When one talks to Anna Deely off the field, the youngie comes across as a pleasant, friendly young women with an easygoing demeanour. Her opponents in soccer and lacrosse will have an entirely different opinion. Honored last week as MASCAC's Lacrosse Rookie of the Week, Deely is Monday's D-III Women's Athlete of the Day.
In the autumn semester, Deely suited up the Buccaneer soccer team. The Marstons Mills native played in 14 games, starting all but one of them as a forward. Deely put 61 percent of her shots on target and, though she was held scoreless, she added two assists. Soccer was Deely's first love and she played in high school as well as the Barnstable women's summer league. Competing while at university was a priority for her.
"With soccer, I have been playing since I was four or five, whereas lacrosse I picked up in eighth grade," explained Deely. "I picked it up really quickly. Soccer helps, or playing another sport. Soccer you are on the field longer than lacrosse."
As Deely alludes, lacrosse was a recent addition. She is one of eight youngies that Head Coach Marc Palombo is starting, and it is easy to dream on the young and energetic core. The women have already tied the second-best season mark for wins in a season with seven more regular season games to play. Deely and others' short memory has contributed to the team's success.
"From what I have heard, we hadn't won that many games [in the past]. That is changing and it is exciting. I like [the team] a lot, because we all came from different high schools, so there are so many different styles. Casey Sullivan is teaching me a different way to [approach] a draw. Stephanie Hunt has a lot of knowledge."
Like many D-III athletes, sports are merely one facet of very busy lives. Deely, like a huge number of Mass Maritime students, has a summer job.
"In the summer, I work as a lifeguard for the town of Barnstable. I work at a few ponds and Kalmus Beach.
Deely's career plans will keep her near the shore as she is majoring in facilities engineering, but the Cape Cod native intends not to stray too far from home. She is interested in renewable energy and spent part of her sea term studying abroad.
"I went to Costa Rica for the winter. We had two weeks [of what is called] experiential learning and we studied renewable energy at sustainable power plants. I really like Cape Cod. I want to live there at least in the summer, and I want to stay local for sure."
In the meantime, the women have just started MASCAC play with the goal of making the playoffs for the second time in club history. Deely is just enjoying the journey, though.
"I didn't really expect to do as well as I am doing. It's a lot of fun. I've made a lot of new friends. Stephanie Hunt and Mikayla Correia are our captains and they're really good. I have learned a lot more in college than high school. They have taught me a lot."
"Everything [Anna] is contributing is, in our eyes, wonderful," enthused Palombo. "She is a diamond in the rough, we did not see her on our radar at the start of the year. We didn't expect her to be this good, but once we saw her in our fall season we knew she was a find. She was a soccer player and had no expectations for where she could go in lacrosse, but I have a funny feeling that is changing!"
For future Maritime cadets, Deely is proof that Division-III offers an environment in which a local student can play (and excel at) the sports she loves while balancing academics, work, and other priorities.
"I love soccer and lacrosse too much to just stop playing in high school. Most people who are a part of the team are there because they're passionate about soccer or lacrosse. Playing D-III you get to build friendships and connections with people that love the sport just as much as you do. Whether it's lacrosse or soccer, through these D-III teams, I get to surround myself with incredible people doing what I love."
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate