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Freshman core already paying dividends for Clemson lacrosse

Mya McKenzie
Freshman attacker Jasmine Stanton (6) watches the ball from afar in the Tigers’ 16-5 victory over Coastal Carolina last weekend; Stanton recorded her first career hat trick in the game.

Head coach Allison Kwolek recruited the No. 4 freshman class in the nation for her second-ever recruiting cycle with the Tigers, and through three games, the recruiting haul has paid off, to say the least.

The hope for these new additions was that they could learn from the veteran experience of older girls on the team. The reality has been that this new freshman core has been at the forefront of Clemson’s offense, tallying 23 of the team’s 46 goals this season.

“They possess such strong work ethics, consistently come to practice ready to compete, and have been a joy to coach these last few months,” Kwolek said.

Led by five-star Regan Byrne, this talented group of young women poses a serious threat to any opposing defense attempting to keep them out of the arc. Byrne has scored nine times, marking her at seventh place in goals per game in the the notoriously competitive ACC. She also has three assists on the year.

Byrne is joined by her identical twin Blair, who has added two goals of her own as a midfielder. Both of the Byrne girls notched a spot in the top 50 recruits for Insider Lacrosse.

Jasmine Stanton and Natalie Shurtleff, both five-stars according to Insider Lacrosse, have each scored a hat trick in separate games this season; Shurtleff’s came in the home opener against Davidson, while Stanton’s was against Coastal Carolina the following weekend. Shurtleff was the highest-ranked recruit for the Tigers at the No. 2 overall spot thanks to her various accolades, such as US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Player of the Year.

Attacker Kayla Macleod has notched four goals as well, with Alex Scialdone rounding out scoring for the freshmen unit with two goals and as many assists.

Midfielders Anna Brown and Camryn Pfundstein have yet to get their names on the stat sheet for the Tigers, though both have been valuable additions to the team for transitioning the ball up and down the field.

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Grace O'Donnell
Grace O'Donnell, Sports Editor
Mya McKenzie, Senior Photographer
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