Ripping Twine: Victoria McDonough and the Game of Lacrosse

In January of 2017, a certain student athlete transferred to Bridgewater State.

She later would dawn a lacrosse uniform and record over 100 goals and assists, while putting her name in the program’s record book.

Her name is Victoria McDonough.

She transferred to Bridgewater State University because she wanted to major in Communication Disorders and to be closer to home. At first, she put lacrosse in the back of her head to focus on academics.

But an old friend changed her mind; Her Marshfield High teammate Elizabeth Ettridge.

“Tori and I had spent time together after I knew she was transferring to BSU. I just looked at her and said, ‘you should play.’ I knew she was a great athlete and that she would get along with our BSU wlax family,” Ettridge said. “An athlete with that talent shouldn’t give up the unbelievable experience of being a college athlete in my opinion. Those were some of the best words I have said, because she positively impacted my career as an athlete, and my overall college experience. And I thank her for that.”

Ettridge was able to convince McDonough to attend a winter meeting with the team. As soon as that meeting was over, she went to the coach and told her she’d like to play.  

“I’m forever thankful Elizabeth pushed me to play, or I would never be where I am today,” McDonough said.

Image courtesy of bsubears.com

She competed in a Bears jersey all the way to her senior year, but she threw on her first uniform in the third grade.

She grew up playing sports with her brother, but once her town made a girl’s lacrosse team, she joined right away.

“One of the best decisions I’ve made,” McDonough said.

She made her way through Youth Lacrosse and then reached Marshfield High School where she found her position as an attacker.

“High School is where it really came together for me. I knew my position on the field and worked hard to keep improving year after year,” McDonough said. “I was lucky enough to have great coaches and incredible teammates.”

After Ettridge convinced her to play her freshman year, the two clicked instantly, more so than in high school.

At Marshfield, the duo played two different styles. But at BSU, they became inseparable.

“I always could count on her to catch my passes and finish in the net,” McDonough said. “Everyone on the team even noticed it and somehow we were able to read each other so well and connect on the field without saying a single word, just eye contact.”

“Tori and I had a connection like no other,” Ettridge said. “We knew how to connect with one another without even having to communicate it, which is crazy to be able to do.”

It was through playing with Ettridge that McDonough found her love for making assists. She began playing behind the net as a lefty in her first season because there was no other lefty on the team. And through that, she was able to see a lot of cuts throughout the field, and it was easier to sling the ball around.

“After getting my first few assists, I realized I enjoyed it much more being able to see a perfect cut, feeding a good ball, and watching my teammate finish on net than to score a goal,” McDonough said. “I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt so much more pumped up seeing a plan that we had been working on and knowing I helped contribute to the success of that play.”

Image courtesy of bsubears.com

McDonough put together four Rookie of the Week and nine Player of the Week awards across her collegiate career and was named to the All-MASCAC Conference Second-Team once, and the First-Team twice. She also claimed the Player of the Year award her junior year.

Then, her final season came along. She recorded 15 goals and seven assists for 22 points in just five games, as the coronavirus cut her senior year short.

“I know this would have been a capstone season for her. Her stick skills, field vision, decision making, and leadership were all peaking at the right time. Even as a senior captain, she was still trying to improve every day. Finding new ways to be successful and setting the bar high for not just this year’s team, but the future of our program,” Bridgewater women’s lacrosse coach Erica Adams said. “She had her mind set on leading this year’s team to a conference championship. Do I think she could have reached a few milestones in the BSU record books? Of course. She most definitely would have. But I think her main focus and goal was at the end of the year, she wanted to be holding up a trophy with her teammates.”

Each year, McDonough finished in the top-2 for points and assists and wrapped up her career with a total of 140 goals, 140 assists, and 280 points in total. She was set to become only the sixth player in program history to amass 300 points in their career, and was only 17 assists away from breaking the assists record.

Her name is etched into the Bridgewater State record book as she holds the record for most assists by a freshman in a season with 39 and is tied for the most assists in a game with 10. She also is second in draw controls in a career, third for assists in a season, and fourth in assists in a career.

Image courtesy of bsubears.com

Now, with her college career at a close, she has options in the air for what’s next. But her friend and old teammate has one idea.

“When Tori and I first played together in a college game, I knew from that point on that she would set records at BSU. Now that I have graduated and I got to watch the games, I couldn’t be prouder of watching my teammate succeed the way she is on the field,” Ettridge said. “Now, as a high school coach, I hope Tori will come and help coach a couple practices sometime.”

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