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All-North Frontier League MVP: Arthur displays versatility

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Amid all of her offensive-oriented achievements and accolades in lacrosse, Brianne Arthur has a lesser-known passion in the sport — she also gets a charge out of helping her teammates on defense.

This accentuates the versatility the Watertown High School senior forward has displayed over the course of her five years at the varsity level.

Arthur, honored as a U.S. Lacrosse National All-American this season, finished among the top scorers in Section 3. But she also took faceoffs in crucial situations and chipped in on the defensive side of the field when needed.

“I love scoring and giving assists,” Arthur said. “But one of my favorite things to do is to intercept the ball when the other team is trying to move the ball up field. I’ve always wished I could sometimes play in the midfield so I could play more defense.”

For her all-around contributions and at times dominant level of play, Arthur has been selected as the Times All-North Frontier League Most Valuable Player in girls lacrosse.

“I’ve been playing lacrosse since I was little,” said Arthur, who was also chosen the Times All-North girls soccer MVP earlier in her senior campaign. “And I’ve always had amazing coaches that have not only pushed me to be a better player — I’ve had three different varsity coaches out of my five years ... and each one of them was the best and always made everything fun for myself and my teammates.”

Arthur, who once again led the Frontier League in goals (74) and points (110) this season, finished tied for first in goals in all of Section 3, as well as third in points.

She was also an invaluable contributor in the possession game as she also led the Cyclones in both draw controls (56) and in ground balls (78).

“She’s a very well-rounded lacrosse player,” Watertown coach Tim Burr said of Arthur. “And if given the chance, I think she could have been one of our better defenders as well.”

More importantly to Arthur, this year she led her team to the program’s first unbeaten campaign in the league as well as to the Class B sectional final in the Carrier Dome.

“It’s cool to make history,” said Arthur, who helped lead the Cyclones to consecutive Section 3 titles and state semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010, first as an eighth-grader. “In my sophomore year we beat Carthage for the first time and we won the league for the first time. So making history then was really cool, but doing this in my senior year was even better.”

Arthur, who recorded consecutive 85-point seasons in her sophomore (69 goals-16 assists) and junior (64-21) years, surpassed this pace in her senior campaign as she finished with 327 career points, including 240 goals and 87 assists.

“The special part about her numbers is she did that against everybody’s best defenders,” Burr said. “She faced a lot of different defenses and she was still able to post those numbers even with all that attention.”

While she considers soccer her “fun sport,” Arthur was certainly all business in her final lacrosse season at the scholastic level.

“She just has such a passion for the game,” Burr said of Arthur, who took on more of a leadership role this season in lacrosse. “She’s always asking ‘what more can we do?’ or ‘what else can we do to get better?’ So also in that way, she’s been a huge part of our success.”

After she helped Watertown reclaim the Frontier League title with a 12-0 record this season, Arthur was instrumental in Watertown’s postseason run.

“Our coaches were so dedicated in getting us prepared and that got us ready to accomplish what we did,” Arthur said. “It’s such a good feeling to know that I was a leader on that team and was able to bring them so far is great.”

Arthur tallied seven points, including four goals, in a quarterfinal win over league foe Indian River. She contributed four (2-2) points and won several key faceoffs after regulation and assisted on sophomore Alyssa Barrett’s game winner to help spark the Cyclones to a 14-13 semifinal victory over East Syracuse Minoa in double overtime.

Watertown’s season came to an abrupt end in a 22-4 loss in the final to Christian Brothers Academy, which went on to win the state title in Class B.

Arthur will attend Division I Binghamton University in the fall to play lacrosse.

“They have such an amazing academic school and they’re good in lacrosse,” Arthur said. “I’m excited to go there, so hopefully I can make a huge impact and we’ll go far next year.”

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