Throughout the summer, USA TODAY High School Sports has published a series called “60 for ’16” highlighting 60 members of the Class of 2016 who we will be watching in the coming 12 months. The final 20 athletes will be presented in order from No. 20 to No. 1 over four weeks. The athletes were selected by the USA TODAY HSS staff.
Name: Caitrin Lonergan
School: Noble and Greenough School (Dedham, Mass.)
Sport: Girls hockey
Take a look at Lonergan’s junior year stats and it’s clear what position she plays. She tallied 15 goals and 43 assists in 28 games for Noble and Greenough (Mass.), serving as an integral offensive piece.
But dig a little deeper and you see why she’s one of the most heralded prospects in the country.
“Her goal totals were hampered somewhat because she did play defense for half the season,” Noble coach Tom Resor said in an email.
A member of the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team, Lonergan captured a gold medal at this year’s IIHF U18 World Championships, assisting on four goals in five games. She led the tournament in faceoff percentage, winning 75% of her 60 draws. That is just the most recent of her significant international experience, including playing on the silver medalist Team USA at the U18 Worlds in 2014.
Beyond that, the Roslindale, Mass., native was the only junior named to the 2014-15 American Family Insurance ALL-USA First Team.
Lonergan spent her first two years of high school at St. Paul’s (Concord, N.H.), where she racked up numerous individual and team awards. The transfer to Noble brought no rough adjustment, and she was named MVP of the Independent School League last season. A number of Lonergan’s teammates on the Assabet Valley club team helped the transition.
“She is an explosive skater, one of the best I have coached, and a very deft stickhandler,” Resor said. “She also shoots the puck very well.”
That is high praise from Resor, who has coached more than 35 future Division I players in his nearly 30 years at the school. He was previously the boys coach before moving to the girls program.
Lonergan has also played varsity soccer since she was a high school freshman, and she helped the Noble girls soccer team take home a New England Championship.
During her sophomore year at St. Paul’s, Lonergan verbally committed to play at Harvard. After one more high school season, she’ll join a team that went 27-6-3 in 2014-15, falling in the national championship game to No. 1 Minnesota.
Her positional flexibility will certainly come in handy at the next level and give Harvard coach Katey Stone an indispensable weapon at multiple spots.