Ballston Spa

Miller a Division I first for Ballston Spa

Megan Miller will be the first Division I player from Ballston Spa girls' lacrosse.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Megan Miller will be the first Division I player from Ballston Spa girls' lacrosse.

BALLSTON SPA — Bouncing back from injuries the way Meg Miller has is very commendable, but it is not what separates the Ballston Spa lacrosse player from all of the others who have donned the Scotties’ uniform.

Come next school year, the trailblazing attacker will be the program’s first female to compete at the Division I college level.

“It makes me feel really good,” Miller said of her commitment prior to the season to the University of Hartford. “It shows the younger girls that if you work hard, anything is possible.”

Miller has worked hard to get back on the field after injuries to both knees, and has worked hard on it.

“She has been playing since elementary school,” Ballston Spa coach Don Nowc said. “She’s played in our youth league. She’s played travel. She has very involved parent who have taken her to showcase events.”

Miller, though, said it was an on-line video she put together that caught the attention of the staff at Hartford. Hartford will play its inaugural season in the 2017-18 school year be a member of the America East Conference that includes the University at Albany.

“I got an e-mail from an assistant coach who saw it,” Miller said. “She wanted to talk and things went from there.”

Miller will be playing for a groundbreaking head coach in Meg Decker. As a collegiate player, Decker was a member of the inaugural women’s lacrosse team at the United States Naval Academy.

“Perfect fit,” said the 18-year-old Miller, who will study health science at Hartford. “I like the distance. The coaches are great. I felt so comfortable when I visited the school and met with some of the other players.”

Miller will not be playing on scholarship to begin her college career.

“They reached out to her with that understanding,” Nowc said. “They only have so many and they recruited a lot of high school juniors. They’ll reevaluate at the end of next year as far as getting a scholarship.”

Hartford is getting a versatile player with a stick in her hands. This season she has 27 goals and the same number of assists, totals that have helped put the Scotties (7-6) in position to forge their first winning season in their 12 years of play.

“Field vision,” Nowc said first as he listed Miller’s strengths as a player. “Plain and simple she has the ability to find other players. We had a win [Thursday] against Burnt Hills [14-13 overtime] and she had three assists.”

Miller collected 19 assists last season while scoring 42 goals. This year she’s acting as more of a playmaker.

“I have a new role this year,” Miller said. “I have good field vision and my coach wanted to take advantage of that. We have a lot of young players who are stepping up and I love assisting.”

Miller didn’t get a chance to do that as a sophomore after she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. She sustained the same injury to her right knee this past winter during a volleyball workout.

“People don’t understand how much you have to do to get back,” Miller said.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior lacrosse player Taylor Safford has also bounced back from ACL injuries to both knees to earn a Division I invite from Marist.

“I met her [Safford] when I was doing rehab,” Miller said. “We have a lot in common. We even have the same uniform number [14].”

Ballston Spa junior Jackie Blazejeski will be following Miller as a Division I lacrosse player, having given Manhattan College a verbal commitment.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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