FULTON — The Patterson family name runs deep in the Fulton girls lacrosse program.
Keara Patterson, the oldest of three Patterson sisters, is currently a member of the Quinnipiac University women’s lacrosse team.
And now Lexi Patterson, the middle sister of the trio, has followed in Keara’s footsteps by making an NCAA Division I commitment to the women’s lacrosse team at Army West Point.
The Black Knights compete in the Patriot League.
Lexi said she took a lot of inspiration from Keara in her decision to commit to a D-1 program.
“It definitely helped,” Lexi said. “She set it up for me.”
Lexi also went on a majority of Keara’s college visits through her recruiting process, which gave Lexi a feel for the experience.
“I got to know a little bit about everything that went on (in a Division I program),” Lexi said. “I had it figured out.”
Lexi is laying a foundation for her younger sister Carleigh, who is currently an eighth-grader and possibly next in line for a college lacrosse career.
“She’s next,” Lexi said. “She’ll be ready to go.”
Aside from receiving guidance from her older sister, Lexi Patterson was encouraged by Drew White, former Fulton varsity girls lacrosse head coach and current coach of the Salt City Snipers club lacrosse team, to join a college program at the highest level.
A junior defensive standout for the Lady Raiders, Patterson went to some camps and ultimately decided on Army.
“Everything fell into place,” she said.
Other than dealing with the athletic and academic aspects of Army, Patterson knows the military portion of the commitment will be a big factor. She was hesitant at first, but said she knows she’ll be able to balance it well.
“It wasn’t something right off the bat I wanted to do, but once I saw how great it was and how much pride people have there, I knew I wanted to be part of that,” she said.
Patterson said West Point happened to be her first choice.
“The decision-making process was fairly easy,” she said.
On a recent unofficial visit to West Point, she met with Head Coach Kristen Skiera and the team, and walked around the campus with one of the players.
The interaction between Patterson and the people involved with the program was positive.
“It was good,” she said. “They were really welcoming.”
The transition from high school to college in any sport can be a challenge. However, with Patterson going from Fulton to West Point, she knows it will be an even bigger change.
“It’s West Point so it’ll be very much different from any other place,” she said. “It’s going to be a little harder, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
Patterson plans to study business while attending West Point. She also wants to get into the medical field.