Desiree Doucette discusses road to college lacrosse and healthcare professional

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Friday, September 24th, 2021 at 3:56 PM
Desiree Doucette discusses road to college lacrosse and healthcare professional  by Nate Steis
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BUFFALO, NY - Edinboro lacrosse player Desiree Doucette spent three years as a collegiate student-athlete for the Fighting Scots, but her impact on the field does not compare to the impact she has started to make as a health care worker. 
The suburban Buffalo, New York native by way of North Tonawanda High School grew up playing basketball and has been a lifelong fan of the Buffalo Bills. It was not till her days as a middle schooler that she was exposed to the game of lacrosse for the first time, ultimately a game that would change her life for the better and help her meet some of her best friends.  
Over time, her skills improved and so did her appreciation for the game of lacrosse. College coaches took notice and Doucette started to realize she had the opportunity to play the game at the collegiate level if she chose to do so.  
As a North Tonawanda Lumberjack, she became a three-year starter, racked up 50 goals and 25 assists for her career, was named the programs MVP in both 2015 and 2016, and became a two-year letterwinner and one year starter on the Lady Lumberjacks basketball team. Her college decision would end up coming down to Fredonia and Edinboro, with the latter obviously receiving her talents from the next three seasons. 
“On my official visit to Edinboro, the coaches and the team were so welcoming and being at a small school like Edinboro in the country was a big selling point. The program really made me feel wanted.” 
In her three years as a Fighting Scot ranging from 2017 to 2019, Doucette played in 39 games, made 22 starts, and scored 15 goals. She also would go on to be one of the captains of the program and ended her career on a high note with 13 goals and two assists to go with 17 starts in her final college season.  
Though, it was not always smooth sailing as Doucette suffered a torn ACL during her playing career, which forced her to miss a little bit of time while deciding to fight through the partial tear until getting surgery after the season. While she had an extra year of eligibility left, graduating a full-year early has proven to be a wise decision as the 2020 season proved to be something unheard of. 
At the time, who could have predicted the lacrosse program would have only had four games in 2020 anyways? All in all, her hard work on the field and in the classroom was rewarded as she would go on to become a multiple time PSAC and Edinboro Scholar Athlete while finishing a Speech and Hearing Sciences degree early because of transfer credits from high school and some summer work. 
For as long as she can remember, she has wanted to become a speech and language pathologist, and that is exactly what she has now achieved. Beginning in 2019, Doucette started her next chapter in life as a graduate student at the University at Buffalo. Heading to school there allowed her to get back closer to home while completing externships through the Buffalo Public School and Liberty Post, an autism therapy service. 
She recently passed her boards and accepted her first job last month at The Arc Erie County New York. There, she helps and guides preschool aged children to become the best people they can be as a part of her clinical fellowship. Currently, she is collecting nine months' worth of hours — 1,260 to be exact — until she can practice on her own license. Beginning next summer, her process to becoming a speech and language pathologist will be fully complete. 
“I have my parents (Vicki and Neil Doucette) and some of my closest friends and teammates Mary Uplinger, Sydney Dobbins, and Kaitlyn Binotto to thank and credit for being by my side and helping me so much over the years. I also credit the entire Edinboro athletic training team for helping me over my college career.” 
Looking back as a retired college athlete, she does not remember the wins, losses, or accolades along the way. Instead, she recalls the times with her team in the hotel and even the long bus rides. The memories with her peers and former teammates are what she cherishes most with visits to Edinboro still occurring regularly to this day. 
Former Edinboro Head Lacrosse Coach, Jalen Middlebrooks, had the opportunity to coach Doucette in her time at Edinboro and had this to say about her as a student-athlete. 
“My first year at Edinboro was Desiree’s first year being back on the field for spring season after an ACL tear. I noticed she was determined to be fully recovered for the spring season. Off the field, she was a hard-working student in an incredibly difficult major.

She was always 
very organized and encouraged others to do their best in the classroom. On the field, she was not afraid of anything which is unheard of after an ACL tear. As a player and person, she was not afraid to voice her opinion, especially when it was for the success of the team.”
Doucette’s time at Edinboro may have been quicker than most, but the school still serves as a second home for the New York native. “I loved my time at Edinboro because it is a true family there,” she said. 

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