Like many college students, Lily Colley wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to live and study abroad. She worried, however, that being in Germany for the fall semester could have an adverse effect on her senior lacrosse season when she returned to Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.

“I really wanted to have the chance to experience another culture but lacrosse was definitely a prominent factor in my decision,” Colley said of choosing Germany as her destination.

Prior to departing she made contact with a German club team in Munich. The squad, consisting mostly of women in their mid- to late-20s, was happy to welcome her and other visiting college athletes.

“I didn’t want to go four months without touching my stick. I knew I would probably lose a little of my conditioning anyway and I didn’t want to be completely overwhelmed when I came back,” said Colley, a graduate of Wells High who is joined on the Guilford team by her twin sister, Becca.

If anything, her time away, combined with a desire to help push Guilford to its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship, has improved Colley’s game.

Guilford is 9-3 overall and 7-0 in the ODAC. Prior to scoring two goals with four assists in Wednesday’s 18-2 rout of Hollins, Colley was ranked fifth in Division III national statistics in both points (78) and points per game, and also 12th in assists per game and tied for 24th in goals per game.

In the ODAC, the senior attack is ranked first in points (now 84) and assists (38) and third in goals with 46.

With one more assist she’ll tie her own school record for assists in a season. She originally set the mark with 30 as a sophomore, her first year at Guilford after transferring from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

Earlier this season Colley was named the ODAC women’s lacrosse player of the week three straight weeks.

“On the one hand (the recognition) is rewarding. It shows the hard work definitely pays off,” Colley said.

“At the same time it’s irrelevant because lacrosse is a team sport. I try to focus on the aspect that the game is about the team and the main goal is to win a championship.”

And as she points out, her assist and point totals are a reflection of teammates’ ability to put the ball in the cage. Senior E’leyna Garcia leads the ODAC with 57 goals, while Becca Colley is among the team leaders with 29 goals from her midfield position. Becca Colley is also among the top 10 in the league in ground balls and draw controls.

“This is by far the best season I’ve seen Becca have,” Lily Colley said.

“She played college soccer in the fall for the first time, and she came to lacrosse quicker and faster than ever.”

Lily Colley said her major individual focus this season was to cut down on her turnovers and increase her shooting percentage. She has done both, dropping the turnovers from 3.06 per game to 2.00 while putting 88.8 percent of her shots on goal compared to 78.5 a year ago.

“I think I’ve become more patient, honestly,” Colley said. “It was a matter of taking smarter shots.”

WOMEN’S LACROSSE

Assumption College is off to an 8-4 start and 6-3 in the Division II Northeast-10 Conference thanks in large part to its Maine natives.

Senior attack and tri-captain Lindsay Hagerman of Scarborough is second on the team in scoring with 22 goals and a team-leading 19 assists. Junior attack/midfielder and assistant captain Camille Auger of Kennebunk is third in goals (19), assists (9) and points (28).

Earlier this season, Auger recorded her 100th career point. Hagerman, who didn’t play as a freshman, has 92 career points.

Senior midfielder Nancy McAdam of Portland has appeared in 10 games with one start and sophomore midfielder Kate Graydon of Kennebunkport (Kennebunk) has been effective in a reserve role, scoring seven goals in nine games.

Saint Michael’s junior Kate Boyer of Standish (Bonny Eagle) scored three goals, including one to snap a 10-10 tie and put the Purple Knights (6-2, 4-2) ahead to stay in a recent 14-12 win against Franklin Pierce in NE-10 play. Boyer has 16 goals in eight games.

MEN’S TENNIS

Saint Michael’s sophomore Charlie Merry played No. 3 singles for the first time in his career and notched a 6-3, 6-4 win as the Knights (1-12) won for the first time this season, beating American International College, 7-2.

SOFTBALL

Valparaiso sophomore catcher Janelle Bouchard of Kennebunk has started all 36 games, and is batting .286 with two homers, nine doubles and 23 RBI. Behind the plate she has made one error in 207 chances.

An NCAA tournament team a year ago as the Horizon League champion, Valparaiso is 13-23 after a slow start but has a five-game winning streak thanks to Bouchard’s two-run walk-off homer Tuesday for a 4-3 victory against Northern Illinois to sweep a doubleheader.

Three first-year players from Scarborough High’s 2013 Class A championship team are making impacts for three NESCAC schools.

Marisa O’Toole has played in 12 of 19 games for Bowdoin (13-6), and is hitting .316 with two doubles and three triples. O’Toole played second in high school but has seen most of her time at short for the Polar Bears.

Grace Farnkoff has played mostly outfield at Colby (4-9), starting every game. Farnkoff is batting .162 but has made only one error in the field with two assists. As a team Colby is hitting .203.

Erin Giles has seen limited time as a pitcher at Middlebury (10-7), starting three games and working in relief twice. Giles is 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA in 141/3 innings.

Colby has several other local players: first-year Maria Ennamorati of Waldoboro (Medomak Valley), sophomore Emily Schatz of Lyman (Massabesic), sophomore Katherine Zafirson of Saco (Thornton Academy), junior Carolyn Bennett of Scarborough, and junior Meaghan Lewia of Wells.

Schatz leads the team in hits (13) and batting average (.361). Lewia (.146) has started every game. 

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig