There was much to celebrate at the conclusion of the 2023 Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls Lacrosse season as three players landed major awards.
Julia Besse ’23 was named an Academic All-American by US Lacrosse. Julia, a captain and four-year member of the WMA Girls Lacrosse program, will attend Boston College.
Meanwhile, Abby Brunelle ’25 and Ally Orquiola ’25 were selected to the All-New England Prep School Athletic Council team. Abby and Ally both excelled offensively for the Titans despite some physical setbacks.
Quotes from the players
Julia: “It’s such an honor to be named Academic-All American. I am so grateful for all of the experiences and memories the WMA Girls Lacrosse team has given me, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the program.”
Ally: “This year was different for me regarding my health complications, playing a different position, but I was able to make the most of it. My teammates gave me great support on field and in practices, pushing me to get better. I was able to try new things and continue to develop my game with my team and coaches by my side. Playing with the girls this year has made it a season I will never forget.”
Abby: “I think that throughout the season I made corrections and improvements. Coming off of my (ankle) surgery I knew it would be a tough season, but I kept pushing and had a successful outcome with my coaches and teammates pushing me to do better.”
Quotes from Coach Annie Kandel:
On Julia: “As a player, her incredible effort and determination ensure that she gives her best every day - and in doing so she makes her teammates better as well. A fierce defender, she constantly shuts down the opposing team’s top scorers, and her ability to consistently win ground balls is a credit to her vision and intensity. It is a bit cliche but in this case very true: if we had 12 of her, not only would we win every game, but we would have a lot of fun doing so.
On Abby: “Abby brings so much energy and enthusiasm to our team. She has strong stick skills and a very competitive drive. Abby is thoughtful and strategic about her play and our team as a whole. As the season went on, her point totals in games became very reliable. She is a leader on attack in her action and words. I think Abby will be an excellent captain for the team next year.”
On Ally: “Ally has one speed and it is Go! What a pleasure it is to coach a player who works so hard and cares so much about improving and competing. Ally’s stick skills and lacrosse IQ are very good. She is a reliable target for her teammates in transition and a spark for the attack. Her speed and agility coupled with her strong stick skills make her very hard to defend. Ally is a major threat on attack. During our toughest games, we used her on the draws as well and she was very successful at draw controls. I look forward to our next season together with her as team captain, where I think she will inspire her teammates to work hard and improve their skills.”