Lacrosse local now competing in NCAA

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— As if the booming local popularity of lacrosse was not evident enough during last weekend's 33-team youth tournament and the growing Steamboat Springs High School and men's adult league teams, Steamboat lacrosse players are now popping up on the NCAA grid.

Leah Stettner, a product of the Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse program, recently completed her first season playing on the Guilford College women's lacrosse team.

The student-athletes at the small Greensboro, N.C., college compete at the Division III level in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The conference is home to some of the sport's most established and successful programs.

"She's a good defensive, team player," Guilford women's lacrosse coach Susanna Young said about Stettner. "She has the most amazing attitude, too. She's always out there to please."

Stepping onto the field with teammates who grew up playing the sport, Stettner quickly found she had to step up her game.

"She improved a lot over the course of the season and earned her spot starting in a handful of late-season games," Young said. "If she continues to improve at that pace, she's going to have a big impact at the defensive end."

Stettner appeared in 14 games for the Guilford Quakers (5-11 overall) and played a key role snatching up groundballs in Guilford's April 12 conference win over Sweet Briar that clinched a league tournament spot.

It's likely Stettner will have to continue on her current path if she wants to anchor a position on a young squad that is returning all of its letter winners.

-- To reach Dave Shively, call 846-1129

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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