MSC stars make college plans official

MSC stars make college plans official

Mount Saint Charles Academy seniors Jacob Lawrence, left, and Kaylee Doucette sit in front of large placards with the colleges of their choice. Both signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, with Lawrence choosing to continue his tennis career at Division II Assumption College and Doucette deciding to play hockey at Division I Franklin Pierce University. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
Doucette lands D-I hockey scholarship with Franklin Pierce University; Lawrence plans to continue tennis career at D-II Assumption College

WOONSOCKET – It's extremely rare these days to see a high school hockey player from this state receive a scholarship that would allow them to continue their career at a Division I program, but that's what Mount Saint Charles Academy senior Kaylee "Kiki" Doucette is getting this year from Franklin Pierce University.

On Wednesday, the Mount defenseman joined classmate Jacob Lawrence, as well as student-athletes from across the country, in signing their National Letters of Intent to their respective Division I and II colleges where they would continue their academic and athletic careers.

While Lawrence will follow what's been a family tradition and continue his tennis career in the D-II's Northeast-10 Conference at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., Doucette will be the first MSC student-athlete in five years to ink an NLI to a Division I school, as well as become the school's first girls' hockey player to land a scholarship since Taryn Lapierre received one in 2007 from D-II Sacred Heart University.

Normally, a hockey player in this state looking to score a scholarship would usually transfer to a prep school and receive an extra year of schooling or just strictly play junior hockey and try to boost their stock in the eyes of college coaches.

But Doucette not only got to enjoy a spectacular four-year career with the Mounties, one that will probably result in her receiving her second straight All-State nod and Division I First-Team selection, but she also skated in 32 games for the Walpole Express women's junior hockey team in her spare time.

Doucette, who lives in Bridgewater, Mass., admitted last week that a couple of prep schools had contacted her over the past couple of years, but to her, home is where the heart is, even if it's a 35-minute drive away.

"I like the environment here," she said. "I really like my teammates, and I think (head coach) Tony (DiLorenzo) is the best coach I've ever had, so why would I leave? I never really wanted to go (to prep school), and I figured I'm going to go away to college, so why would I leave my family so early?"

A season after collecting 11 goals and eight assists, Doucette stepped up her game offensively and scored 21 goals while assisting on 17. Her 35 points during the regular season led the state and helped the Mounties finish third in the standings with a 12-5 record.

"I had a really successful career here," she added. "I did a lot of stuff, but I had a lot of fun, and that's what matters the most."

Doucette, who plans to study elementary education, had looked at her share of colleges to continue her career, from D-I Quinnipiac and Providence College to smaller schools such as Suffolk University and the University of Southern Maine, but in the end, Franklin Pierce won her over.

Franklin Pierce, which is in Rindge, N.H., competes in the six-team New England Women’s Hockey Alliance. The Ravens posted a 16-12-2 record and reached the semifinals of the NEWHA playoffs. Doucette said that her jersey number with the Ravens will be number five and she could see some time as a forward.

As for Lawrence, the youngest of Mount athletic director Richard Lawrence's six children, he planned to attend the University of Rhode Island and study marine biology there while trying to latch on with the Rams' tennis team.

But along came Assumption, which not only offered him the school's prestigious Light the Way scholarship that will award him $100,000 over the four years he attends the school, but also a spot on the Greyhounds' roster, thanks to a productive workout he had with the team, noted the Mount AD.

"Schools were reaching out to me to see if I was going to be a fit for their teams and able to play at that level," Lawrence said. "But I thought (interim coach Megan Pirez) showed a lot of interest in me and my development. They want to develop me into even a better player, so I think that's what really snagged me."

Lawrence's arrival at Assumption will make him the fifth Lawrence sibling to play at a Northeast-10 school. Three of his sisters, Kirsten, Jessica, and Alexandra, played at Saint Anselm's College in Manchester, N.H., and his youngest sister, Meryl, continued her career at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.

Lawrence's oldest sibling, Christian, who will be inducted on May 11 into the MSC Athletic Hall of Fame, had played D-I tennis at Seton Hall University, which Lawrence noted "doesn't even have tennis anymore."

"It runs in the family," Lawrence said with a smile. "From my oldest brother to my four sisters in between, they've all played college tennis, so I kind of felt like something would be missing if I didn't play in college."

Lawrence, who was also on the boys' soccer and indoor track and team teams, is a two-time Second-Team All-State selection in tennis who was also a member of the school's boys' soccer team that captured the Division II championship in 2015.

Two members of the MSC girls' track and field program who did not receive any athletic scholarship money, but will look to continue their athletic careers at the Division I and II levels, are Stella Noecker, who will attend D-I Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., and Paige Fitzpatrick, who will head to Stonehill College.