By Chris McDaniel, Marshfield Mariner
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Marshfield’s Tori McDonough figured her lacrosse career was over when she graduated from Marshfield High in 2016.
But after some convincing from former Marshfield teammate Liz Ettridge, McDonough decided to lace the cleats up for the Bridgewater State University women’s lacrosse team.
The pair reunited and formed a dynamic duo for the Bears, as both former Rams earned Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Star honors.
McDonough, who posted 28 goals and 39 assists, served typically as the distributor while Ettridge, who netted 48 goals with 15 assists, was the finisher.
“We did use each other in high school, but this year it was a completely different level,” said Ettridge of the connection with McDonough. “(All my teammates) said they had never seen a connection like that on the field made so quickly. Maybe it is because we knew each other and we have played with each other one year, but it was a completely different level than high school.”
Ettridge estimated that 40% of her goals came off feeds from McDonough.
“Elizabeth is very good, especially when she is in the eight with a bunch of defenders on her,” said McDonough. “I can always count on her to finish. Whenever I feed the ball, sometimes they’re not the best passes, but I can always count on her to catch them no matter what.”
Ettridge, a sophomore, earned first team league all-star honors while finishing second in the league in goals. McDonough, a freshman, was on the second team and finished second in the league in points and assists.
“Coming into Bridgewater I wasn’t originally planning on playing lacrosse and Elizabeth definitely convinced me too,” said McDonough. “She kept saying how she would love to play with me for another three years and how she really enjoyed high school. She was able to convince me and after we started playing, we connected really well.
“I’m very happy I decided to play.”
“When she joined the team I helped introduce her to everyone and everyone automatically loved her,” said Ettridge.
Before Bridgewater, the pair was friendly as teammates on the soccer and lacrosse teams, but rarely hung out away from the field. That has changed this year.
“We didn’t know if Tori was going to instantly play or if she was going to wait a year to get settled into school,” said Ettridge. “From the beginning when I knew that she was coming to Bridgewater, I said, ‘Lacrosse is always going to be there for you. You’re going to have a great set of friends.’”
The former Rams helped the Bears finish 12-7. Bridgewater’s streak of nine consecutive conference titles and eight consecutive NCAA tournament appearances came to an end with a 15-5 loss to Westfield State in the MASCAC Tournament championship.
From April 8-26, Ettridge caught fire for Bridgewater. Over the span of five games, all Bears’ wins, the sophomore netted 27 points with 22 goals.
“I just relaxed out there on offense and the momentum came and the goals went into the back of the net,” said Ettridge.
McDonough had to shake off some jitters after a slow start. In the season opener against Babson, a 14-3 loss, the freshman registered zero points. It was the only game she played in all season without scoring. The attacker didn’t play against Mount Holyoke, but exploded onto the scene with an eight-point performance against Alfred on March 8 in a 23-5 win.
“My first game against Babson, I was very intimidated and nervous,” said McDonough. “I didn’t produce or do anything that game so I was very nervous. The game after when we went to Florida, we beat Alfred by a lot. That was when I got my confidence up. I realized that I can play at the college level.”
Accolades began to pour in early in the season for McDonough. She earned MASCAC rookie of the week four times and player of the week twice.
“When I got rookie of the week, I actually didn’t know. I just went into practice the next day and all the girls were saying, ‘Congrats.’ I was very confused what they were talking about,” said McDonough, a communication disorder major. “I honestly didn’t even know about rookie of the week until then. It was very nice to have and I’m proud of how I’ve been playing this year.”
In total, four Bears earned first team all-star honors with Taylor Brown, Allie Forman and Melissa Renauld joining Ettridge.
“I’m very grateful for it. I was not expecting it,” said Ettridge, who will start a double major in history and secondary education in the fall. “It’s a good look for our team. It shows that everyone is out there trying their hardest and putting all their effort in and it’s rewarded in the end. ”