Remy Nolan hopes her grit and tenacity on the lacrosse field will help her earn playing tome for the Boston University women's lacrosse team.

"I'm really excited," Nolan said. "It's a good school, academically and athletically. The fact they wanted me and recruited me is huge. It was a tough process, but it was exciting."

BU has won nine American East Conference titles and made eight appearances in the NCAA tournament. The team won its last title and made its last NCAA appearance in 2010.

"We are looking for Remy to bring her hard nosed aggressive style of play to our defensive unit," Lady Terriers coach Liz Robertshaw said. "We pride ourselves on that style of play at BU and we feel she is a natural fit."

A captain for Staples before graduating last week, she was a First Team All-FCIAC and All-State selection. Nolan was also the Block S Coach's award recipient.

"It felt good to earn the awards my senior year, which was exciting," Nolan said.

More Information

Fact box

Possessing a blue collar mentality made Nolan a defensive force for four years. She was arguably one of Staples' strongest player the past four years, and her durability enabled her to keep the opposition in check.

"It started when I wanted to play defense," Nolan said. "Being a defensive player helped me become tough, and it started from my wanting to play defense."

Choosing defense meant Nolan may have sacrificed recognition because offensive players are usually noticed more because they score goals. However, this doesn't faze her because she's more concerned with the team's success.

"Defense starts offense," Nolan said. "If you want to score, you have to get the ball, and it starts with the defense taking the ball and getting it to the offense. Offense wins games, and defense wins championships."

When it came to making the clutch defensive plays, Nolan's coaches felt they could always rely on her.

"Remy is a true team player," Lady Wreckers coach Stacy Fierce said. "Her strength as a defender is apparent in her ability to see the field and anticipate. She adjusts quickly to place pressure to the most appropriate threat. Her anticipation and understanding of field dynamics allows her to make key defensive adjustments quickly. In addition, once she causes a turnover, she can transition offensively without hesitation."

Game smarts contributed to Nolan's success as a checker.

"I became a good checker through practice and experience," Nolan said. "Playing in a game, you study the referee and observe what he or she will call. Being an experienced player helps me control my body."

Staples frequently gained possession because of Nolan's ability to pressure the opposing attacker.

"It takes a lot of footwork, watching the girl and watching the ball at all times," Nolan said. "I'm always on my toes and read the girl."

Nolan had her share of interceptions.

"You have to make sure you are in the right place to pick it off and have good instincts, which is huge," Nolan said. "You have to watch where the ball goes, and keep your head up at all times."

Going after and coming up with the loose ball is a major strength of Nolan's. Her strength and aggressiveness in the scrum helped her come up with ground balls, and she came up with many draw controls because of her quick hands.

"I think possession wins games," Nolan said. "You have to win the draws to gain possession. To get ground balls, you have to go low and box out your opponent. It comes with a lot of practice and playing with people who are competitive and push you. It's a matter of wanting the ball and getting there first. Having a lot of heart is important."

Although Nolan is a defender by trade, she also helped the Lady Wreckers on offense. She set up many goals with crisp passes and possesses a lethal shot which produced her share of goals as well.

"Playing defense helped me on offense," Nolan said. "I know [first-hand] from playing defense what's hard for the defender, and I try to use it on offense against my defender."

On the key to her shooting touch, Nolan said, "It comes from having a lot of power on my shot, a few faking moves and changing the level on my stick."

Life on the lacrosse field began for her in fourth grade. Nolan was introduced to the sport by her brother Jake, who played for the Providence University men's lacrosse team before graduating this spring.

Nolan also played varsity basketball for Staples for four years. Similar to lacrosse, she was a defensive catalyst and created many transition opportunities for the Lady Wreckers. She led the team in steals with 55, averaging 2.6 a game, and she forced many turnovers.

"If you can play defense, you can do well in basketball," Nolan said. "Forcing turnovers is just lacrosse, you have to be aggressive and be on your toes and keeping your hands up. Being alert when the ball is coming helps."

Staples basketball coach Ed Huydic said, "Remy is the toughest and most tenacious player I ever coached. She definitely ranks in the top 10 all-time [when it comes to toughness and heart]. Remy comes to play every minute of every practice and every minute of every game. What she lacks in basketball-sense, she more than makes up for it with enthusiasm for the sport, drive and energy."

Leadership is a strength of Nolan's as she served as captain for both sports.

"That was an honor, and I was excited," Nolan said. "I had a lot of knowledge because I played lacrosse and basketball, and I believe I set a good example. I was also verbal when I needed to be."

Her work ethic stood out in many ways, and she was always there to encourage her teammates.

"Remy is an incredible leader because she leads by example," Fierce said. "There is nothing better than a player who leads with their actions both on and off of the field. She is dedicated to the game, but more importantly her love of the game is always evident, even when she is facing a challenge."

Huydic said, "She's a strong and positive leader. She's a role model and is worth her weight in gold."

Being selfless defines Nolan as a captain.

"Regarding team chemistry, Remy knows that a team is more important than her individual performance," Fierce said. "Clearly, she's a great player, but her priority is putting her team first."

Nolan also played in the Staples field hockey program freshman and sophomore years, but quit junior year to focus on basketball and lacrosse. She joined the team after moving from Fairfax, Va. because she wanted to meet people. As it turned out, many of her friends at Staples are former teammates.

Academically, Nolan took two AP courses. Math is her favorite subject.

"It's a matter of time management of when you do a sport, and when you get your work done," Nolan said.

At BU, Nolan knows she'll have to raise her game and become even more tenacious.

"I have to get faster, more skilled and stronger," Nolan said.

Her former coach is confident she'll be a good fit for the Lady Terriers.

"Remy has the ability to play a low defender, midfield and is even a strong offensive player," Fierce said. "Her versatility is a great asset, which will benefit her at BU. As she continues in her career, I strongly believe that her drive and dedication will remain key attributes to her growth."

Fierce added, "I look forward to watching her grow, and I am grateful for her contributions to the Staples girls lacrosse program."

eschickler@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 115; twitter.com/2000Schick.