TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc lacrosse keeper Leah Crihfield is going to take her game north to play at the collegiate level.
Crihfield signed to play at Division III Bethany College at a recent ceremony at the high school.
Crihfield has been an instrumental piece in the success of the Buckhannon-Upshur lacrosse team this season as the squad is on an eight-game winning streak and finished the regular season with a 12-3 record winning the WVSLA West Division.
As B-U’s keeper, Crihfield has made 93 saves on the season allowing just 63 goals in 15 games for a very solid 4.8 goals against average.
Crihfield, who started playing lacrosse as an eighth grader at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, said it’s the uniqueness of the sport that made her want to continue playing at the collegiate level.
Crihfield, who also played soccer and ran cross country, said, “I like how its different from all the other sports I have played. There are similarities to soccer but when I started playing it was something new and different and something I have always enjoyed.”
Crihfield said this past summer, she had to make the difficult choice of either focusing on lacrosse or continuing her band career.
“This past summer at band camp, I was talking to one my instructors about what I wanted to do,” stated Crihfield. “My first college choice was West Virginia University, (WVU has club lacrosse) and play in the band, but I learned you can’t really do both there. Then I heard about Bethany and about them having a good lacrosse coach and a good team so I decided to play lacrosse there instead of going to WVU.”
Crihfield said the academics at Bethany and the lacrosse team will both be a good fit for her at the next level.
“They were really the only college around that had my major (music technology) and it seemed like a really good school,” remarked Crihfield. “Their academics are really good and when I met the lacrosse team, they were super nice and helpful and the coach cares about her team and her students.”
Crihfield stated she is especially excited about being able to continue her lacrosse career after losing her junior season to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was really disappointing to lose the season,” she stated. “I was really prepared to play, and I felt we could have made the state tournament and maybe win a state title.”
Crihfield said it is an honor to be able to represent the Lady Bucs at the collegiate level.
“It is a great opportunity,” she noted. “Not everyone has this opportunity, so I feel I am very lucky to be able to go and play and represent Buckhannon-Upshur.”
“Leah has been a great role model for our team,” commented Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jamie Greene. “She came in as a freshman and we needed someone to step up and become another goalie for us. She came back the next day and said she would do it. She has been starting for us ever since she was a sophomore at the varsity level. She picked up the position well and just ran with it. She is a very coachable player and I have no doubt she will do well at the next level.”
Crihfield will play for third-year head coach Liz Geyer at Bethany.
Bethany went 1-3 this past spring before having their season postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.