Kayla Treanor was one of her childhood idols.
Asa Goldstock, just a couple years older than her, was the goalie she wanted to emulate.
So . . . playing for an NCAA championship . . . with Treanor as one of her coaches . . . and Goldstock as the opposing goalie?
“I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Boston College junior Rachel Hall said earlier this week, days after helping to lead her team to an NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse championship.
That game between Boston College and Syracuse included a variety of people with local connections, including both starting goalies who — for a year — attended Iroquois Middle School of the Niskayuna Central School District at the same time. Goldstock was an eighth-grader at the school — and already on the district’s varsity girls’ lacrosse team — and Hall was a sixth-grader during the year they overlapped at the school, which was Hall’s final year attending Niskayuna schools before moving with her family to Texas.
Hall graduated from Cypress Woods High School in Texas’ Harris County, and attended Oregon for a year before transferring to Boston College. Prior to Sunday’s final, which Boston College won 16-10 to capture its first national title, Hall said she smiled when Goldstock was announced with a “Niskayuna” hometown during starting lineups at Towson University.
“It was just a really cool moment,” Hall said. “Asa was the goalie I looked up to when I was growing up.”
Hall, who also attended the Niskayuna district’s Glencliff Elementary, played youth lacrosse in Niskayuna. Goldstock was only a couple years older than Hall, but Hall said she tried to study and learn from the goalie who ended her high school career at New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Treanor — a 2012 Niskayuna High School graduate who starred at Syracuse as a player, and now is Boston College’s associate head coach — was someone Hall viewed as a “celebrity” when she was a youth player attending Niskayuna schools.
“Kayla was an idol to all of us,” the 20-year-old Hall said of Treanor, who was a four-time All-American at Syracuse and has competed on the U.S. National Team.
Treanor, now 27 years old, said it didn’t occur to her until after Sunday’s victory that both starting goalies in the game were from the Capital Region. She’s known both Hall and Goldstock, though, since both goalies were kids; Treanor briefly coached Hall in club lacrosse at the youth level, and considers Goldstock — a graduate student this past year at Syracuse — to be a “sister.”
Helping Boston College win a championship Sunday, Treanor said, was one of the most-rewarding moments of her lacrosse career.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Treanor, who will try out next week for the U.S. team that will compete in next year’s World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship. “It’s something I’ve always wanted and dreamed of, and it feels really great to be a part of the Boston College family, and to get to coach these incredible people and work with an amazing coaching staff.”
Hall, who just completed her junior season at Boston College, moved away from the Capital Region prior to starting seventh grade. She returned to the area, though, to train ahead of tryouts for the U19 USA National Team a few years ago.
“Niskayuna has always been there for me,” Hall said. “It’s a really special place.”
Niskayuna High School varsity girls’ lacrosse head coach Alexis Licht said she made sure her players knew both starting goalies in Sunday’s national championship game grew up in their area. One of the members of Niskayuna’s original girls’ lacrosse team and now back leading the program, Licht said Sunday’s game was a special moment for the team.
“There is something special about Niskayuna lacrosse,” Licht said. “There is a connection, a family-like atmosphere — even when you move all the way to Texas, you still say you’re from Niskayuna.”
Hall, who led the nation in total saves as a freshman playing at Oregon, made nine saves in Sunday’s final. Hall made 11 saves when Boston College upset top-ranked North Carolina 11-10 in the national semifinals in a rematch of a regular-season game that North Carolina won 21-9.
“It was surreal,” Hall said of the semifinal win. “But, going into [that game] . . . in our locker room, with all the players and our coaching staff, we went into it thinking we were going to win.”
Hall, with a laugh, added: “It’s kind of crazy that we were that fearless.”
Hall credited the team’s veteran players and coaching staff for making sure Boston College didn’t celebrate the semifinal win for too long. The celebration after Sunday’s win, though, was a different story.
“It was easily the coolest day of my life,” Hall said. “That was something I’d dreamed of.”