Maurice a Difference Maker as St. Mary’s College Lacrosse Commit
Grace Maurice is still chasing goals—literally and figuratively—as she heads into the home stretch of her time at Cheshire Academy.
As of April 28, the lacrosse star and captain from Clinton has scored 76 career varsity goals, putting her well within reach of a milestone, an achievement that has certainly been on the forefront of her mind this spring.
“I’m almost close to 100,” Grace says. “The next few games should be interesting.”
Whether she reaches that number, this much is certain: Grace will leave a lasting legacy at Cheshire Academy. From basketball to lacrosse and everything in between—including, of course, the classroom—she’s accomplished so much in a relatively short amount of time.
Outside of athletics, Grace has served as a peer mentor for incoming students. What specifically, you may ask, does that entail?
“I would talk to incoming students to make sure they’re comfortable with classes and knowing where to go,” Grace says. “Any questions, I would answer them as well. Since I was an underclassman in their position (in the past), I want to help them. I know the nervousness that they have. I just want to make sure that they feel comfortable starting at a new school.”
It’s Grace’s way of giving back before she heads off to Saint Mary’s College of Maryland to continue playing lacrosse next year. Grace graduates on June 3, then will arrive on campus later in the month for college orientation. After that, she’ll get some time to relax before classes start August 28.
“Being at boarding school,” Grace says of Cheshire Academy, “it was a lot of fun. Anyone who has stayed here can say the same. It definitely prepares you for college. I’m not as nervous (now) because I know the dorm lifestyle and the campus lifestyle.”
Grace hopes to make a smooth transition on the lacrosse field as well. She’s played four seasons on varsity, though her freshman year was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While balancing her time with Nor’easter Lacrosse, a club program based out of Cheshire and New Haven, Grace scored close to 50 goals on attack over her sophomore and junior seasons.
“Being in quarantine for a while was frustrating, but I found ways to still practice at home,” Grace says. “I had one or two practices (as a freshman), but sophomore year was my first game year. Once I got on the field, it was so much fun. My freshman year I didn’t know anyone, but by sophomore year, I knew a couple of girls. Sophomore year was still a lot of adjusting, and games were up in the air, but junior year everything was cleared.”
Cheshire Academy is off to an 8-2 start this year, much thanks to Grace, who is seamlessly handling her role as a scorer, facilitator and leader. She’s taken particular enjoyment in setting up her teammates for goals.
“Our team is a lot better,” Grace says. “I’ve gotten a lot more assists. If I don’t get as many goals, assists are just as important to me. I love seeing (my teammates’) excitement when they score.”
Grace took on a similar attitude when playing basketball. She was a multi-year starter at Cheshire Academy, helping to lead the team to top 10 in the Northeast Class C. Head Coach Caroline Brasa, who has worked with Grace the last two years, recognizes her effort and passion as nothing less than top tier.
“She’s definitely a supportive teammate, a vocal leader, always looking to help out her younger, less experienced teammates,” Brasa says. “She did whatever she could for us.”
According to Brasa, Grace was also one of the team’s most consistent players, a jack-of-all trades forward who brought all the intangibles to the court.
“I’m probably better at lacrosse than basketball,” Grace says. “At the end of my season this year, I was definitely sad to let (basketball) go because I knew it’d be my last game. But I still do enjoy playing basketball as well.”
On top of her accomplishments as an athlete, Grace served as a student manager for Cheshire Academy’s football team. Her responsibilities included managing film during games and practices and handing out water to the players, another activity she excelled at.
In case there’s any doubt, Grace plans to stick with just one sport in college. She chose Division III Saint Mary’s not only because of its strong lacrosse program, but also because of its location. Her older sister, Gwen, lives nearby in Washington, D.C. She had also considered Muhlenberg College, UVA Wise, and University of Lynchburg.
As for now, there’s still plenty more she’d like to get done. She wants to savor these last few weeks with her high school teammates.
“I just love the close-knit team,” Grace says. “All the teams I’ve played on are super close. It’s felt like family.”