Welcome to the Nor'easter Lacrosse Q&A Series!

Nor'easter Lacrosse takes pride in the development of our players and the experiences, both on and off the field, that they carry with them to the next level. We are thrilled to feature this Q&A series with recent Nor'easter alumni — a sneak peek at our program and our players.

MAY 2016: The Mark of Leadership - Rachel Passarelli

Rachel Passarrelli
Nor'easter Class of 2012
Amherst College Class of 2016

Amherst College senior Rachel Passarelli was named to the Nike / Lacrosse Magazine Division III Women's Lacrosse Pre-season All-American Team. Passarelli enjoyed a phenomenal junior campaign that saw her earn IWLCA First Team All-American honors, First Team All-NESCAC praise, and an IWLCA First Team All-Berkshire Region selection. In 2015, Passarelli led the Purple & White with 42 goals and registered multiple points in 15-of-16 games played, including 13 multi-goal games. Passarelli scored four or more goals in six games during the season, including a five-goal output in a 17-11 win over Little Three and conference foe Williams College. Passarelli finished with 55 points (42 goals, 13 assists), picked up 20 ground balls and caused 14 opponent turnovers. Twelve of her markers came on the free position, while she also logged a .745 shots-on-goal percentage. Now a two-time all-conference and all-region honoree, Passarelli has scored 84 goals, and registered 25 assists for 109 career points. She has also picked up 36 ground balls, caused 21 opponent turnovers, and won 12 draws in 40 games played.

1. What's the greatest piece of advice you ever got from a coach?

I think the greatest advice I ever got was to not let one bad practice or game get you down and instead work that much harder the next day to improve upon your mistakes.

2. Whats the best part about being a college athlete?

The best part about being a college athlete is having a ready-made group of friends as soon as you step on campus. The thing I'll miss most after graduation is being able to spend time with my teammates on a daily basis.

3. What advice would you give to girls thinking of playing lacrosse in college?

My advice to girls playing lacrosse in college is to make sure that you are honest about what you want out of your college lacrosse experience when meeting with coaches during the recruiting process, and to make sure you could see yourself at the school without lacrosse.

4. Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Yes, tons! Just to name a few I go to Dunkin' on the way to the team meal and get a medium caramel iced coffee. I also have to wear my hair the exact same way for every game.

5. Why did you choose Amherst?

I chose Amherst for its combination of excellent academics and a great lacrosse program.

6. What's your favorite lacrosse memory?

Definitely playing in the final four during my sophomore year. Even though we lost, it was still an amazing experience.


"Rachel has been an integral part of our program’s success of the past four years.  Her athleticism, skill, game sense and leadership has elevated our team’s play all over the field.  As a midfielder, she has produced at both ends of the field – able to assist and score when needed as well as mark up against top midfielders in NESCAC every game.  Her hustle, determination and composure under pressure has led us to success in many tight game situations over the past seasons.  Rachel will be sorely missed both on and off the field as a outstanding player, person and leader — as she has had a significant impact on our program!"

APRIL 2016: Get to know Kara McHugh

Kara McHugh
Nor'easter CLASS OF 2012
Marist College CLASS OF 2016

Kara McHugh is a senior at Marist College. She's a 5'5", two-year captain, midfielder, 2012 graduate of Daniel Hand High School and a former Nor'easter player and current coach. She currently ranks seventh in single-season draw controls (44) and is the third player in program history to achieve 100 career points (currently 123) and 100 career draw controls (currently 107) at Marist.

1. What's the greatest piece of advice you ever got from a coach?

That I can always give my best effort no matter what challenges I may face or what anyone else is doing to try and deter me. Always rise above. 

2. Who's your favorite athlete and why?

Diana Taurasi. She was such an amazing competitor and still is today. She led the UCONN Women’s Basketball team on and off the court. She was and still is the type of athlete who never settled in her style of play. She continuously put in the extra work to be the best. 

3. What advice would you give to girls thinking of playing lacrosse in college?

You have to really WANT it, to compete at the college level. You have to be willing and motivated to continuously better your game. Constantly challenge yourself, the rewards of being on a collegiate women’s lacrosse team are tremendous. It's a family composed of your best friends.  

4. What's your favorite inspirational quote? 

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing” - Pele

5. What gets you pumped up before a game? 

Dancing around the locker room like maniacs with my teammates. 

6. How did playing multiple sports in high school shape you as an athlete? 

Playing multiple sports in high school benefited me as an athlete without a doubt. I had great coaches who really worked with me and let me know their expectations for me as their player in that particular sport. As an extremely competitive athlete, I have always held myself to a high standard and set my expectations very high. I worked my hardest to hopefully surpass my coaches' expectations and wanted to make sure I delivered what was needed. 

7. What's your favorite lacrosse memory? 

My favorite lacrosse memory was my sophomore year of college beating Canisius in one of our MAAC conference games and the pre-game pump-up we had before in the locker room.

And a few words from Jessica O'Brien, Head Coach, Women's Lacrosse, Marist College, 2013 & 2014 MAAC Coach of the Year:

"Kara has an immense amount of athletic talent.  When I first saw her as a recruit, she was raw but very aggressive and fast.  She carried a certain focus in her play that I knew would benefit her at the collegiate level.  Over the years at Marist, Kara's improvements have been tremendous, and was the result of her own hard work and dedication to the program.  Her work ethic in the off season earned her more playing time each year, and now as a senior captain, Kara is one of the most talented and dependable players on the field.  What's best is that she continues to push herself every day - even in the small things - which is the best example she could give to our underclassmen.  She's determined in training both hands, which has made her a true threat in our conference.  She's committed to the extra work outside of practice with wall ball, draws, defense and shooting even as a senior. All of this comes with an overwhelming amount of support and belief for her teammates.  She's the type of captain who wants to see everyone contribute so the entire team can feel the success we have throughout the year.  During her years at Marist, Kara has proved to be one of the best examples of great leadership and overall dedication to the team."