Lakeland grad sets VWC record

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It wasn’t enough for Cara Byrd to get her name in the Virginia Wesleyan College field hockey record book. She had to rewrite it.

One year after setting single-season records in goals and assists, the Lakeland graduate came into VWC’s Sept. 17 contest against Roanoke with 86 points – one short of Monica Saltarelli’s school career record.

Seven minutes into the second half, Byrd made her move, snapping in her third goal of the season to jump past Saltarelli (goals count for two points, assists as one). She added another goal and assist to raise her total to 91 by game’s end, then had an assist in VWC’s 5-1 defeat of Sweetbriar the next day.

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&uot;I didn’t know that!&uot; Byrd said when told of her record. &uot;I knew I was close, but I didn’t know exactly how much I needed.&uot;

There’s at least one more record in her sights; Byrd’s now tied with Raye Jean McMichael for second on the all-time school goal list with 32, placing her nine short of Saltarelli’s record.

&uot;I think I will,&uot; Byrd said when asked if she could reach the mark. &uot;If I have a season like last year, I’ll probably get it.&uot;

Actually, she’ll probably go shooting past it; last year alone, Byrd set school records for goals in a season (17), assists in a season (12), career assists (25, which has since risen to 28), points in a season (46), shots in a game (13) and shots in a season (81) while helping the squad to its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship. Byrd was a first-team All-ODAC honoree, first-team All-South honoree and third-team All-American.

The Lady Marlins, on a four-game winning streak, head to Dover, Del. Thursday to battle Wesley College. Byrd’s got 12 games to rack up those last few goals.

&uot;It’s just about being a team player,&uot; she said. &uot;I learned that at Lakeland. I think I’ll do a better job of scanning the field, looking at my options and seeing players a bit better. We’re a real offensive team this year.&uot;