'Powerhouse' sophomore controls lacrosse’s offense

by Claire Nobles / Beacon Staff • April 1, 2015

Sophomore Meredith Weber was named co-rookie of the year last season by the NEWMAC.
Sophomore Meredith Weber was named co-rookie of the year last season by the NEWMAC.

The first three seasons of Meredith Weber’s lacrosse career weren’t pretty—the midfielder said she hated everything about the sport.

“My parents made me start playing lacrosse because I was watching too much TV,” the sophomore said with a laugh. “I cried at practice from seventh grade to basically freshman year [of high school].”

Once Weber, who has now been playing for eight years, saw more playing time in 11th grade, she said her skills improved—and she actually began to love the sport.

Now, just three years later, Weber is the leading scorer for the Lions, with 27 goals so far this season. She’s coming off a freshman campaign where she started all 15 matches and scored a team-high 48 goals—good for eighth in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.

That season, Weber was also named co-rookie of the year by the conference. After receiving that distinction, she said her high school coach told her there was nowhere to go but down.

“I definitely had to keep working hard,” said Weber, a visual and media arts major. “I didn’t want to let it go to my head.” 

Weber’s hard work paid off: In the Lions’ first match of the season, she scored seven goals, one more than her game-high of six from last season, to lead her team to a 21-5 victory over Simmons College. She also was named the NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Week at the end of March.

Head coach Kathryn Egizi called Weber a “powerhouse” on attack, but said Weber does more for the team than just score.

“A huge role for her is her ability on the draw,” said Egizi. “She puts the ball in our possession, and that, in my opinion, is more important than putting the ball in the net.”

And while she’s currently tied for fourth in the NEWMAC in goals, she leads the conference in draw controls with 38; she led the team last season with 63. In lacrosse, when play begins at the start of the first and second half and after goals are scored, the players start with a faceoff, called the draw. Whichever team gains control of the ball is awarded a draw control in the statistics.

This year, Weber said she wants to increase her number of assists. Junior goalie Victoria Kanaris said this demonstrates Weber’s selflessness.

“She’s not in it to score all the goals,” Kanaris said. “She just wants to do what’s best for the team.”

Last season, Weber had nine assists, which was the fourth-highest on the team. It’s still a work in progress this season—she’s tied for third on the team with three.

“Nothing’s ever good enough for her,” said Egizi. “She has the goals, and now she wants to contribute in another way.” 

Though Weber is just a sophomore, her dominant performance and work ethic have established her as a leader on the team, according to Egizi.

“[Her age] really doesn’t matter—seniors look up to her, freshmen look up to her, and everyone in between,” said Egizi. “Everyone knows how hard she works and how much she wants it. It pushes everyone else. Her drive to be the best is contagious to everyone else.”

Kanaris, one of the captains and Weber’s friend, agreed with Egizi.

“Whenever each of us does something really well, we always push each other to do better,” said Kanaris.

The Lions (5-3 overall, 1-2 in conference) are seeking their first NEWMAC playoff appearance, and Weber said she lets this goal fuel her play.

“I go into each game as if we have nothing to lose,” she said.

With over two seasons left in her career at Emerson, Weber’s influence will only grow, Kanaris said.

“She’s already started off really well,” said Kanaris. “She’s definitely a top contender in the NEWMAC offensively, but defensively, too.”