Trinity's Martha Griffin: 'I'm Addicted to Improvement'
Since her freshman season back in 2013, Trinity women's lacrosse midfielder Martha Griffin has increased her production each season by roughly 40 percent. After putting up 105 points as the IWLCA Midfielder of the Year last season, it might be difficult to continue that trend, but even if Griffin simply matches that output as a senior, it will go a long way toward justifying her selection as the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division III Preseason Player of the Year.
"I'm kind of one of those people who is addicted to improvement," Griffin said. "Always finding the next level is my goal."
Griffin, with her 82 goals and 23 assists, led Trinity to a 21-2 record in 2015 and is perhaps the biggest reason the Bantams enter this season ranked No. 2 in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top 20. Last year's NESCAC Player of the Year, Griffin broke school records for goals and points, but also took big strides in her all-around game.
"Her mind is always focused on what are new and exciting possibilities for her to grow her game and our game as a team," Trinity coach Katy Dissinger said. "I'm excited to see what she brings to the table this year because, looking at her four-year trajectory, she exploded a bit as a sophomore and then had this incredible breakout season last year. It's just because she puts a lot of dedication into it and she expects a lot of herself."
That dedication helped keeps Trinity near the top of the national polls all season long and also delivered a championship in the tough NESCAC.
"It feels a little different this year being a senior and captain," Griffin said. "There's more responsibility, we're looking great in fall ball and I'm really excited about all the freshmen. Last year was strange. I was very honored getting awards and things, but it led to me putting more pressure on myself. But we had some pretty amazing leaders on the team last year who helped along the way."
The Exeter, N.H., product led the Bantams with 43 ground balls, was second with 67 draw controls and third with 20 forced turnovers. But perhaps most impressive was Griffin's ability to adjust to the myriad of defenses opponents threw at Trinity in hopes of shutting her down. After losing the season opener at Colby last year, the Bantams went on a 21-game winning streak, with Griffin scoring at least four goals in 13 of them.
Not that she was averse to sharing the ball. In an 11-10 victory against Williams, Griffin was held to just one goal on five shots, but she dished out four assists in the key conference victory.
"Her thought is that, 'If you are going to faceguard me, that's OK, because this team can do it,'" Dissinger said. "She's willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary for the team to do what it wants to do. She always goes about as somebody who is looking toward the goals of the team, which for somebody who scores as many goals as she does is unique. What we've talked a lot about is being a threat without the ball. She's worked on dishing it because people are going to know that she can score and finish, but also recognizing when she has the opportunity to just take it to the cage and do it herself as well."
Trinity has advanced to the NCAA championship game in each of the last four seasons, falling to Cortland in the 2015 final. With Griffin leading the way along with an experienced roster overall, the Bantams will be in that competitive mix again.
"It's a huge obstacle we face, because we've made it to the national championship game four years in a row as a program, but we can't lose the mindset that there is an entire season and a journey ahead of of us," Griffin said.
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