MARBLEHEAD — When a player reaches a career milestone, it’s an accomplishment worth celebrating. When a player reaches a career milestone while helping her team close in on a state tournament berth, that’s even more impressive.
That’s the theme of Marblehead girls lacrosse midfielder Caroline Driscoll’s senior season. Driscoll scored her 200th career goal in a 18-0 win over Danvers on May 3. In addition to the individual accolades, Driscoll has played a key role in Marblehead’s late-season surge as the Magicians close in on a state tournament berth.
Driscoll has tallied 31 goals and 17 assists in 12 games this spring.
“Caroline’s a player that every coach hopes they’ll have on their team,” Marblehead coach Annie Madden said. “She leads each day by example and much of our success as a program can be credited to her. Her teammates trust her and look to her for leadership and guidance. Her 200th goal just proves her dedication to both herself and our program. She’s a competitor like no other and I’m so proud of everything that she has accomplished.”
For Driscoll, the milestone wasn’t one she expected to reach. Driscoll saw her fellow senior teammate, Hadley Carlton, score her 200th goal last season. Carlton and the Magicians cheered Driscoll on as she pursued the feat this year.
“It was very exciting,” Driscoll, a four-year starter who also plays on the school’s field hockey team, said. “I never thought I’d have such a big role on this team. It was a very exciting and proud moment. Hadley scored it last year and she’s been rooting for me. All my friends and teammates have been rooting for me. It was really exciting to reach it.”
Driscoll wasn’t the only Magician who celebrated a career highlight that week. In a rare occurrence, Marblehead junior Grace Arthur scored her 100th career goal in a 17-8 win over Swampscott on May 2 — one day before Driscoll’s 200th.
“Having that back-to-back games has never happened for us,” Madden said. “The best part of both their goals was the fact that all of the girls on the sideline or on the field were excited and celebrating, not just for Caroline and Grace but for the program as well. We’re excited for the future and all the accomplishments we’re reaching as a team. It reflects how the girls improve on a daily basis.
“It was a great week for us,” Madden added. “As a team we grew. We’re moving in the right direction. We’re taking care of the little things yet celebrating the success of each and every player.”
Prior to the start of the season, Driscoll solidified her future endeavors when she penned her National Letter of Intent to join to women’s lacrosse team at Division I Holy Cross. Driscoll committed to Holy Cross during her sophomore year. She’ll join her older brother, Ridge, who will play on the men’s lacrosse team.
“It was very exciting. It was kind of that final step after knowing that I’m going there these past few years,” Driscoll said of signing her NLI. “It’s exciting to know that all my hard work has paid off and I’m going to a really good school.”
With the regular season quickly coming to a close, Driscoll’s next challenge is doing her part to help lead the Magicians on another tournament run. Marblehead earned the No. 2 seed in the Division 2 North bracket last year and reached the semifinal round before falling short to Ipswich in a 12-8 loss. Marblehead was bumped up to Division 1 during the offseason.
“It’s bittersweet,” Driscoll said of her senior season. “I went in thinking ‘this is my last shot, leave it all out there.’ We got moved up to Division 1 but I don’t think we really put too much thought into that. I just came into it looking to leave an impact during my last year on the team.”
Marblehead started slow out of the gate, as the Magicians dropped three of their first five games. Since then, they’ve won six games in a row to stand at 9-3 on the season. The Magicians are undefeated in Northeastern Conference play at 7-0.
“We started off a little slow but we played some challenging games,” Driscoll said. “We took those losses as learning opportunities. We’ve been making adjustments and we’ve been clicking. We’re communicating better and everything’s falling into place. We still have a lot of tough games left. We’re making adjustments based off all our games and we’re all working together.”
With her name etched in the program’s history books and her future plans sealed, the lone missing piece to the puzzle is a playoff run. Getting back to states has been on the back of Driscoll’s mind since the season started.
“It would be even more exciting know that it’s Division 1 and knowing it’s my last season,” Driscoll said. “I’m excited to get out there and go as far as we can, you never know what that means. To play at that level and finish the season with my friends will be exciting. I hope we make a good run in states.”