Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

July 12, 2012

Toughness makes Alois three-sport wiz

(Continued)

Alois took her sophomore year off to just play club soccer but was back with a bang last fall.

"It was weird going home and having nothing to do," explained Alois, whose younger sister Rebecca is her teammate in basketball and lacrosse. "It was unnatural. I was so used to going to practice."

Golden Warrior soccer coach Meghan Matson was thrilled to have her back in the fold.

"Jackie is a skilled and powerful defender," said Matson, who raved about Alois' skill heading the ball. "She's a game-changing player. ... She wins the ball out of the air every time. Jackie is a Division 1 college player just with her skill and athleticism."

But Alois, a National Honor Society student, has her sights set on Division 1 lacrosse. The family may have never even gotten into lacrosse but her sister, Alex, had a bad back so she made the switch from softball after her freshman year.

The former three-sport star is now a two-year starter at Division 1 Delaware.

John McVeigh has won 82 percent of his lacrosse games and sent a slew of Golden Warriors to Division 1 colleges in his eight years at Andover. He also has had a fine nine-year run as the Brooks boys basketball coach.

He said, "Jackie is as fierce a competitor as I've ever coached. She always wants to cover the other team's best player. She takes incredible pride in being a great defensive player."

He said her quickness and balance sets her apart.

Alois seems well on her way to playing Division 1. She played for New England in the recent Under Armour Underclassmen lacrosse game in Maryland.

With the proliferation of year-round AAU and club teams, there aren't many top three-sport athletes left.

Matson, a former captain and team MVP at BU, said, "Athletes like Jackie are so rare. It's sad that student-athletes have to make decisions. I'm proud of Jackie for not choosing."

McVeigh said, "It takes a special kind of kid not just to stay with all three sports but to sacrifice individual glory for her teams' success. Jackie is athletically gifted, works as hard as anyone I know and is totally selfless. It's quite a combination. ... Whoever lands her will be a very lucky coach and program."

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