Girls lacrosse

Marian's Friel is state's top lacrosse goal scorer

2014-06-26T17:00:00Z 2014-06-26T23:55:47Z Marian's Friel is state's top lacrosse goal scorerMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
June 26, 2014 5:00 pm  • 

Celeste Friel remembers the day she broke the Illinois girls lacrosse single-season state goals record.

It wasn't just because she broke the record May 13.

"It was the day of (grandfather George Friel Sr.'s) funeral," Celeste Friel said. "My dad (George Jr.) called me aside and said, 'Do it for Papa.' It was a tough day, but I went out and did it for him."

She scored her 102nd and 103rd goals of the season to tie and set the record against Wheaton United. Friel finished with 109 regular-season goals, 122 including postseason play.

As far as her accomplishments, Friel is proud, but she credits her team for putting her in that position.

"You don't score a lot of goals without good teammates," Friel said. "We scored a lot, and I was always getting set up."

She also never thought she would score that many goals for her career (186). Friel set 14 school and five state records.

"Never," she said. "That's a lot of goals and you never really think about setting a record, especially a state one. Coach (Brian Patterson) kept telling me, 'Celeste, you're 60 away, you're 40 away,' and some point, you get excited as you close in."

Friel was Marian's most valuable player, the East Suburban Catholic Conference's Player of the Year and an all-state selection. She played for the Cool Stick national team last year.

"I think playing club and for the national team really helped my game," Friel said. "You go up against the best (on the national team) and that makes you improve."

It also meant getting in position to take a pass and score, and Friel, who is 5-foot-4, said she had one advantage.

"My speed definitely helped," Friel said. "Players tried to box me in, but I was able to get away and get open."

Friel will play at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Four years ago, Friel said she didn't even know that was possible.

"I never thought I would play in college," Friel said. "It was something I tried as a freshman and it was something for me.

"My dad had played  (club lacrosse at Northern Illinois) and he told me to try it. I really didn't know that much about it, but I figured I would give it a chance.

"I just really liked the sport and took to it. I started playing on a club team and am looking forward to playing at the next level."

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