Caroline Whelan Commits to Play Division l Lacrosse at UMass Amherst

Caroline+Whelan+Commits+to+Play+Division+l+Lacrosse+at+UMass+Amherst

Photo/Tim Hoffman

Elizabeth Hinton, Business Manager

NCAA regulations do not allow Division l women’s lacrosse programs to contact players before September 1 of the player’s junior year. At 12:01 AM on that date this year, WHS junior Caroline Whelan received an email from the University of Massachusetts coaching staff, regarding the potential of her playing there. The next morning Whelan set up a phone call with the coach. After several Zoom calls with UMass coaches and players, Whelan decided that Umass Amherst was the perfect fit for her.

“The school size and culture felt perfect for me,” Whelan said.

Whelan first picked up the stick when she was just a third grader. In seventh grade, she decided she wanted to play at a more competitive level, so she joined a club team, Mass Elite. 

“From the beginning I always had a passion for the sport because there are so many different skills and techniques you can focus and improve on,” Whelan said.

Throughout her lacrosse career, Whelan has been fortunate to have many impactful coaches in her life. Whelan credits her club coach, Meridieth Frank, and high school coach Mike Tosone who have both supported her throughout her lacrosse career. They both believed in her from the start and gave her many opportunities. Lastly, she especially credits her father. 

“He taught me that if I want something, then I have to go work hard and get it because it’s not given to you. He is also my number one supporter because he always shows up to my games or wakes up at six am to drive me to tournaments,” Whelan said.

Described by many as a natural athlete, Whelan has had a very successful career at WHS in both lacrosse and field hockey. Despite being injured and unable to play her freshman year field hockey season, Whelan was able to work hard and earn a varsity starting position her sophomore year in that sport. In lacrosse, despite coming fresh off an injury, Whelan started varsity as a freshman and had a huge impact as an attacker. The coronavirus lockdown robbed her and her team of a lacrosse season last spring.  

“Caroline is an all-around terrific player. Athletic, competitive and extremely intelligent,” Tosone said.

The multi-sport athlete has many goals for the future on and off the field. Whelan hopes to major in business and study at the reputable Eisenhower School of Business at Umass Amherst. She also hopes to win a conference title as a Minuteman. 

“Caroline loves the game. She has made sacrifices to get to this point, and will continue to do so in order to find herself on the field, at a high D1 level,” Tosone said.