Freshman lacrosse player making waves in Haslett
Abby Russell turning heads as a freshman.
HASLETT, Mich. (WILX) - The Haslett-Williamston girls lacrosse team is in the midst of a record-breaking season, much in part to the efforts of one ninth grader.
With four seniors set to continue their lacrosse careers at the Division I level next year, Abby Russell has been a freshman sensation, which had a bit of an adjustment to make in playing at the varsity level.
“I mean definitely just like playing with this new team and like playing at the higher competition, I definitely had to get used to it,” Russell said.
But Russell’s played travel lacrosse her whole life, at times with players at least two years older than her.
Now 17 games in, Russell has adapted seamlessly and is now thriving at the varsity level, currently in the midst of an unprecedented 100-plus point season.
“This is definitely where I thrive in where I play best. It wasn’t too hard to adjust because my teammates we all clicked super fast and they all took me under their wing,” Russell said.
Head coach Chad Pastor has had Russell on his radar for years.
But now seeing who she is a player, what she’s doing comes as no surprise.
“Abby Russell I’ve been watching for a number of years. There’s always been that ability there for her to play,” Pastor said of his freshman. “I had a pretty good idea that she’d be pretty good, but you just never know how good they’re gonna be until you actually put a stick in their hands. Looking at her overall, the growth will just continue to come as she gets further along in her career.”
So just how good has Russell been?
Through 17 games she’s tallied 69 goals and 39 assists for 108 total points.
Just a freshman, she’s posted a staggering 70-percent shot rate.
Eye-popping numbers that even leaves her a bit surprised.
“I definitely did not expect that,” Russell admitted. “I expected to come out and be a key contributor but I did not think that I was gonna have this good of season.”
Though stats are of little importance to Russell.
At the end of the day, her team is winning, much in part to the unselfish nature she plays with.
“I always want the best look, never want to force goals, always work around on my teammates and I trust all of them with the ball and whatever the best look is, that’s what I want for my team,” Russell said.
Now at 15-2 overall and winners of their last 15, the Vikings’ most successful season ever comes on the backs of a very talented senior core.
But with Russell stirring the drink just as a freshman, it’s fair to say the program is in good hands for years to come.
“This program’s gonna be great going to my other years. The other girls, we’ve already grown so much this season. So I think we’re just gonna keep getting better,” Russell said.
The Vikings welcome, ranked inside the top five in the state, welcome Midland to town Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
Regular season conference champions, as well as CAAC Cup Champions, the Vikings have two regular season games remaining before the postseason.
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