By Jim Sullivan
---- — At 25, first-year Georgetown girls lacrosse coach Bridget Lane has found a nice little niche for herself.
“I work in Haverhill, I live in Newburyport,” said Lane. “So Georgetown was the perfect fit.”
Things have indeed worked well so far for Lane, who took over the Royals from Heather Hartford and has already led the team to a 2-0 record on the young season with wins against Triton and Lynnfield. She has played the game most of her life and has a unique view of it.
“I think that lacrosse is a pretty sport,” said Lane. “It takes a lot of finesse as well as athleticism. And it’s usually a combination of those two factors to be successful in lacrosse.”
Lane was raised in the hotbed of Fairfield County Connecticut’s lacrosse community, and the game caught her eye right from the start. She made a connection to the North Shore of Massachusetts with a family summer home in Salisbury and two of her uncles coached football in the Lawrence area as well.
“Watching them when I was little, I realized that coaching is cool,” said Lane.
She played for Fairfield University and would go on to a career in teaching, starting in special education at Masconomet where she was also the junior varsity girls lacrosse coach, then moved on to become the assistant coach at Andover high under John McVeigh, who she credits for a lot of her coaching knowledge.
“He is, by far, one of the best girls lacrosse coaches in the state of Massachusetts,” Spillane said of McVeigh. “He really put Andover on the map. And after spending a year with him, I finally felt like I was ready to be a head coach. He is such a great mentor, and he really wanted me to go on to be a great coach.”
Lane also credits McVeigh with preparing her for when the Georgetown job became available again this season.
“A year ago, I had thought about applying but didn’t feel that I was ready,” Lane said. “But after that year in Andover, McVeigh encouraged me to seek out a program that would be closer to home and Georgetown popped up. I knew that they had a good foundation there. So it wouldn’t be as if I had to come in there and reinvent the wheel.”
Lane also enjoys the town itself and says her instincts have been rewarded by the welcome she has received from the players and fans.
“All the parents have introduced themselves,” said Lane. “So I know all the parents. I might not immediately recognize them, I don’t know all the names yet, but it’s nice and I’ve had no issues.”
Lane’s seniors include Madeline Cannon, Chelsea Burke, Marisa Agganis, Kathryn Gibb and Courtney Mangino.
“I have a great senior class,” Lane said. “I have a phenomenal group of seniors who are dedicated to the sport and dedicated to making sure the program is successful. And I think that is what sets those seniors apart. They facilitated opportunities for me to get to know all the kids. They’re just great kids and that really helps me as a coach. We have kids who are more concerned about the success of the program than the chances that they get. They try to make everyone look good out there, and they are not concerned with being selfish. Which is always nice to coach.”
Currently teaching eighth grade English at the Nettle middle school in Haverhill, Lane says she is just learning to juggle her two worlds, but so far, so good.
“It’s tough because I do teach in Haverhill,” said Lane. “I have to start practice a little bit later. Away games are a nightmare, I’m all over the place. But the athletic director, Chris DiFranco, has been super accommodating and the kids in general, if I’m running late they’re already starting warming up.”