By Matt Bradshaw —
Women’s lacrosse has five transfers on their 2018 roster. Of the five, Tessa Chad and Brenna Shanahan have extensive experience with new coach Scott Teeter.
The juniors transferred from Canisius and were standouts for Teeter.
Thus far, the two Ontario natives are transitioning smoothly.
“It’s a different environment here … everyone who is an athlete is in a tight-knit community and so focused on sports,” Shanahan said. “That’s a cool environment to be surrounded by and it drew my attention here.”
Chad said U of L has been everything she could have wanted so far.
“Going from a small school to a big school, it’s a big jump,” Chad said. “It’s that American university feel that I’ve always wanted, and everyone has been so welcoming.”
Teeter said both are elite players who were “coming into their own at Canisius.” The pair were named to All-MAAC first team.
In addition to their two years at Canisius, Chad and Shanahan played together in high school and for Canada’s U-19 national team (coached by Teeter).
“It’s cool to see how far we’ve come from going to high school together and not really knowing each other, to spending every waking moment together from Canisius to now,” Chad said. “It’s exciting and fun to look back on.”
Teeter’s relationship with the two goes beyond college.
“Our relationship goes back before Canisius,” Teeter said. “Both of them played for me on the U-19 Canada team that won a gold medal. You take anyone that is a world champion and they’ll bring that leadership with them.”
Experience on the national level will most likely prove valuable for the Cardinals, as Chad and Shanahan enter a program rebuilding after the off-season.
“Both of them are natural leaders and adjusting well to the new teammates and new program,” Teeter said.
As a sophomore at Canisius, Chad recorded the second most goals (53) on the team, including 14 free position goals and three-game winning ones. The attacker started all 20 games and reached the 100-point mark for her career.
“Tessa’s hands and skill are at a completely different level than any player we have, in terms of creativity,” Teeter said. “What she can do with the stick and the ball, it’s like a rocket of a shot.”
Hailing from Orono, Ontario, Chad totaled the fourth most goals and sixth-most points (102) in the MAAC last season. As a freshman, she was named MAAC Rookie of the Year, All-MAAC Second Team and MAAC All-Rookie Team.
“My focus for this year is my shot percentage and to start meshing well with the other attackers,” Chad said.
For her sophomore season, Shanahan led all Canisius defenders with 31 ground balls, 14 draw controls and 27 caused turnovers. She played in all 20 games with 16 starts.
“Brenna is probably the smartest person I’ve ever coached. Her lacrosse IQ is phenomenal,” Teeter said. “She knows the ins and outs of every situation on the field, and her knowledge gives her the edge in defensive systems.”
From Mississauga, Ontario, Shanahan was also named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team after playing in all 20 games her freshman season. She recorded seven goals, three assists and caused 17 turnovers.
“My style of play on defense is to be a threat and to make plays,” Shanahan said. “With Teeter being here, that philosophy is transferring over.”
Along with their time at the national level, Chad and Shanahan bring their knowledge of playing beneath coach Teeter to the Cardinals.
“They have the advantage because they know the system that we’re implementing,” Teeter said. “We’re using them as a valued resource out there, and their teammates are as well.”
With the massive turnover lacrosse has experienced expect Chad and Shanahan to shine in the coming seasons.
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal