Martinez gives lacrosse lift in senior season

Senior attacker Becca Martinez guided the Bengals through a transition year, with interim coach Kelsey Schwan taking over the coaching duties.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

Senior attacker Becca Martinez guided the Bengals through a transition year, with interim coach Kelsey Schwan taking over the coaching duties.

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Senior Becca Martinez finished her four-year career as an attacker for the Buffalo State women’s lacrosse team with 120 goals, making her the fifth all-time scorer in the program’s 20-year history.

Martinez is known not only for her natural athletic talent, but for her dedication to the game and her team. Her work ethic and leadership have benefited the Bengals greatly since she was recruited out of Corcoran High School in Syracuse by former head coach Meg Stevens and her staff in 2011.

“She’s someone I’ve always looked up to as a player and a person,” teammate Niki Paulhardt said. “She’s incredibly talented.”

“Becca is a very composed player,” said interim head coach Kelsey Schwan. “She’s very smart, she’s patient, she knows what to do with the ball, and she’s extremely efficient. She does a really great job. She’s made a great impact on this program.”

“Becca is the most talented, dedicated, hardworking player I’ve ever seen play lacrosse,” said teammate Lynn Keohane. “She’s an inspiration.”

Martinez is an example of the success that comes with the combination of talent, hard work, and determination. If you’ve ever seen her walking around campus, there’s a good chance she had a lacrosse stick in her hand.

“She spends hours on the wall playing wall ball improving her stick skills,” Schwan said. “Her stick skills are above and beyond many people’s. Because she spends so much time, she’s very efficient when she shoots. She’s extremely dedicated and a great example for the freshman.”

Martinez was the ideal team captain in that she was a friend to everyone, but was also a tough leader and took the role very seriously.

“Becca is extremely friendly,” Schwan said. “She gets along with everyone. As a captain, she’s good because [the team] feels like they can talk to and confide in her. But when we get to practice, it’s all business.”

“She’s a leader both on and off the field,” Keohane said. “She’s not just a goal-scorer, she runs the whole offense.”

Martinez credits her cousin, Katie Glavin, and former coach, Meg Stevens, as the greatest influences on her lacrosse career.

“She’s the one that got me started,” Martinez said of Glavin. “She’s five years older than me and played at St. John Fisher. In third grade she went out and bought me those little mini sticks, and we would play whenever I would hang out with her. I continued to play from thereon.”

Martinez began her lacrosse career in seventh grade with the Star Riders, a club team in Syracuse. She was teammates with Paulhardt, although they didn’t really get to know each other and become good friends until years later as freshman at Buffalo State.

“We came on our recruiting trip to Buff State together, and ever since we have been great friends,” Paulhardt said.

“Freshman year, there was a group of us that became close,” Martinez said. “And Niki and I just understood each other. I’ve been close with her since freshman year.”

Former assistant coach Renee Carlineo scouted Martinez at a tournament over the summer before her junior year, and former head coach Meg Stevens, who coached the women’s lacrosse team from 2003 to 2013, reached out to Martinez and brought her to Buffalo State.

“Stevens was recruiting me since my sophomore-junior year,” Martinez said. “One of her old assistants, Renee [Carlineo], saw me at a tournament over the summer and began talking to my mom about Buffalo State and what I wanted to do [for college]. I reached out to them and came up here for a visit.”

Martinez felt a sense of belonging after visiting Buffalo State, and it greatly affected her ultimate decision to become a Bengal.

“I had two choices, I was either going to go to Buff State, or St. John Fisher,” Martinez said. “After my recruiting trip up here, meeting Meg Stevens and the team, I fell in love with the school. It was like walking into a family, it wasn’t like walking into a team.”

Martinez credits her teammates and their efforts for her achievement of becoming the fifth all-time scoring leader in Buffalo State’s women’s lacrosse history.

“It’s a phenomenal accomplishment,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t get there without my teammates because I mostly score off of assists, so I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

Martinez feels her greatest accomplishment was being a part of the 2012 team led by Stevens that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, falling to Trinity College of Connecticut, 17-6, after defeating Springfield College of Massachusetts, 18-10, in the first round. Martinez was a sophomore on that Bengals squad.

“We were so well-rounded,” Martinez said. “We all knew how to play lacrosse. The feeling of being in the NCAA tournament was phenomenal. It was fun, a good time for everybody.”

Martinez majors in Individualized Studies, a major created for those who want to be able to have full control of their schedule without too many required electives, and hopes to have a career as a police officer.

“I’ve wanted to be a cop since I was little,” Martinez said. “How I have it set up is I’m basically taking criminal justice classes along with coaching and things. The classes I’m taking with individualized studies are letting me get the knowledge I need in criminal justice but also the knowledge of other things like sociology and psychology.”

Martinez wants to continue her lacrosse career, whether it’s as a player or on the sidelines as a coach.

“I’ve looked into trying out for the U.S.A. team,” Martinez said. “If I can’t do that, I want to coach.”

Martinez already has coaching experience, as she coached a junior varsity team this past summer consisting of freshman and sophomore high school players at the Buffalo Lacrosse Academy.

“I loved coaching them,” Martinez said. “I want to try and continue that, and see where it can take me.”

Email: almasi.record@live.com

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