Bright future for Shrewsbury soccer star
By Erika Steele, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Maclaine Lehan is decorated with accolades from her long-tenured soccer career. An NSCAA All-American, two-time Independent School League Defensive Player of the Year, and a NEPSAC Class B champion, the Shrewsbury resident was at the top of her class as a center back for the Red Wings at the Rivers School in Weston. She is the oldest child of John and Michele Lehan.
So technically sound, so quick, and so formidable to approaching offensive players, it was no surprise that she was recruited by Division I colleges for her athletic prowess. Susanna Donahue, the varsity girls” soccer coach at the Rivers, believes Lehan was one of the best defenders to ever come through the Independent School League.
However, while Lehan is known by locals and feared by opposing coaches for her stout defensive skills, the senior tri-captain is more than a player on the pitch.
Juggling a long commute to school, high school soccer, and Mass Premier Soccer, a Waltham-based club team, Lehan uses what free time she has to do charity work. She is involved with a running club at Rivers which organizes an annual 5k to benefit the Financial Aid Funds and works with Girls Now, a charity that helps send girls to school in Gambia, Africa.
“The Girls Now organization worked to build a school in Africa and to pay for girls” education through bake sales, dodge ball tournaments, donations, and other events,” recounted Lehan, explaining that it costs about $100 to send a girl to school in Gambia for one year.
“Although I am a small part of the organization, it's a really important organization for a great cause,” she said.
Currently she is also managing the Boys Varsity hockey team.
It was likely a combination of her skills, extracurricular activities, and classroom successes that attracted college recruits from all over, including Brown University, to which Lehan verbally committed during her junior year.
“I had been eyeing the Ivy League schools throughout my process because the academics and the opportunity to player soccer really appealed to me,” said the senior, who started playing soccer at age 2. “Once Brown showed interest and I visited the campus, I knew it was the right school for me. I look forward to being a part of the team and meeting new people who will have similar ambitions as me.”
Though she was sought out by many colleges, no one stood a chance once Lehan took the trip to Rhode Island. The university's curriculum appeals to her since she intends to take a wide variety of classes during her freshman year next fall in hopes that an intended major will become more clear.
“I’m not sure what I want to do with my future yet, so I’m excited to explore a variety of classes and disciplines,” Lehan said.
Though she looks forward to starting a new chapter in her life, it is bittersweet.
“I’m truly going to miss high school soccer and all the great moments it's brought to me,” she said. “This past senior season was very special to me. It's the strongest our team has ever been and we spent a lot of time together and I think that showed off on the field. ”
The squad orchestrated a final memory for Lehan to take with her as they became New England Class B co-champions in her final season.
Reflecting on earning the title, Lehan said, “My class of five seniors has been aiming for a banner since we were freshman and we had some heartbreaking losses to end our junior season, so finally winning a banner with a team that meant so much to us was awesome. I wouldn’t have wanted to end my Rivers soccer career any other way.”
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