A lacrosse player described by her coach as “on fire,” signed with Catawba College on April 24 during a special ceremony at the Williston Northampton School.
Kirstyn Kruse ’13 signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division II lacrosse at the North Carolina school, fulfilling what her mother, Susan Kruse, said had been a dream since she started playing the sport at age seven.
“She loves the sport,” Mrs. Kruse said. “She’s been playing lacrosse since she was a little girl and she’s always wanted to play at the college level.”
Head coach Jen Fulcher described Ms. Kruse as a key member of the team and a great leader on and off the field. Ms. Fulcher noted that Ms. Kruse had been on a hot streak recently, scoring four goals with two assists in a recent game against Westminster.
“She is kind, funny, hardworking, and her teammates love being around her,” Ms. Fulcher said. “She will leave a huge hole as a person and an athlete after she graduates.”
Nine of those teammates were on hand for the signing, sporting hats and T-shirts with the motto “wildlax” in preparation for a game against Suffield Academy later that afternoon. When Ms. Kruse signed the final piece of scholarship paperwork, which also serves as a notice to other schools that she may no longer be recruited, her fellow lacrosse players cheered.
Ms. Kruse is the fifth Williston athlete sign a National Letter of Intent this year. Seniors DonQuale Williams (Assumption College, football), Dylan Arthurs (Stonehill College, football), William Consavage (Bentley University, football), and Eric Yarrows (Florida Southern College, golf) have also made commitments.
Assistant coach Emily Gowdey-Backus said that Ms. Kruse, also known as “Kruser,” was the heart of the lacrosse team.
“She knows each girl’s story, how to pick them up and encourage them when needed, and how to celebrate with every win,” Ms. Gowdey-Backus said.
Ms. Kruse said she fell in love with Catawba during a tour of the campus and joked that she was looking forward to having a Chick-fil-A restaurant nearby. In the midst of the signing celebration, though, Ms. Kruse seemed more focused on the upcoming game.
“Suffield is a really interesting opponent,” she said, when asked about the competition. “I think we can win if we play our hardest.”
Her father, Bob Kruse, offered his thanks to the entire Williston community, particularly Greg Tuleja, Ms. Kruse’s advisor, and Ms. Fulcher, whom he described as a teacher, motivator, and “the best coach ever.”
Family, friends, and teammates then headed off to Sawyer Field, where Ms. Kruse scored four goals on the way to a 16-3 win over Suffield.