The Franklin & Marshall scholar-athlete profile features a Diplomat who personifies what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete. The F&M campus is filled with dedicated, passionate, and talented student-athletes who have interesting stories to tell – and it's our goal to let those stories be heard. To be chosen as a scholar-athlete of the month, F&M student-athletes must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and community service, or have a noteworthy story that stretches beyond the realm of athletic competition.
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On one of the most-decorated NCAA Division III women's lacrosse programs, Paige Moriarty will be remembered as Franklin & Marshall College's most-decorated player.
In her final year in 2018, she earned All-America First Team honors for the third straight year and was named the nation's Attacker of the Year for the second time.
Moriarty also picked up her fourth All-Region honor and became just the third Diplomat to receive Centennial Conference (CC) Offensive Player of the Year accolades—and the third player overall to win the award twice after her earlier honor in 2016.
She was a unanimous All-CC First Team selection, and only the 20th player in CC history to earn First Team accolades three times, after leading the Conference in points (97) and goals (55) while also ranking third in assists (42) in 2018.
Her 393 career points reset both the F&M and CC career points records during her senior year. She tops the school's assist record, too, with 163, and her 230 career goals place her second in program history.
"Similar to sophomore year, I really was not expecting to be chosen as the Attacker of the Year," said Moriarty, a native of Glen Ridge, N.J. "It is a very rewarding feeling and I am really happy that Danielle (Harrington) and Maggie (Hanzsche) received All-America honors as well because they were very deserving of them.
"It's a great way to end my college career, as I could not have been granted these awards without the support of my teammates."
Moriarty captained a young squad teeming with freshman talent in 2018, as the Diplomats started the season slowly, but began to mesh as a unit as the year went along. The team eventually advanced all the way to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament after an exciting, come-from-behind 12-11 win over No. 13 Tufts in its opening contest, followed by a convincing 19-9 victory over Colorado College in the Sweet 16.
"We weren't ready to go home, and we played really hard for that Tufts' win," said Moriarty, an American Studies major. "We were stopped by a really good College of New Jersey team in the Elite Eight, but when we left the field I felt we had had a great year.
"There were happy tears, not regretful tears."
A scholastic tennis champion in New Jersey as well as a lacrosse star there, Moriarty brought a unique and dynamic offensive game to Lancaster. She tended to shoot side-arm—even mixing in the occasional, unorthodox underhand attempt—while most of her peers opt to shoot overhand.
"Coach Faith would always practice those shots with me and encourage me to take them in games," said Moriarty, who set single-season program records for points (108) and goals (78) during her sophomore campaign.
"I thought Paige would make an impact on the program early on," said head coach Mike Faith. "But she made me play her from the start because of how hard she worked and how good her stick work was her freshman year."
Fighting through a constant swarm of double-team coverage as her career progressed, Moriarty's work ethic allowed her to continue her early success. However, it was her attributes as an exemplary teammate that caused her to stand out among some of the program's other greats.
"What separates Paige from other players I've coached is her selflessness and being a student of the game," said Faith. "She was completely fine with setting picks for her teammates or finding the open teammate when the defense would double her.
"She also loved watching film with me, which brought her game to another level. After good and bad games, she would come into the office and see what she needed to work on."
Moriarty is the daughter of Richard Moriarty, an investment banker, and Ginny Moriarty, a property manager. Her one sibling, older sister Maggie, played lacrosse at Yale.
She considered Division I, but after visiting the campus and meeting the people at F&M, she knew she would be happy at the College. The balance that Division III offered between athletics and academics also appealed to her.
"Division III was good for me. It was manageable," reflected Moriarty. "At one point, I took a semester in Italy, and I don't think I could have done that in a D-I program. I will always remember that semester."
Her plans after graduation include coaching on the collegiate level. She is looking into graduate assistantships at schools that value women's lacrosse – just as she does.