Sarah Galligan had no path to follow when she graduated from Pentucket in 2008 with plans of playing lacrosse at Stonehill College.
She was Pentucket's all-time leading goal-scorer in the brief history of the girls program and the first four-year varsity athlete who planned to play at the next level.
Four years later, Galligan has blazed the trail for any Pentucket player hoping to play in college. Galligan, a senior returning NCAA Division 2 All-American, is putting the finishing touches on one of the top collegiate lacrosse careers of any local player.
Galligan has 19 goals and 14 assists this season for Stonehill (12-3 overall, 9-1 Northeast-10 Conference), the seventh-ranked Division 2 team in the country. The Skyhawks will finish off the regular season in the next week before competing in the NE-10 Conference tournament.
Last year, Stonehill posted its highest win total (15) in four seasons before falling in the semifinal round to eventual national runner-up Le Moyne College.
Galligan has been hampered by a quadriceps injury this season after recording 46 goals and 10 assists during her junior season. Last season, she was the team's linchpin in the middle of the field with a program-record 43 caused turnovers as well as 53 ground balls and 42 draw controls. Her leg injury has neutralized her best attributes as a player, forcing her to move from midfield to attack.
"I'm still trying to come back from the injury, and I haven't been as effective as I'd like," Galligan said. "I have to run a little less, and that's been tough."
Galligan's move to attack is actually familiar territory; she started at the position as a freshman in order to secure some playing time on a roster loaded with talent at the midfield position.
"Since I left Pentucket, I had to grow as a player on the field," Galligan said. "Playing multiple positions, that's something I had to learn. I played midfield in high school and ran wherever I wanted. Now, I'm playing more specific positions and growing as a player."
Off the field, Galligan has spent two years as the vice chair of Stonehill's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She serves as a liaison between Stonehill's student-athletes, the school administration, the community and the NCAA.
Galligan plans to graduate with a degree in communications next month. She hopes to find employment that will enable her to be close to sports.
"I would love to continue playing lacrosse if a league is available to me," Galligan said. "I'd love to do something in the sports industry. I hope to come back to coaching whenever I settle down. I want to be involved with lacrosse one way or another."