Boissonneault adds three new players to Pitt lacrosse


Image via Pitt Athletics

Emily Boissonneault announced the addition of three new players from the Pitt club women’s lacrosse team on Thursday.

By Ben Bobeck, Senior Staff Writer

As the world of sports grinds to a near total shutdown at Pitt and around the world, Panthers’ head lacrosse coach Emily Boissonneault continues to construct the foundation of the University’s newest varsity program. Despite the cancellation of all ACC spring sports, Boissonneault has powered through, announcing the addition of three new players from the Pitt club women’s lacrosse team on Thursday.

The three new Panthers — sophomores Caroline Lederman, Kierin Ratliff-Bailbourne and Payton Reed — bring the roster to nine players in total prior to the team’s first season of competition in 2021-22. Five current high school recruits and one international player, Abby Thorne of Australia, formed the core of Boissonneault’s first recruiting class.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Caroline, Kierin, and Payton to our team,” Boissonneault said in a statement. “[Assistant coach] Daniela [Eppler] and I have been training them for the last few months and are impressed with their eagerness and coachability over this time. Their experience and leadership will be a valuable asset as we continue to develop the culture of our team.”

The Rochester-bred players Lederman, Ratliff-Bailbourne and Reed will bring a championship pedigree to their new program, as the Lady Panther Lacrosse Club claimed its second Women’s College Lacrosse Associates National Championship in 2019 after an undefeated season under head coach Kevin Tidgewell.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Emily and Daniela so far and can’t wait to support the new team and be some of their biggest fans,” Tidgewell told The Pitt News. “Those three were part of our team and we will be cheering them on whenever we can.”

“Coach Bois now has a great core to begin laying the foundation for the growth of her program and these three will be able to help acclimate new players to life at Pitt,” he said.

Lederman, a natural sciences/pre-physician’s assistant major, is a midfielder/defender and was First-Team All America at Brighton High School her senior year after being named Second Team as a junior.

“Pitt’s Lady Panther Lacrosse Club has been incredibly influential in my first two years of school,” she said. “Not only did this team provide me with excellent lacrosse success with our 2019 National Championship, but this team also provided me with my best friends … Now two years into my college journey, I have been given the opportunity to have a new athletic success.”

In the press release, Boissonneault praised Lederman’s leadership ability — a valuable asset when the young team begins practice and play.

“Caroline continues to impress us every time we see her,” she said. “She takes our instruction without question and is excited to learn.”

Ratliff-Bailbourne, a finance/marketing major and attacker, and Reed, a midfielder and biological sciences and business major, both attended Honeoye Falls-Lima High School, where they reached the state finals three times.

‘”I chose Pitt two years ago because of its academic standing, amazing faculty and facilities, city location and campus atmosphere,” Reed said. “With my time here, Pitt has only exceeded my expectations and continues to be the perfect fit. I am so excited to be a part of Pitt’s inaugural lacrosse season and I cannot wait to start something amazing.”