McKenna key in Wildcats four victories

Jamie Augustinsky

In the final minutes of a tight game, the excitement and anticipation of the players and fans alike are hard to miss as each side hopes to come away with the win.

Every player on the field tries to step up the intensity and seal a win for her team with a key play. For senior lacrosse player Taryn McKenna, this play came within the final three minutes of the team’s matchup against Le Moyne on Sunday afternoon.

Just 16 seconds after her teammate Erica Rybinski scored to tie the game at 12-12, McKenna hit the game-winning goal to propel the ‘Cats to their fourth win of the season. This goal completed the hat trick for the midfielder as she had two other goals earlier in the afternoon.

As a high school athlete, the Dix Hills, N.Y.-native lettered in basketball, softball and lacrosse four times each. She was named to the All-League Lacrosse Team in 2002 and 2003 and the All-County team for lacrosse in 2004 and 2005.

In her senior year, she was also named MVP for her basketball and lacrosse teams and had the honor of receiving the United States Marine Corps Outstanding Athlete Award.

During her freshman season at Villanova, she contributed to the team by playing in 16 games, and tallied three goals and one assist.

As a sophomore in 2007, McKenna was the second highest scorer on the team, as she made 19 goals and had three assists for a total of 22 points on the year. She also collected 11 ground balls throughout the course of the season.

Last season proved to be McKenna’s best season yet, as she started 14 games, and saw action in all 17 matches. She scored 35 goals and added eight assists for a total of 43 points, and her 85 shots and 62 shots on goal were also team highs. One of the highlights of her season was when she scored four goals in a 12-5 win over La Salle on April 10th.

McKenna started her senior season off right, scoring a team-high five goals in the 2009 home opener. These five goals, along with her two assists, led the Wildcats to a 13-5 victory against Central Connecticut State.

She earned a hat trick in a late-February loss to Iona and notched four goals in the team’s 15-12 loss to Monmouth on March 15.

Last Tuesday, she had a career game in an overtime victory over Navy, scoring seven goals on the night. Her two scores in the extra session were enough to give Villanova the important 15-14 victory.

McKenna has already proven herself to be a team leader this year, pacing the squad in scoring and hitting the game-winning shots on a number of occasions.

Following the game against Le Moyne, McKenna leads the team with 31 points. The total includes 26 goals and five assists. No one else on the team has more than 16 goals for the Wildcats this season. However, that is nothing against her teammates but speaks more to the success of McKenna so far this year.

If she continues to perform at this level, the Wildcats will continue to experience success. She has already led the team to several key victories during her senior campaign.

With all of April remaining, Wildcat fans are looking forward to seeing what this senior star will do to close out her collegiate career.