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West Newbury native Sarah Galligan has 19 goals in 14 games for the Stonehill College lacrosse team this season.

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."

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