Annie Richards goes down in women’s lax history with 101 assists

Annie Richards makes a move to get past the defender.

Courtesy/Paul Ferullo

Annie Richards makes a move to get past the defender.

Luke Sugar, Sports Editor

Annie Richards forever wrote her name in Saint Anselm sports history, becoming the first ever player to dish out 100 career assists for the women’s lacrosse program. Fifth year Senior Richards finishes off the Hawks season with an extraordinary 101 assists. 

While this accomplishment truly is amazing, Richards is a team player. She was excited to reach such a monumental milestone, but being a good teammate comes first for Richards. 

“I’ve never been the type of person to care about points. So halfway through the season I had no idea I was even close. Sean on the men’s team texted me telling me I was 20 assists away from 100, and I had no idea. I reached out to my mom telling her that’s pretty cool. I was proud of myself. And I reached out to some of the girls that I pass to a lot, thanking them,” said Richards.  

Richards has a true gift for making plays happen and putting her teammates in good positions to score. Possessing such an accurate awareness and vision of the field, like Richards, is very rare to come by. 

“During highschool, I realized that I saw the field very well and was able to find my teammates very well. I got to college and my coach was definitely looking for that role from me. So that’s what my focus was. Last summer I tore my labrum in my right shoulder. I was in pain a lot of the time, but my coach told me you know your role, and you know what you have to do, so focus on that. It was my main focus to set my teammates up for accomplishments,” said Richards.

101 assists is obviously a big individual accolade for Annie Richards. However, there are some key people that helped her along the way. Richards constantly praises her teammates, and she notes that she could not have done this without them. Richards also gives a huge amount of credit to her mom for helping her become the best player she could be.

“My mom definitely helped so much. She was a collegiate athlete too. She was my coach in highschool most importantly. She saw how well I saw the field and pointed me in the direction of looking for other players and setting them up. She definitely put me on the right path,” said Richards. 

Annie Richards actually played a good portion of her college career with her younger sister, Ellie Richards. Ellie is currently a junior on the women’s Saint Anselm lacrosse team.

“I have spent my whole life playing lacrosse with my younger sister, Ellie, and I am very very sad about it ending. I think playing with my sister is what I’m going to miss the most,” said Richards.   

Even with Richards’ playing career coming to an end in lacrosse, the sport is still very important to her, and she will keep lacrosse in her life. 

“My mom is a coach and I have different opportunities to coach. I think I might be coaching this summer for a summer league,” said Richards.  

The women’s lacrosse team had an incredibly tough and competitive schedule this season. At one point, the Hawks faced four straight top 20 ranked opponents. But the Hawks battled hard the whole way. Even though the season ended sooner than the team had hoped, there are still plenty of positives that have come from this year. This group of girls demonstrated extreme heart, work ethic and character the entire season. 

“This season after the pandemic was our first full season back. We all lost a year and a half. And so, we all needed to look towards each other for positivity and motivation. Even during losing streaks we were still able to keep each other going,” said Richards. 

One of the most important aspects of any sport is strong leadership. College is a whole new game, and it can be difficult to adjust. The women’s lacrosse team truly represented the word team. The veteran players helped guide the younger players throughout the season, making sure they got acclimated to college level sports.  

“My way that I help out is by focussing on being the type of person that any girl would want to go up to – with a smiling face. We just wanted to be a senior class that was there for the younger girls and anyone on the team,” said Richards.