Marvin Ridge’s star attacker Amy Collins had just about done it all going into her senior lacrosse season.
She topped the state’s record for goals in a season as a junior with 124 and ranked second in total points with 164. And she made her mark on the national level, as well, ranking third in the U.S. in goals and fifth in points while making the 2013 Brine National High School all-American team and being selected to play on the U.S. 17-and-under team at the Federation of International Lacrosse Women’s World Cup last summer – not to mention playing on the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Team. As her junior year wrapped up, she committed to play under Randall Goldsborough’s prestigious program at Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University and it seemed as though the world was at her fingertips.
Collins didn’t disappoint in her senior season, either. Despite missing four games at the start of the season due to a concussion, including a big game against rival Lake Norman, Collins still managed to pour in 74 goals this season and added 31 assists to finish her high school career with 349 goals and 469 points – the fourth highest total in the nation. She had a career draw percentage of .730, winning 473 of 648 attempts, and had 301 ground balls for an average of 4.6 per game along with 10 interceptions and 160 takeaways.
The star attacker said it’s her mindset that’s made all the difference.
“Honestly, I think I have a winning mentality,” she said. “Hard work and effort definitely play a role, but you have to want it. I’m out there to win every game. What’s the point of doing something if you’re not going to give it all you have?”
It’s no wonder that for the third year in a row, Amy Collins is the Union County Weekly Girl’s Lacrosse Player of the Year.
Collins picked up the sport when she and her family first moved to North Carolina from Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It was a decision that Collins said changed her life as she knew it.
“I played softball before we moved but I picked up lacrosse as soon as we got here,” she said. “I thought it was interesting and I had never heard of it before, so that’s where it started. I was just a little girl at the time and I had no idea what I was doing but fortunately I decided to stick with it and that’s paid off.”
Collins made an impact on the Maverick team immediately, most notably when she scored six goals against perennial power Charlotte Catholic as a freshman. She finished the year leading the Mavs in goals scored – a trend she’s maintained for four years.
But it’s been her junior and senior seasons that have defined her as one of the nation’s best. Last year against Myers Park, Collins tossed in nine goals and two assists to lead the Mavs to their first-ever win against the Mustangs on their way to earning a 14-4 record while remaining undefeated in conference play. And performances like that have been the norm for Collins as she averaged seven goals per game as a junior and five as a senior – a noteworthy number even though she missed four games.
“I hated being out for those games, especially during my senior year,” she said. “But honestly I think it was a good experience for everyone else. For the most part, people counted on me to do a lot on the field. When I was out, the weight shifted to them. Certain players stepped up, the underclassmen stepped up and they all gained confidence that carried them through the season even when I returned.”
Even in Collins’ absence, the Mavs still earned a 13-6 record and finished 5-1 in conference play while making it to the state semi-finals. Collins undoubtedly spearheaded the charge, but was quick to give credit to talented teammates like rising seniors Clare Murphy (52 goals, 22 assists) and Taylor Sweeney (43 goals, 41 assists) as well as her coach, Doug Collins, who’s also her father.
And though her career as a Maverick has ended, Collins’ will go down in history as one of the best and will likely quickly make her mark at Bucknell.
“People say ‘lax is life’ all the time but it’s really true,” she said. “Lacrosse has translated into so many aspects of my life – whether it’s leadership outside of lacrosse or being more assertive. It’s been an amazing thing that I’ve centered my life around because it’s built me up as a person as well as an athlete.
“I’m really lucky. I had a successful career here at Marvin Ridge, I learned a lot, grew a lot and now I’m able to play in college. I saw where I fell short over the years and was able to correct it. I couldn’t be more excited for what’s next.”