It has been quite a fall for Lenape senior Becca Meyers. She determined her future in one sport and cemented her past in another.
Meyers was a starting defender for the Lenape girls' soccer team, which won a fourth straight state Group 4 championship, finished No. 1 in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings for a fourth consecutive season, and is No. 4 in the latest ESPN Rise national poll.
Yet Meyers can't bask too long in the afterglow of a championship because she has to prepare for lacrosse, her primary sport.
She has signed a letter of intent to attend Monmouth University for lacrosse and is already working out for the spring season.
A championship in one hand, an academic/athletic scholarship in the other. It doesn't get much better than that.
In soccer, she was a true program player. She was a strong contributor in the past, but this season was her first as a full-time starter. Meyers played on a defense that allowed 11 goals the entire year for the 23-1-2 Indians.
"It has been crazy and it just started to sink in, all we accomplished," Meyers said. "It's so exciting that we did it again and now we're picking out rings."
This was a young Lenape team. In the Indians' 5-2 win over Livingston in the state Group 4 championship game, Meyers and fellow defender Nicole Curry were the only senior starters.
"It means 100 times more to me that I'm a senior," she said. "It's awesome."
As much as she would like to dwell on the soccer season, she has to prepare for lacrosse. Named as an Inquirer second-team all-South Jersey defender, she is among South Jersey's top midfielders.
In a time when many athletes choose to specialize in one sport, there is still plenty of room for the multisport athlete. And there are coaches who think the athlete benefits from the diversity.
One of those is Denise Wescott, the head lacrosse coach at Monmouth. Wescott is a 1976 graduate of Moorestown, so she knows about the quality lacrosse that the South Jersey area produces.
She starred as a goalie at the University of Maryland and has been a head coach at four other colleges besides Monmouth: Mount St. Mary's, Delaware, Rutgers, and Drexel.
"I like to recruit dual athletes," said Wescott, who also signed multisport athletes Karlee Dean of Shawnee and Allison Stathius of Delran this fall. "I think their muscle memory is better, training different parts of the body, and their game sense is better."
A player such as Meyers is often able to bring the same skills to multiple sports.
"I was impressed with her speed and her feistiness and how she plays competitively and hates to lose," Wescott said.
Besides the success in soccer, Lenape went 12-8 during the spring in lacrosse against one of the toughest schedules around. The Indians finished No. 6 in The Inquirer's Top 10.
"She is used to winning, and when you are taught to win and expect it, that is something we recruit," Wescott said.
It was that competitive fire that fueled Meyers. According to Lenape soccer coach Kevin Meder, Meyers hurt both her knees early in the year, but persevered to provide an integral role as a marking back.
"She is a tough, fast, hard-nosed player who led by example on and off the field," Meder said. "The fact that she committed to Monmouth for lacrosse and still continued to be such a major contributor to our team, while hurt, is a testament to her dedication and toughness."
Competitive athletes just can't turn off the intensity meter even if it's not their main sport.
That was Meyers. She refused to coast and was rewarded with a state championship in her last season of playing soccer.
"The state championship was my last game," she said. "I've been playing since I was three, and I will definitely miss it."
Now, Meyers will dedicate herself solely to lacrosse. For now, soccer is just a memory, but a life-long one that will always be greatly appreciated and cherished.