YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown midfielder Kelsey McDonnell enjoyed a decorated high-school career, finishing with 115-career goals, and being named All-American in her junior campaign.

McDonnell, who will play at Virginia Commonwealth University next year, is part of a special Husker senior class. Noelle Cegielski (Davidson College), Jesse Barer (Binghamton University), Maddy Marr (Skidmore College), and Lindsay Boyle (Sacred Heart University), are the other Yorktown seniors playing in college.

“It means the world to be a part of this group of seniors,” said McDonnell, who played on the varsity team since her freshman year. “We are all close and, as unfortunate as it is, the circumstance that we are experiencing will tie us all as a whole for life, when thinking of what we lost this year. I hope the absolute best for my fellow seniors/teammates, as they begin the next chapter of their lives, I know they will do great things.”

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McDonnell said that it was heartbreaking to have the season canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly because the Huskers are annual Section 1 Class B title contenders.

“We truly feel robbed and the fact that it’s out of our control is the worst part about it,” McDonnell said. “The potential that this team had this year was truly intimidating, and the fact that we were not able to showcase our team in this way, and bring it home for one last time, is devastating. The hours of grinding that we have done in a team effort have now vanished to what could’ve been something memorable for every single one of us and the program. It goes more in depth than the fact of winning a section title or having a winning team though. It’s the bond of the family that is formed. I’m disappointed to not have had the chance to experience the little things to hold on to forever, and to not be able to finish on a high note.

“Personally, after putting in 13 years of work and having to give up a large portion of my social life from a young age, this was the last hurrah for me, and not being able to have that closure is unsatisfactory,” McDonnell added. “Wanting to finish all four years and roll right into college was the goal, but now it feels as if a big part is missing.”

McDonnell said that the environment is what she will miss most about playing at Yorktown.

“This town has the best way of bringing lacrosse to life and throwing everything we have into it,” McDonnell said. “From playing in clinics during kindergarten or on the varsity team, lacrosse has always been depicted as the heart and soul here. The memories, laughs, tears and the pure entirety of childhood that is formed from it all will be missed.”

As for college, McDonnell said that she chose VCU because it’s a mix of a city and rural campus feel and that there is a wide variety of studies from which to choose.

“I absolutely love the camaraderie of the team and the family aspect that they have, which was the biggest aspect for me along with the connection I formed with my coaches early on,” McDonnell said. “Richmond is an amazing area that I can’t wait to experience. I am very eager to play there. For as long as it even was a thought about playing in college, I’ve wanted to go D1. I can’t wait to make more memories from the sport that I live for and get after it with my new team.”

McDonnell said that at VCU, she’s looking to improve her game to the best of her ability.

“By playing at the next level, I plan to better myself not only skill-wise, but also with the mental aspect of sports,” McDonnell said. “I will never take any moment for granted playing there because I’ve learned you truly will never know when your last one is. I want to have a positive impact on my team, the program and hit the ground running.”

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