Her women’s lacrosse career ended as most players might dream it to end.
An undefeated season and a national championship.
You might say that Kelly Cassels ’07 and her F&M teammates built toward that national title in every season since she walked onto the field as a freshman.
“Kelly was one of our top recruits,’’ said former Diplomat women’s lacrosse coach Anne Phillips. “She was fast and tireless in the midfield. She had all the tools.’’
From an overall record of 10-9 as a freshman, Cassels, a senior in 2007, and the Diplomats were 21-0 when they held that national championship trophy aloft at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y.
Cassels, who had a pair of assists in the 11-8 title game victory over Salisbury, was a key cog in the growth of the women’s lacrosse program in her time at F&M.
“She was great in the draw circle, she could get that ground ball, drive, and shoot,’’ Phillips said. “She could do it all. She was that elite leader that helped us win a national title.’’
Through her senior season, in which she was a team captain, the Diplomats won those 21 games by an average margin of 15-5. They won their two Centennial Conference playoff games by a cumulative 30-7 score and won the CC Title with a 14-4 decision over Gettysburg on April 29th.
They continued to roll in the NCAA Tournament, dispatching their first two opponents in the NCAA regional games by a 34-3 margin.
But the second date with Salisbury – F&M had beaten the Sea Gulls 8-7 at home earlier in the season – would be difficult. Phillips relied on the perseverance built up over a tough season.
"The foundation they had built allowed them to handle it, allowed them to beat Gettysburg three times, and Salisbury again," Phillips told Lancaster Newspapers.
Cassels finished her senior season with 41 goals, third-best on the team. She had totaled 47 goals as a junior and 42 as a sophomore - ending her career sixth on the F&M all-time scoring list with 217 points and 163 goals, while also handing out 54 assists.
Her final three seasons ended with her being named All-America and an All-Centennial First Team member. She also participated in the North-South Senior All-Star Game.
As strong a player as she was on the field, Cassels enjoyed the camaraderie and ancillary activities that went along with being a collegiate athlete. The dining hall meals, hitting the locker room sign before heading out onto the field and the attackers’ huddle talks are all fond memories.
Besides her exploits in lacrosse, Cassels also played soccer for four years. She had six career goals and was a captain in her senior season. As a senior, she scored a goal in her final game against Johns Hopkins.
Currently, Cassels is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Broomall, Pa. She lives in Philadelphia with husband and F&M grad Steve Loscalzo, plays in a rec soccer league with Steve, and is teaching son Benjamin how to play soccer.