Ever since she picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time as a youngster, Brianne Arthurs dream has been to play the sport in college.
Arthurs vision became a reality Tuesday as the Watertown High School senior announced she will attend NCAA Division I Binghamton University.
With her teammates and fellow students gathered in the gymnasium and with her family at her side, Arthur signed a letter of intent to play womens lacrosse at the America East Conference school.
Since I was little, I always wanted to play lacrosse in college, she said. In my heart, I always wanted to go to Syracuse because Im an upstate girl. But this is a dream come true for me.
Arthur has accepted both an athletic and academic scholarship, a goal she has been striving for throughout her scholastic career.
Wth her coaches also in attendance, Arthur said the secret to success on the athletic field has been a simple one hard work.
This is a culmination of a lot of hard work by Bri and a stressful time in making these kind of decisions, Watertown girls lacrosse coach Tim Burr said. But its paying off for her and were just really happy for her.
Selected as a Times All-North first-team All-Star last spring, Arthur led the Cyclones in scoring from her attack position with 63 goals and 22 assists, finishing as one of the top scorers in the Frontier League.
Arthurs work ethic includes playing lacrosse virtually year round as she competes with the Different Road Patriots club program, comprised of players from the Frontier League, through the winter and summer months.
I think the thing about Bri is her dedication, Burr said. Shes truly a kid who practices as hard as she plays and she does that every day. Shes truly a great competitor and a great teammate. Her athleticism and lacrosse skills make her a complete player.
This dedication has also included impromptu games practice sessions on the schools turf field or at home with her Watertown teammates over the summer and even on weekends.
Its a been a long road for her, said Brenda Podvin, Arthurs mother. Shes such a hard worker and her pastime is not watching TV but going down to play wall ball. Were just all very proud of her.
Im always out there, even it its snowing, Arthur said. I just love lacrosse.
Arthurs final choice came down to between Binghamton and SUNY Cortland.
Im really excited about Binghamton, said Arthur, who also credits former Watertown girls lacrosse varsity and junior varsity coach Jayson St. Croix for inspiring her to greater heights both athletically and in academics. I like the size of the school and its going to allow me to meet all different kinds of people. Its going to be fun.
She wanted some place where she could make an impact right away, Burr said. And she wanted to play at the highest level she possibly could and this seems to be a good fit for her.
The Bearcats compete in the highly-competitive America East Conference.
I really like the lacrosse program there and it has a lot of potential, Arthur said. Im just really excited about playing at the next level.
I also have some club teammates who play at the University at Albany, so that should be fun.
Arthur will be continuing a tradition of Cyclone players moving on to the next level as sisters and Watertown grads Amelia Capone and Sophia Capone are currently attending Harvard and will play lacrosse for the Crimson in the spring.
Mia is a freshman there now, Arthur said. She was a great teammate and is a friend because she was always pushing and making me play better. I think she helped me become a better player.
Even while looking ahead to college, Arthurs scholastic career isnt done just yet as shell return to lead the Cyclones on the field again this spring.
Shes just a hard worker and she loves the game, Burr said. And well be very happy to have her back as a senior.