All-time points leader cites former rival as key to personal, team success
Story first appeared in the April 16, 2015 edition of the Edinboro University Spectator, which was distributed on campus and around the town of Edinboro.
March 27, 2013. Gannon defeated Edinboro 17-8 in a regular season women’s lacrosse match at Sox Harrison Stadium. The Golden Knights’ star midfielder Jessica Fugate notched four goals and one assist against the Fighting Scots, handing Becca Martin and the team its second loss of the season.
Exactly two years later, March 27, 2015, Edinboro triumphed over Kutztown, 17-5, at Sox Harrison Stadium. Martin, now a junior, tallied one goal and six assists to help improve the team to 5-1 on the season, as the Edinboro women’s lacrosse program, and Martin herself improved. The difference for Martin, piloting her rise to the top, was the former All-American, Fugate.
Freshman year for Martin was nothing to scoff at. The Oswego, New York native started all 17 matches of the 2013 season. She scored 11 goals and registered 10 assists. However, it was that offseason where it all changed for Martin.
“I feel that my freshman year to my sophomore year was completely different,” she said. “I feel when Jess [Fugate], our grad assistant, came, she just changed the momentum of everything. She really worked with us and it made a big difference.”
Martin saw the biggest change, courtesy of Fugate, and her sophomore season statistics back that up. The public relations major started all 16 matches of Boro’s 2014 campaign and was the leading scorer on the team, setting a new school record with 62 points on 26 goals and 36 assists, which also was a new single-season school record.
The attacker claimed that Fugate made her into the force that she is today, but the former rival, now coach, said there was talent there beforehand.
“I remember seeing so much potential for her as a feeder during my first few weeks as the G.A.,” Fugate said.
Martin claims it was Fugate’s arrival that allowed her to grow as a player, but according to Fugate, it was simply an increase in confidence level from freshman and sophomore seasons that was the biggest change.
“I’d say the biggest difference from her freshman to sophomore season was that she became more confident behind the cage,” Fugate said. “After our fall ball scrimmages, I think Becca realized the kind of threat she could be for the team. That’s when she started coming early to practice to work on different offensive skills.”
Not only was the former Oswego High School Buccaneer confident behind the net, facilitating the offense, that’s her favorite spot on the field.
“I love it,” Martin said. “I’d pick assisting than scoring any day. It is just where I feel most comfortable. I just like seeing everything. It is exciting when I have a good pass and my teammate finishes a shot and it is a big shot. It is really exciting.”
The former high school volleyball and basketball player has thrown plenty of those passes that have been finished with scoring shots so far in her career. Coming into this season, Martin was tied for fifth in career points with 83, tied for seventh in career goals with 37 and was first in career assists with 46.
Her 2015 season is picking up where she left off in 2014. Through Sunday, Martin netted 11 goals and tallied 49 assists for a total of 60 points. Her 49 assists broke her single-season assists record which she set last season and her 69 total points gives her 143 career points, making her the all-time leading scorer in Edinboro women’s lacrosse history, topping Shannon Rohrich’s 139.
Additionally, her 60 points she has this season is just two shy of the record number she set last season.
“Division-II lacrosse was a perfect fit for Becca [Martin], now in her junior season and with two years under her belt, she has grown into a leader on the field,” Edinboro head coach Kevin Cooke said of Martin. “She is a player that is working on getting better on the field, which does take some work off the field as well in order to be successful. Her commitment level this season is something that was very encouraging right form the first practice in fall-ball. She wants to get better and she knows that by her getting better the team will be more successful.”
Just look at what has happened since March 27, 2013.