Garcia impresses coaches in freshman debut

Freshman attacker Shea Garcia made her collegiate debut less than two weeks ago, but she is already one of Marquette women’s lacrosse’s leading scorers.

In the first four games of her collegiate career, she has recorded nine of the Golden Eagles’ 59 goals. She sits behind senior Grace Gabriel and graduate student Charlotte McGuire as the team’s third-highest scorer.

Her coaches have noticed her promise in practices during the offseason.

“It is hard to have too many expectations for a freshman, but we have seen in practice how explosive and dynamic she can be,” head coach Meredith Black said. “She came in with a lot of confidence, speed, and a ‘no fear’ mentality.”

Garcia’s senior teammate Cate Soccodato has noticed her ability to fit in with the rest of the team.

Soccodato, another New York native, joins Garcia in the attack line for the Golden Eagles. Soccodato said she has seen Garcia grow as a player throughout the offseason.

“I had high hopes for her,” Soccodato said. “It felt like we had been playing together for a while when we played together in the fall, which was really nice. She wasn’t a step behind anyone.”

Garcia said she recognizes there is still plenty to learn as a freshman. She said her ability to adjust to Marquette’s pace of play has been especially beneficial.

“I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but didn’t really know what to expect,” Garcia said. “I had to go in very open minded to everything the coaches and my teammates were saying to me and be able to take advice.”

She scored a goal in each of her first two games as a Golden Eagle. Despite Marquette having a hard time offensively against Notre Dame Feb. 8, Garcia scored a goal. In both of the teams games against University of Cincinnati last Friday and Detroit Mercy, Garcia has recorded 60 minutes. At Cincinnati Friday she had a career-high four goals, seven shots, six shots on goal and four ground balls.

After four games as a Golden Eagle, Garcia has 12 points, 16 shots, a 56 percent shot percentage, 88 percent for shots on goal, five ground balls and one draw control.

“As a freshman, she is definitely contributing more than anyone would have guessed,” Soccodato said. “She is super smart and way ahead of her years as a player. I love playing with her.”