By Sarah Blythe-Wood
March 5, 2009
Senior lacrosse captain Mandy Friend enters her final season at the University of Richmond having already broken and re-broken program records during all of her previous three seasons.
Friend, a native of Canandaigua, N.Y., joined the Spiders during the 2005-06 season, teaming up with older sister Ashley to help lead the Spiders to their second-straight Atlantic 10 Championship and NCAA appearance.
Fifty-three goals, 23 assists and 76 points later, Friend had made sure the team had achieved its objective during her first year on the team.
After setting a program record for the most points scored during a single season and earning five A-10 Rookie of the week honors, individual awards followed.
Friend was named a Third-Team All-American, Rookie All-American and All-Regional first team honoree as well as being selected to the Virginia Sports Information Directors' first team.
She was also named to the A-10 Championship team, the A-10 All-Conference team and was named A-10 Rookie of the year for 2006.
Friend attributed her success to the lack of an overwhelming expectation to perform well on an established team.
"I had stand-out upperclassmen who could take over a game," Friend said, "and I felt like I was just helping them out, and if I played well, I played well and that was that."
With that type of mindset, Friend said she had the ability to play her best lacrosse.
After such a remarkable year, Friend said she had begun to pressure herself to "do this or do that."
But she repeated her success, and then some.
As a sophomore in 2007, Friend set new program records for the most goals, 62, and points in a season, 77.