Lauren McDermott’s play on the lacrosse field is defined by her intensity and fiercely competitive nature.
“She has the refuse-to-lose attitude,” North Penn coach Jami Wilus said. “I always told the other girls, especially the underclassmen, ‘When we’re in a huddle and the chips are against us, look in Lauren’s eyes because she will tell you – ‘We will win the game’ just by looking at her.’
“It’s that sheer desire you can’t teach. Kids like that only come around once in a while.”
Players capable of scoring 100 goals in a season are equally hard to find, but McDermott accomplished that feat as a senior when she scored 102 goals. The senior attack player also had 32 assists, 57 draw controls and 39 ground balls during a stellar senior season.
“In the time I’ve been coaching, we’ve had some pretty incredible offensive players go through – Jenny Collins, Amanda Lahiff and Megan Levins, but none of them have reached the 100-goal mark in a season,” Wilus said. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment.”
McDermott needed four goals to reach the milestone entering North Penn’s state playoff game against even state champion Radnor. She scored six.
“All season long, we never talked about individual accomplishment,” Wilus said. “At the Radnor game, someone on the sidelines said, ‘All she needs is one more,’ and I turned around and said, ‘One more what?’
“She’s such a tremendous player and does so many things for us. I don’t think she set that goal, but to be able to reach the 100-goal mark in the competitive games we played in really shows what kind of offensive player she is.”
Wilus had idea that McDermott would be something special the moment she laid eyes on her at a lacrosse day camp at North Penn.
“I remember seeing her – she was just a raw athlete,” the Maidens’ coach said. “She was small but had real quick feet and was very aggressive.
“She was a soccer player at the time, and I remember her contemplating soccer and lacrosse. Once she picked up the stick, she was just a natural. You could see a lot of potential in her.”
McDermott and classmate Alyssa Culp were the first freshmen Wilus moved up to the varsity. Although McDermott didn’t start, she was the first attack player off the bench. As a sophomore, McDermott was in the starting varsity lineup. She never left.
“Seeing her develop skill-wise into this type of player - it definitely wasn’t a surprise, but I think she probably goes down as being one of the most dynamic attackers or midfielders that we have had,” Wilus said. “We saw it in her at a young age, but probably no one could have predicted that she would be a 100-goal scorer.”
Allowing McDermott to reach the next level is her competitive nature.
“She doesn’t want to lose at anything - whether we’re playing tag in practice or it’s a relay race or we’re doing a shooting competition,” Wilus said. “When someone has that kind of fire, that’s something you can’t teach.
“She also does a lot with what she has. She’s not the fastest person on the field, and she’s not the biggest person on the field, but she has the biggest heart, and that’s what got her to the point where she is so successful.”
McDermott, who closed out a stellar career with 225 goals and 76 assists, has accepted a scholarship to play lacrosse at LaSalle University next year.