TENNERTON – Emileigh Ryan of the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc lacrosse team is taking her talents to the next level, but she won’t be taking them far as she signed to play at nearby Alderson Broaddus University at a special signing ceremony last Thursday at the high school.
Ryan was a key part of the success of the 2021 Lady Buc lacrosse team as they finished with a 13-4 record and advanced to the state semifinals after winning the WVSLA West Division during the regular season.
As an attacker, she was fifth on the team in goals with 24 and third on the team in assists with seven landing fifth overall in points with 31. She was seventh on the team in ground balls with 33.
Ryan, who began playing lacrosse as an eighth grader at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, said there were several factors which led her to becoming the newest member of the Battler family.
“I toured the campus with the head coach (Paxton Boyer) earlier this year and I was able to speak with her and members of the team and I really enjoyed it and everyone made me feel welcome,” stated Ryan. “I also wanted to stay as close to home as possible without actually being in Buckhannon. I was looking at West Virginia University but Alderson Broaddus was the best option for me.”
Ryan said that the academics offered by Alderson Broaddus also played a part in her decision.
“When I spoke with Coach Boyer, she made it very clear that academics come first,” noted Ryan. “Academics are very important to me. They do study groups with the team and so many are involved in helping the team succeed both on and off the field.”
Ryan said she is very excited to be able to continue her lacrosse career another four years at Alderson Broaddus.
“Originally, I wasn’t thinking about playing lacrosse at the collegiate level,” remarked Ryan. “But I have been playing since I was an eighth-grader and as the season was coming to an end, it made me sad that my career was coming to a close. I thought if I was having these feelings, that maybe I should continue playing.”
Ryan lost her junior season of playing lacrosse as the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire schedule right as they were wrapping up their preseason.
“Missing a year, it was really sad,” said Ryan. “Not having that opportunity to play with last year’s seniors was hard.”
Ryan stated that while she is happy to wear the Blue and Yellow at Alderson Broaddus she will miss wearing the Blue and White at Buckhannon-Upshur.
“I am going to miss it a lot,” said Ryan. “I cried my eyes out after losing our last game to George Washington in the state semifinals but I think the future of the team is very good.”
Ryan will join an Alderson Broaddus team that went 4-7 during this past spring but closed the year winning four of their final seven after starting the year 0-4.
They placed four players on the MEC All-Conference Team including First Teamer Leslie Diaz.
For Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jamie Greene, he believes Ryan will be a perfect fit for the Battlers’ lacrosse team.
“Ryan will fit in well at Alderson Broaddus,” stated Greene. “She was a starter for me since she was a freshman. She has good speed on the field and is a hard thrower. I have no doubt she will be successful at Alderson Broaddus. Her signing is just another example of where our program is heading and I am very proud of her.”
Ryan said she will pursue a degree in Business Administration while at Alderson Broaddus.