North Salem HS alum Lydia Werlau makes lacrosse history at Sacred Heart University
Minutes after being celebrated for breaking a school record for career goals, Sacred Heart University women’s lacrosse player Lydia Werlau broke a new record. During the April 29 game against Merrimack, the 5th year attacker’s goal crowned her all-time point scorer for the Division I program with 221 points. And on Wednesday, Werlau, 23, was named Northeast Conference Player of the Year, one of the league’s most coveted individual honors.
Werlau’s success will surprise few in the North Salem lacrosse community. Werlau made a name for herself here in North Salem long before she committed to the Pioneers as a high school junior. Werlau first picked up a stick in 3rd grade, modeling what she had seen her two older siblings doing. Lacrosse is a big part of the Werlau family; Werlau's mother, Chris, has been a youth and high school coach in North Salem for well over a decade.
By middle school, Werlau knew that she wanted to compete in lacrosse at the highest level. She joined the Connecticut Grizzlies, a premier girls lacrosse club based out of Fairfield County, CT. In high school, Werlau was a four-year starter on the varsity team coached by her mother.
As Werlau has progressed in lacrosse, and the competition and the pressure increased, she has continued to find joy in the sport. Over the past two summers, while holding internships, Werlau scheduled her days so that she could continue to fit in off-season training and stay in top form. This summer, when she begins a full-time tax specialist job in New York City, she’ll again carve out time for lacrosse–this time to coach younger players.
“Lacrosse provides a really great connection with a lot of girls in different classes,” Werlau said. “I’m a fifth year student but I hang out with some of my sophomore teammates. I also have connections that I’ve made through lacrosse with girls who are working in the city; now I’m able to network in the real world as well because of the sport.”
On Thursday, Werlau and her teammates will face St. Francis in the playoffs. Sacred Heart finished their season with an undefeated 8-0 record; they enter the playoffs as the number one seed. “We’re hoping to end as winners,” Werlau said. No matter what happens, Werlau will bring to the game the core values she says lacrosse has helped to instill in her: honesty and respect. “We learn a lot about how to treat people and what to be grateful for,” she said. “What we’re given, we’re very thankful for, but we have to work for it all the time.”