Only eight high school girls lacrosse players in Western Pennsylvania received All-American honors in early June.
Former Seneca Valley midfielder Emily Meredith was one of them.
“I definitely was a little surprised,” Meredith said. “But I'm honored and I'm super thankful and I owe a lot of it to (Raiders' girls lacrosse coach Katie Smolter) because she had me play a lot of different positions so I'm just thankful for her and the program for making it possible.”
Meredith joined girls lacrosse players from all over the country on the All-American list named by U.S. Lacrosse, the sport's national governing body.
Meredith, who graduated this spring, committed to Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., which sits just outside of Chicago, back in November to continue her lacrosse career.
“When I met with the girls I loved them and I saw a little of myself in them, so I definitely had a good connection with the girls,” Meredith said.
The Raiders saw their season come to a close in first round of the WPIAL 3A playoffs with an 18-8 loss to Mt. Lebanon. Seneca Valley's lineup contained four freshmen starters and a lot of moving pieces, but a trip to the playoffs was looked at as a step in the right direction.
“I was really happy with how the older players adjusted to the newer players and how the younger players stepped up and filled the roles that we needed them to,” Smolter said.
Meredith will work under second-year head coach Kirk Lamitie at Lewis University.
Lamitie still has work ahead of him after the Flyers posted a 1-12 record his first season.
“I was able to meet her coach on her senior night, (he) seems like a great guy and a good fit for Emily,” Smolter said. “Emily is the unsung hero of the team. She's bigger in stature so she takes a lot of fouls, but she is strong like a brick wall and it's something she never let get the best of her.
“I think Emily is someone who really benefits from playing a sport. I think it helps her socially, academically. She's just very well-rounded in that sense.”
Leaving high school is tough for everyone because of the bonds and relationships that were made over time, and Meredith will have plenty to miss.
“I definitely will miss the school and the girls on the team,” Meredith said. “I'm going to miss Coach Katie. She's been one of my role models the past four years. It wouldn't be possible without her.”
Meredith will study biochemistry at Lewis University.
“I know I eventually want to go to medical school, but my career path might change. We'll see how things go,” Meredith said.