Holly Drown Finishing UMass Career With A Flourish
April 23, 2009
Holly Drown is back on the attack, finishing off her University of Massachusetts lacrosse career the way she started it - as a potent scorer with a deadly accurate shot.
Through 16 games, including Sunday's regular-season finale against St. Bonaventure, the senior from Nashua is fourth on the team in goals scored with 27. She had 35 as a sophomore, when she was second on the team in scoring.
Her team, meanwhile, went 6-1 in the Atlantic-10, winning the regular-season championship for the first time since 2000. They'll be back in action Friday against George Washington in the A-10 championship tournament semifinals at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Drown will be looking to help her team to a league title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament the way she does it best, by putting the ball in the back on the net.
Last year, however, was a little different. Because of Drown's versatility and an acute team need, Drown shifted to a defensive midfield position. She finished the season with just seven goals and two assists for nine points.
"I've always been an attacker and I love playing attack,'' Drown said. "But I learned a lot last year. I saw the game from a totally different perspective and I think it made me a much smarter player.''
Coach Alexis Venechanos knows wherever she plays Drown, a senior tri-captain, she'll get the kind of solid effort younger players on the team can look up to.
"Holly is a great athlete,'' Venechanos told Lacrosse Magazine last month. "She has a great game knowledge. She has a tremendous game sense. She does it all. She has those intangibles that are hard to teach. We want to keep her on the field as much as we can.''
It's a family thing. Counting this year, there's been a Drown involved in the UMass lacrosse program for nine straight years. Older sister Tracey Drown, who helped put Nashua girls lacrosse on the map in the late 1990s, had an outstanding four-year career for the Minutewomen (2001-2004) and was a third team All-American.
Tracey Drown spent the next two years as a UMass assistant coach, putting her on the sidelines during Holly's freshman season in 2006. She's now the girls varsity head coach in Wayland, Mass.
Coaching is definitely in Holly Drown's future. She's already coaching with the Granite State Elite youth program. And considering the current job market, the sports management major figures she'll likely return to school in the fall to pursue an advanced degree.
But there are more games to be played.
"The four years have gone by really fast,'' Drown said Sunday, after scoring two goals in a 14-13 victory over St. Bonaventure, her final regular-season game. "Now it's a matter of staying alive one game at a time. I don't want it to end.''