Dionne finds right fit with Guilford lax

Amanda Dionne has always been looking for the right fit.

She didn’t feel she had it for athletics at Merrimack High School so she transferred her junior year to Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. That allowed her to not only play lacrosse but also girls ice hockey.

Once she settled on lacrosse, she thought Guilford College, a D-II school in Greensboro, N.C., would be perfect.

“It’s the New Hampshire of the South,” Dionne, who now calls Nashua home. “Just really nice. The sports program here is great for women.”

Dionne is having a breakout season in her sophomore year, leading the Quakers with 39 goals and six assists for 45 points at last look. It’s something she had an inkling after her offseason workouts and preseason comfort level.

“At the end of February in a tournament I played well enough and I thought this could be a breakout year for me,” Dionne said. “My freshman year went pretty well, but I wasn’t prepared for the difference in speed and skill.”

Tabor prepared Dionne well, as she was playing with players who were moving on to top lacrosse schools such as Duke or Syracuse. She found out as a freshman at Guilford that the game can become very cerebral; players would be aware of tendencies, like which hand a shooter favors.

“I was not ready for that,” she said. “But now it definitely feels different. During my freshman year, I got more experience and got more comfortable.”

“It’s maturity,” Guilford coach Sarah Lamphier said. “She did really well her freshman year, but with being a freshman comes a little hesitation and uncertainty. … Now she knows what she’s capable of doing.”

Dionne has a great shot for the college level.

“She’s got power behind it, Lamphier said. “There’s some goals I watch her make with a beautiful fake, a beautiful shot with some power behind it.”

Dionne knows exactly what the next step is. She wants to raise her fitness level and speed so she can eventually move to midfield and be a more complete player.

“That way I’d be more useful to the team,” she said.

“She’s certainly fulfilling her role,” Lamphier said. “But that (moving to midfield) is something we’d look at doing. It really depends on how she’s pushing herself to fit that role and improve her speed.”

Don’t bet against that happening. After all, Dionne has found the right fit every step of the way in her lacrosse career.