since then, she has evolved from a beginner to one of the Hockomock league’s best players. Already fast, agile, and technically sound, Paul is still building her game to become even more dangerous.
“I’m working to improve my lefty shot and improve the speed and power of my eight meter shots,” says Paul of her expanding arsenal (“eight meter shots” are the lacrosse equivalent of a penalty shot).
She also has one of the most powerful weapons in all of sports at her disposal: her intelligence. Displaying a thorough understanding of the game and strategies, she thinks a step ahead of her competition, and it seems to almost always translate to the right move on the field. This begins with habitual visualization before every game.
“Usually [before a game] I relax a little and try to envision different situations that could happen in the game and what I should do in response,” she says. “Mental preparation is a huge part of athletics, so just calmly thinking about the sport and the game really helps me.”
On top of her dominance on the lacrosse field, Paul was also a member of the 2010 Oliver Ames girls basketball team that won the state championship, and served as a co-captain of the team this past winter. Under her leadership, the Lady Tigers advanced to the Division 2 South regional semi-finals in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season. After nearly deciding to play both basketball and lacrosse in college, Jocelyn ultimately chose to focus on lacrosse and give herself a moment to breathe a bit in her schedule.
“I love both sports, so it’s hard to say. Lacrosse is more new to me, so I love how I still have so much to learn and improve upon in the years to come. I think lacrosse has such a great combination of speed, strength, finesse, endurance, and mental toughness, so I'd have to say lacrosse is my favorite sport as of right now.”
Next year, Paul will continue dismantling opposing defenses and goalies at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. She also plans to major in biology and hopes to attend medical school after her undergraduate studies.
“I'm extremely excited to get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level next year,” says Paul. “I know I have a lot to learn, but I eagerly anticipate everything that I will experience.”
She undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of her.