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A Real Goal-Getter

Jackie Sileo’s desire to lead her team to championships helped her make stats history

Jackie Sileo looks for an open teammate at the 2012 Division II Women’s Lacrosse Championship. BILL LUSTER / NCAA PHOTOS

LIU Post women’s lacrosse coach Meghan McNamara already had Nicole Sileo on her team. Then she got a look at her player’s younger sister.

“The first time I saw her in high school, I knew she was special,” McNamara said of the sister, Jackie Sileo. “I just crossed my fingers that we would get her. I just fell in love with the vision and heart she had on the field and was just hoping she would come to LIU Post so I could help her take it to the next level.”

Sileo made the decision to become a Pioneer, and the rest is history: She went on to be the greatest scorer and assist person ever to play NCAA women’s lacrosse.

“I never thought about individual records,” Sileo said. “My goal and what I aspired to be was a national champion. Looking back, it’s all kind of surreal. It wasn’t just me; it took my coaches and all of my teammates, who were awesome players as well. I obviously couldn’t have done it without them.”

Not only did she finish her career at LIU Post in 2014 as the NCAA all-time leader with 564 points and 369 assists, but she also led the Pioneers to NCAA titles in 2012 and 2013. In Division II, she is more than 150 points and 140 assists ahead of her nearest competitor in those career record categories. In the other divisions, the former players closest to her feats are Ashley Hansbury of Curry College, who finished her career in 2011 with 500 points, and Kendyl Clarkson of Buffalo State, State University of New York, who compiled 240 assists from 2009 to 2012.

“She was the type of person who would do whatever she could for the program,” McNamara said. “She was just so driven in every area from being a leader, friend and teammate. She did it all.”

Her records seem safe for the foreseeable future as there are no current players within 200 points and 160 assists of her career total.

 “You just don’t find players who are able to dish the ball as well as she could, as well as be able to put the ball in the back of the net on such a consistent basis,” McNamara said. “In addition, she had to do it for all four years (when) she was going against the top defender against every team we played.”

With her college playing career behind her, Sileo is now an assistant coach at her alma mater while pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling.

“I am not sure where I am going to end up,” Sileo said. “If I do go into school counseling, I will still stay involved with lacrosse, whether it’s working camps or coaching kids’ teams. I will never give up lacrosse.”

While her records will likely stay for a long time, her legacy is likely to be around longer.

“I want to be remembered as a leader,” Sileo said, “someone who is willing to sacrifice everything and anything for the good of the team.”

About Champion

Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.