LM WCLA Division II Preseason Player of the Year: Chelsea Farrell
Midfield Move a Possibility for Westminster's Versatile Threat
by J. Jude Hazard | LaxMagazine.com
|Chelsea Farrell may be asked to
move to midfield, which has been a problem area for Westminster in
the past, according to coach Niki Harding.
© Cecil Copeland
During the spring, junior Chelsea Farrell and her teammates practice five days a week, getting up as early as 7 a.m. to get in three hours of practice before heading to class. It's a training regimen that rivals some major NCAA Division I programs -- complete with practice and workouts in the fall plus a December lifting and running program. But Farrell plays for Westminster College in the WCLA Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League.
"I love it this way. I don't mind waking up early when it's to play lacrosse," Farrell said. "One of the best things about playing club is that everything stays really fun and you do it because you want to do it."
Farrell approaches practice and drills with the same competitive spirit that helped her notch 103 points last season and lead the Griffins to the brink of a WCLA Division II National Championship. Westminster lost to Towson Club at nationals and finished the season with a 17-7 record.
"I'm super competitive so I want the ball and I go to any expense to get it," she said. "On the attacking end, I think what I'm looking forward to most [this season] is winning with contributors from every area." Although she said she doesn't mind the offensive spotlight, Farrell much prefers spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved in scoring.
"It's pretty when everybody touches the ball and it results in a goal," Farrell said. "I think playing tricky lacrosse is fun, so I really like to think of new things that are hopefully unexpected."
Griffins coach Niki Harding is considering moving the versatile Farrell to midfield this year. Farrell's 5-foot 2-inch frame yields well to quick, shifty play against larger opponents. The team graduated just two seniors last year and has 15 new freshmen or transfers that make up the 27-woman roster.
"The midfield is somewhere that we've kind of struggled in the past with our team," Harding said. "I definitely did play her a little bit in the midfield in the fall and there definitely could be an opportunity for her to play on the circle this season."
Harding wasn't at all surprised that Farrell wants to spread the ball around.
"She's a team player. She keeps her head up and gives the ball to other teammates when she has the opportunity," Harding said. "She's a captain this year because of her attitude."
Farrell started her college career as a defender at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, but transferred to Westminster after her freshman year. She said she likes the Salt Lake City area and enjoys being close to her family.
"Wheaton was a great experience," she said. "It was a different level of play. There was no need for me to play offense on that team so getting the opportunity to play defense taught me a lot."
Farrell is a psychology major and justice studies minor with a 3.96 GPA and intends to get a Ph.D in clinical psychology. She works as an administrative assistant for both the men's and women's lacrosse programs and also coaches a travel club team. She was among three Griffins to be named to the 2011 WCLA Division II All-American team. Farrell, Regan Lelli and Sage Johnson were the first three players in Westminster women's lacrosse history to receive the honor.
"Chelsea is a great player and she's very determined. She's always trying as hard as she can. She'll give me 100 percent no matter what we're doing," Harding said. "A lot of the girls look up to her."
LaxMagazine.com WCLA Division II PPOY Fan Vote
Chelsea Farrell, Westminster
Laura Hunter, Utah
Beth Ann Jancuska, Towson Club
Alaina Doran, Minnesota-Duluth