The Hopkinton High School girls lacrosse team is coming off a trip to the sectional quarterfinals a season ago and has a pair of seniors leading the attack who are set to play at the collegiate level and help the Hillers toward another trip to the postseason.
Lydia Rudden is heading to Stonehill College next season, while Natalie Calkins will play for Merrimack.
“Lydia and I are both seniors, so we work really well with each other together on the field and with the underclassmen as well,” Calkins said.
Rudden had similar praise for her attackmate, calling Calkins “a great player.”
“She is really aggressive and always hustling,” Rudden said. “She will be great at Merrimack.”
The duo has been excellent for the Hillers, helping Hopkinton to three straight tournament appearances and a winning record a quarter of the way through the 2019 season. Rudden passed 100 goals for her career last season and passed the 200-point milestone last month. She earned Tri-Valley League All-Star recognition each of the past two seasons after receiving honorable mention her freshman year.
Calkins is closing in on a milestone of her own, nearing 100 career goals. It’s a tally she hopes to achieve before the end of her senior campaign. She has also been a TVL All-Star.
The teammates also had deeply personal reasons for landing at their respective colleges to continue their lacrosse careers.
“I really liked the size, it’s a smaller school with smaller class sizes. I knew that would be best for me,” Calkins said of Merrimack.
Rudden kicked off the recruiting process early and already knew the Stonehill program well, since her sister, Brooke, played there, and her brother, Hank, played football at the North Easton school. At first it did not seem like that connection would help the school land another Rudden.
“I loved visiting her there, but I thought I wanted to change it up,” she said. “But as I looked at other schools, I never found one I loved as much as Stonehill. It seemed like the perfect fit for me.”
Calkins plans to study something in the health sciences field, though she will be entering school without a declared major. She said she is planning to look into physical therapy or athletic training. Rudden also is going into college undecided in terms of a major, but said business and education are two fields that she is interested in.
But before they head off to the next level, the teammates hope to lead Hopkinton to the tournament for a fourth straight year and put together a deep playoff run.
“We are all supportive of each other and always helping each other out,” Calkins said. “That goes a long way.”
Rudden agreed, saying her primary goal for the rest of her high school career is to help the team achieve as much success as possible.
“I want to work really hard for my teammates and be a great leader on the team, create a good team environment and chemistry,” she said. “We have been improving every game, we want to be the best we can be at the end of the season.”