(1) Carly Reilly will play lacrosse at Swarthmore College. Reilly is pictured with parents Joseph and Isabella, sister Lenna, and coach Elena Hynes. (2) CHS 2022 graduate Grace Michaud will play lacrosse at Kean University. Michaud is pictured with mother Renee and brother Matthew.
Grace Michaud and Carly Reilly helped launch the girls’ lacrosse program at Cromwell High School.
Four years later and following all-conference senior seasons, the 2022 graduates will continue their lacrosse careers collegiately.
Michaud is headed to Kean University in New Jersey to study exercise science and Reilly will major in astronomy and physics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
Cromwell lacrosse head coach Drew O’Connor, who coached both players since youth lacrosse, said the departing duo have high IQs and were instrumental with building the program at CHS, which debuted in May of 2019.
O’Connor added that the two graduates will be “huge assets at the next level” for their new teams.
Michaud served a defensive captain who made an impactful from the first day she stepped onto the field her freshman season in Cromwell.
“Being with the program since it started, it’s been cool to see how the program has grown,” said Michaud.
Along with playing lacrosse, she also starred as a standout soccer player at the school. Off the field, she was on Student Council all four years and was part of National Honor Society and the World Language Club.
“Grace is phenomenal at seeing the field. I look to her for leadership on the field everyday” said O’Connor. “She is a very confident young lady that is not afraid to advocate for herself and that will help her at the next level.”
Michaud will now join a Cougars program in Union, N.J. led by head coach B.J. Johnson, who has guided the program to a NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) tournament appearance in every season she has been there.
Michaud said she knew that Kean was her next destination following a conversation with the coach and a visit to the campus.
“It really just felt at home. I knew it is where I wanted to be for the next four years,” recalled Michaud, whose long term goal is to become a physical therapist. “I’m super excited to see that level of play.”
Reilly was an offensive force and captain at Cromwell, starring as a main attacker this spring.
She grew up playing basketball and decided to focus exclusively on lacrosse prior to her sophomore year before the season was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At that point, Reilly said she could never have dreamed that less than two years later she would be committing to play the sport at the next level.
“Lacrosse was fun but I never thought I would be playing in college,” recalled Reilly. “But coming into junior year I played club lacrosse and that solidified that I wanted to play in college.”
Along with lacrosse, Reilly also was part of World Language Club, National Honor Society, and was the President of the Spanish National Honor Society at CHS.
O’Connor said that Reilly’s combination of knowledge and athleticism will allow her to excel at the next level, adding, “Her skill set is really high. She is a wicked stick handler and no matter where the ball is, she’s going to catch it.”
At Swarthmore, Reilly will join a program led by head coach Karen Borbee and associate head coach Kathy Krannebitter, who have over a half century of combined coaching experience.
“Swarthmore had been on my radar for a long time and academically it was everything I wanted,” said Reilly, who chose the school on academics first and then realized that lacrosse was also a possibility. “I reached out to the coach and they saw me play at a summer tournament. It all worked out; it was almost like it was meant to be.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin