Franklin Regional’s Painter signs with Findlay lacross
For several years, Annie Painter had a goal of playing lacrosse in college while advancing her education.
On Monday, during the National Letter of Intent early signing period, the Franklin Regional senior cemented her plans for after graduation in June.
Painter signed to continue her education and athletic pursuits with the University of Findlay, a Division II school in western Ohio.
“This is exciting,” Painter said. “It’s been a dream of mine since my freshman year, and now it’s fulfilled.”
The ball began rolling with Findlay when Painter researched the school’s well-known pharmacy program.
“I noticed Findlay also had a women’s lacrosse program and it was Division II. It’s a great place. It’s the perfect mix of academics and athletics,” she said.
Findlay finished the 2014 season 8-11 overall and 5-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Oilers lost their first five matches and finished March 2-6. They rallied in April, going 5-4 down the stretch in the regular season.
Findlay won its GLIAC quarterfinal game, 14-13, over Wheeling Jesuit before falling to Grand Valley State, 24-7, in the semifinals.
“It’s a relatively new program, but they’re doing great,” Painter said.
“It is the right level of competition. It isn’t too high or too low. It’s going to be great to be a part of the team as it continues to grow.”
Painter also is hoping to be a big part of a Franklin Regional girls lacrosse program that continues to grow.
The Panthers finished 2-13 overall in 2014, and only four seniors were lost to graduation.
FR finished with wins over Hampton and Sewickley Academy, and it scored 16 goals in each victory.
Painter, a defender, said the team was competitive in games last year against some very strong competition and should be improved this spring. The Panthers lost five games by four goals or less, including a one-goal setback against North Allegheny at home.�
“We have great junior and senior classes and some talented younger players,” Painter said.
“The defense has been playing together for a long time, and there are some great athletes on the field. We have a lot of good runners.”
Painter’s efforts were welcomed by Eric Barnabei, who took over as head coach for the 2014 season.
“She’s been a great leader and a talented player for us,” Barnabei said. “She’s a great person to have in the sport and in the program. I saw her step up as a leader as a junior. She missed a couple of games last year, and we felt it.”
Michael Love is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at [email protected].