Erin Walsh a Jewel for Franklin Field Hockey

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Franklin High athlete Erin Walsh will head to BC in the fall.  Contributed photo.
Issue Date: 
May, 2020
Article Body: 

During her freshman and sophomore years Erin Walsh played for the Franklin High School field hockey team, but following the second campaign, she decided it was something that she just didn’t care for and decided to put all her effort into her other sport – lacrosse.
Deep down inside her heart, Walsh always knew that lacrosse was going to be her sport; everyone of her sisters, all five of them, played. So, in the fourth grade she finally picked up a lacrosse stick, and like her sisters before her, she fell in love with the sport,
“I found that I really enjoyed playing the sport,” Walsh said. “Growing up and playing Franklin Youth lacrosse came me the opportunity to play on a lot of teams with my sister Annie, who is one year older than I am. We also got to play on the Mass Elite team together as well; it was really great to play on the same team as her.”
Luckily for the youngest female, Walsh, when it came time to enter high school and try out for the team, her older sister was there to guide her through the process.
“I was very nervous at first, but having Annie there really relaxed me and allowed me to play my game during the tryouts,” she said. “When I made the varsity team, it was an excellent feeling. It we something that I had been dreaming about throughout my whole youth career.”
Getting to play once again with her older sister was a great thrill, but may not have been as great as the year she had as a freshman. The Panthers went 19-1 that year and earned themselves the number one seed in the Division 1 east Sectional Tournament. After breezing through the tournament, winning by an average of 8.33 points per contest to capture the Championship, Franklin fell to Longmeadow in the State Semi-Finals.
“My freshman year, was a successful one in my mind in terms of what I did, but the most impressive part of it was what the team did,” Walsh said.
Over the next two seasons, Franklin went a combined 31-7 during the regular season but would be sent home both years in the Sectional Semi-Finals by Concord-Carlisle. Although the team didn’t have the same success that they had that her freshman campaign, Walsh continued to grow as an athlete.
“My sophomore year, I thought that the team would get better and play with the same intensity as it had the year before. Myself, I felt a lot more comfortable with the sport on the high school level and with a year of experience, I was more confident in my game,” the now senior said. “My junior year was also a good year for me, and I focused more on feeding my teammates instead of just trying to score.”
While Walsh felt that she was distributing the ball to her teammates more often last year, Franklin lacrosse Coach Kristen Igoe said the junior was still the team’s leading scorer in terms of overall points.
“Being a varsity contributor since her freshman year Erin was always good at scoring goals, but last year, she had to adjust to the other team’s double teaming her,” the Coach said. “It didn’t affect her, she still managed to get her goals as well as assisting her teammates.”
Having begun playing for Mass Elite in the fifth grade, Walsh not only got to know her teammates. but she found that they were a group of competitive girls which eventually helped her game.
“For the most part, I’ve been with the same group of girls, and they were very competitive lacrosse players, looking to be the best,” she said. “With so many talented girls on the team, I needed to improve my attacking skills and get faster if I wanted to succeed.
Obviously, Walsh’s talents were good enough when she entered Franklin High School, as later that year, she committed to play lacrosse for Boston College although she still had three plus years of high school left. Although the ruling has changed in the last three years ago Walsh was able to commit to BC.
“My older sister Christina, who graduated from BC in 2019, was playing for the school and I was going to her games,” Walsh said. “I had visited the school and was really impressed with the closeness; it was like a family. The coaches were all great, and I liked the academics. Annie and I actually committed on the same day to go to BC and play lacrosse.”
Walsh may be committed to playing for the Eagles next fall, but she feels that she still needs to continue to work hard and get stronger. Unfortunately, not being able to play lacrosse this spring for the Panthers due to the coronavirus going around is hurting her.
“I was really looking forward to this season, and this year’s team would have really been good,” she said. “It’s sad what’s going on, but we just need to remain positive, and hopefully we’ll get back onto the field before the season is fully lost.”
Whether the season gets to be played in some aspect or not, the Franklin Coach believes her midfielder is ready for college.
“Erin is a very competitive and feisty player who is known throughout the league,” Igoe said. “Everyone has marked her each game last year, and she still managed to persevere and overcome. She’ll be fine in college.”