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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

KP’s McDonald: Major Plus for Girls Lacrosse Team

Nikki McDonald, who scored 59 goals as a junior last year, is a force on offense. The Warriors’ senior attacker had 30 goals and 8 assists at Local Town Pages deadline.

3-Sport Athlete, 3-Sport Captain, 
4-Time All-Star

By Ken Hamwey
Staff Sports Writer
Nikki McDonald is the total package — three-sport athlete, three-sport captain, four-time Hockomock League all-star, and a National Honor Society student who will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall. Her GPA is 4.08.

KP’s Nikki McDonald is a talented three-sport athlete who’s been a three-sport captain and a four-time Hockomock League all-star. She’s also a National Honor Society student who will attend the University of South Carolina


The King Philip senior is wrapping up her final season of interscholastic sports, excelling on offense at attack for the Warriors’ girls lacrosse team that had a 10-5 record at Local Town Pages deadline. McDonald, who had 59 goals last year, is enjoying another superb season. She’s scored 30 goals and assisted on 8 after 15 matches.
The 5-foot-2 McDonald was a league all-star in field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse last year, and this season she’s been a captain in all three sports.
Her lacrosse coach, Kourtnie Webster, is acutely aware of McDonald’s value not only as a prolific scorer, but also as a gifted leader.
“Nikki leads by example and she’s also supportive,’’ Webster said. “She does a good job communicating with our underclassmen. A four-year starter at attack, she’s got lots of strengths. She has a high lacrosse IQ, has speed and quickness, is agile and instinctive, passes effectively and the placement on her shots is excellent. She’s a finesse lacrosse player.’’
The 18-year-old McDonald set three goals before KP’s season got underway and one of them is lofty but certainly not unrealistic.
“I want our team to be close-knit and I want us to enjoy competing,’’ she said. “I also want the team to advance in the state tourney all the way to the final. Last year we finished 12-6 but lost in the first round of the playoffs to North Andover. For the seniors, this is our last chance to play for a state title.’’
The Plainville native is executing at an intense pace and doing her part to fuel her championship desire. Her scoring definitely takes pressure off the Warriors’ defense.
“My teammates set screens and picks enabling me to capitalize,’’ McDonald said. “That helps me to sneak past a defender and drive to the net off the elbow. I go from zero speed to super-fast and aim for good placement on my shots. Our attackers strive to play a controlled offense at a relaxed pace.’’
McDonald is totally relaxed in her role as one of KP’s four captains.
“I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to lead three teams as a captain,’’ McDonald said. “It tells me my coaches and teammates trust me. It’s super fun but also comes with responsibilities. The key is to be friendly to everyone instead of intimidating. If any player has an issue, I want them to be comfortable talking with me about it.’’
McDonald sure was comfortable in a game against powerful Medfield last year. She scored six goals and had an assist in a 17-15 loss.
“That game was the best of my career and it also was very thrilling,’’ she offered. “We lost by big margins to Medfield when I was a freshman and sophomore. This time, however, we all played well. It was an exciting, back-and-forth battle with the outcome settled in the final minutes.’’
McDonald points to KP’s other captains as “outstanding contributors and excellent leaders.’’ They include seniors Alyssa Legere (attack), Sarah Brown (attack) and Lily McNulty (defense). She also has high praise for junior midfielder Makenzie McDevitt who has committed to play at Boston University after she graduates. “She’s an all-around player, a strong defender with a high lacrosse IQ, and a nose for the net.’’
A fan of her coach, McDonald likes Webster’s approach to the sport.
“Our coach motivates us well,’’ she emphasized. “She knows the game and she’s able to take advantage of our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. She works to shore up our weaknesses and knows how to use our strengths to wear down our opponents.’’
McDonald plans on majoring in business in college (sports management likely) and probably will play club lacrosse at South Carolina, which doesn’t have a women’s varsity program.
Calling her parents (Edward and Jennifer) role models for their support and encouragement, McDonald relies on a competitive philosophy that combines winning, reaching her potential and having fun. “If my teammates and my potential is reached, winning likely will occur and winning equals fun,’’ she noted. 
McDonald knows that athletics are truly an extension of the classroom and that sports can teach valuable life lessons. “I’ve learned to be a good teammate and a quality leader, how to overcome adversity and be resilient, and how to manage my time,’’ she said. “I suffered a concussion in ice hockey last winter and had to sit out four games. That taught me how to deal with adversity and to be resilient.’’
Starting her lacrosse career at nine in the Wrentham youth league, McDonald says her favorite situation is a one-on-one battle with a defender. “The key to succeed in that situation is to rely on speed, quickness and agility,’’ she said. “It’s exciting when a one-on-one confrontation ends with a goal.’’
McDonald’s final season at KP is coming to a close. She’s thought about it and says it’ll be bittersweet.
“I’ll definitely miss my teammates and coaches,’’ she said. “I’ll also miss being part of a team. But, there’s a new chapter ahead. I’ll be away at a distant university, there’ll be new experiences and new relationships. But now, I’m focused on that one final chance to play for a state championship.’’
That achievement would be dynamic — a fitting way for one of KP’s premier student-athletes to conclude a fabulous four-year interscholastic career.
If Nikki McDonald becomes a state champion, she no doubt would handle that honor with class, grace and dignity.