April 9, 2009

Millar Makes Marks at UVM, Nationally

by J. Jude Hazard | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Vermont's Kristen Millar, pictured here with the 2007 Canadian U-19 team, has opted out of Team Canada for the 2009 FIL Women's World Cup after a busy college career in which she holds school records in nearly every statistical category.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

Kristen Millar has already made her mark on Vermont women's lacrosse, and on Saturday she needs just one goal to capture sole possession of the program's all-time goals record. But one of Millar's most visible marks on the program won't show up in any record books.

In 2007, the senior midfielder -- with help from teammate Annie Strout -- painted a large Catamounts logo on the wall of coach Jen Johnson's office using the team's official paint colors.

"We spent two afternoons. I think it was a total of six or seven hours painting that on her office wall," Millar said. "It's nice to walk in there and just see that as a reminder to the commitment to the program."

Millar, a Whitby, Ontario native, became the all-time leader at Vermont in points, assists, ground balls and draw controls as a junior. She is currently tied with Vanessa Cox for career goals scored at the school.

"She's the kind of player that you can build a program around," Johnson said. "We are going to miss her more than she'll probably ever know."

Johnson and Millar have known each other since Millar was in eighth grade. The pair grew up within 10 miles of each other in Canada.

"I got to see her pretty much every summer as she was in high school. I watched her play and knew she had a tremendous amount of potential," Johnson said. "We heavily, heavily recruited her and ultimately, when she decided to come to UVM, we were pretty excited."

Millar is 11 draw controls shy of becoming the all-time leader in NCAA Division I history, surpassing fellow Canadian and 2008 Maryland graduate Dana Dobbie. She has scored at least one point in 59 straight games, currently the longest such streak in the nation.

"I hope she gets that draw control record," Johnson said. "I think it would be a really phenomenal credit to her to be able to graduate with."

The Catamounts lost for the first time in America East play at Albany and will look to rebound on Saturday against Boston University. Millar said she believes the team has a real chance of winning the America East tournament this year and advancing to the NCAA tournament.

"We've grown so much as a program in numbers, but also in talent and, mainly, that commitment to the program," she said. "All I want to know when I leave is that I did everything I could have to help the team get to that point, and that every one of my other teammates gave their all."

Millar is majoring in elementary education with a 3.6 grade point average. She said she will not join Team Canada for the 2009 World Cup after graduation and will instead focus on her career.

"I felt as though it would be time for me to take a break from that and kind of explore my teaching career and other hobbies that I have," she said. "I don't cut out the idea of going back and playing lacrosse for the team [in future years]."

She said she also has a minor in nutrition and a concentration in French, and may return to Canada to teach nutrition in schools there.

The Catamounts are currently 7-5 overall and 2-1 in America East play. They have conference games left against BU, at New Hampshire and against Stony Brook.

Millar said she realizes that every game she plays this year is one game closer to the end of her college lacrosse career.

"If we can make it on to the America East tournament, there's at least one more game," she said. "I'm going to really miss being a part of this team."

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