A lacrosse player who started her career on a boys team—and became one of the finest goalkeepers her coach has ever seen—signed with the University of Oregon on May 17 during a special ceremony at the Williston Northampton School.
Dressed in a bright yellow Oregon sweatshirt, and surrounded by teammates, a beaming Janelle Parker ’13 signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the Division I school. By accepting the scholarship, Ms. Parker let other schools know that she may no longer be recruited.
“This is what I’ve always wanted,” Ms. Parker said. “Everything happens for a reason—and Oregon is that reason.”
Her father, Darryl Parker, said that his daughter had begun playing lacrosse in second grade with boys—the only team her elementary school had at the time.
While Ms. Parker was a strong offensive player on the field, it was the goalkeeper position where she found her true calling. Once in the goal, she “didn’t want to come out,” Mr. Parker said.
Head coach Jen Fulcher described Ms. Parker as competitive, a great communicator, and leader with “a real mindset of resilience” that allowed her to make one amazing save after another.
During one particular game, Ms. Fulcher recalled the keeper standing her ground against a rushing opponent and saving what was a point blank, one-on-one shot—a move that usually results in a point for the offense.
“She’s one of the top keepers we’ve ever seen at Williston,” Ms. Fulcher said. “She’s made countless amazing saves.”
Ms. Parker is the sixth Williston athlete to 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. In April, teammate Kirstyn Kruse ’13 signed an agreement to play lacrosse at Catawba College.
In its final game on May 17, the girls varsity lacrosse team beat Cushing Academy by a score of 18-2 to go undefeated on the season. Ms. Parker said she was particularly grateful to have worked with her fellow seniors and with Coach Fulcher, whose motto for the season was, “We’re never tired.”
“It’s by far the best team I’ve ever played on,” Ms. Parker said. “This is the team I’ll remember forever.”