Sewickley Academy's Guerin lands Division I offer at Lafayette
After her time as a centerpiece for the Sewickley Academy girls lacrosse team, senior Kayla Guerin will continue her playing career for Lafayette College.
Guerin, the daughter of Pittsburgh Penguins Assistant General Manager Bill Guerin, signed her letter of itent last week to join the Leopards next fall.
“I had a bunch of schools on my list that I really liked, but Lafayette was by far my favorite, because I liked the campus and the team and coaching staff,” Guerin said. “It was a perfect fit for me.”
The talented center midfielder visited Lafayette — which is located in Easton, Pa. — on five different occasions, giving her a chance to build relationships with her future teammates as well as with head coach Alison Fisher, Guerin said.
Lafayette competes in the Patriot League of the NCAA Division I. The Leopards have reached the NCAA tournament four times since 1980 — when they won the national championship — and have won 10 conference championships since 1991, with the most recent coming in 2002.
Guerin is one of 13 members of the Leopards' 2018 recruiting class and one of only two recruits from the state.
Sewickley Academy girls lacrosse coach Cheryl Lassen described Guerin as having a positive attitude and excelling in focus, teamwork, and being able to bring out the best in the players around her, a key component to playing the center midfield position, she said.
“I think she'll be able to succeed very well at the next level, especially because she has the work ethic, mentality and passion,” Lassen said. “I mean, she loves it, and that's key.”
In addition to her three seasons at Sewickley Academy, Guerin also has spent her summers playing for the Pittsburgh Premier Lacrosse Club and winters with Three Rivers Lacrosse, regional teams that travel to face some of the top competition in the country.
“That's helped me so much, because you get to play teams from Long Island and Maryland, and both of those places are power houses in lacrosse,” Guerin said. “You get to play really good competition, and that's when you really see how good you are and what you need to do to get better than these girls.”
Before she graduates, Guerin is looking forward to one last season with the Panthers, especially another chance to share the field with her sister, Grace, who is a sophomore on the team.
Sewickley Academy will have a relatively young team this year, and coming off a 4-10-1 season, Guerin knows she has an opportunity to help leave her mark on her teammates, she said.
The time that she has taken on her own to work on her craft and not settle for where her development is currently is part of what makes Guerin a good example for her younger teammates at Sewickley Academy, Lassen said.
“(Guerin) is a good role model and someone to look up to and see doing the right things, but she's also supportive,” she said. “As an underclassman, she doesn't care if you fail or if you make a mistake.
“Instead, she says, ‘Let's help you pick up the pieces and keep going.' Those are things that she's always showed.”
Guerin also credited her time at Sewickley Academy as being instrumental in preparing her for the next level, including the guidance she received in her college choice.
“Miss Lassen has helped me a lot,” Guerin said. “She had a meeting with me and my mom and directed us and showed us what to do. She's been very supportive.”