Ally Kennedy can motivate her teammates in a number of ways.
Sometimes it’s a clutch goal that ignites the North Babylon girls lacrosse team. Sometimes it’s a crisp pass. Sometimes it’s comedy.
Kennedy has made a habit of making her teammates laugh on game days by dancing to a pregame playlist or running down the field on her tiptoes.
“Even when I first got on varsity, we had a warmup playlist, and I would always dance,” the senior midfielder said. “The older players found it funny. Now it makes the younger players happy. They look up to me.
“And apparently no one else can run on their toes like I can,” she added.
Kennedy kept defenses on their toes this past week, scoring 21 goals — seven each — in wins over Brentwood, Whitman and Copiague en route to being named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week. She chipped in six assists.
In North Babylon’s 18-6 victory over Whitman, Kennedy broke the Bulldogs’ all-time career goals record previously held by Caitlin Fifield. Now with 314, the senior still has one more game on May 12 at Sachem East to increase the mark.
“It was a huge deal,” Kennedy said. “I felt really proud of myself because I’ve been on this team since seventh grade. The girl who held the record before me was friends with my sister.”
Her big week also pushed her to the top of Suffolk’s scoring leader board entering play on Wednesday. Her 111 points (86 goals, 25 assists) were three points ahead of Middle Country’s Jamie Ortega, who is in second place.
North Babylon coach Michelle Ceraso said that Kennedy’s leadership ability and on-field dominance make her one of the best players she has ever had.
Already one of Suffolk’s top stars entering the season, Kennedy even made improvements to her game, according to Ceraso.
“Her shots and her dodges have literally been perfected this year,” she said. “If she takes seven shots, she’s pretty much getting all of those shots in.”
In previous years, it might have taken Kennedy 10 or more shots to get to seven goals, Ceraso said.
Kennedy credits her newfound efficiency with an interesting drill she did during the offseason to improve her accuracy.
“I would go to the wall, take chalk, draw a goal and put numbers in it,” she said. “I would keep going until I hit all the numbers in the goal.”
As unorthodox as the drill might be — she said she’s never heard of anyone else doing it before — it has improved her efficiency.
She’ll take her precision to Stony Brook in the fall, where she expects to use her speed in the midfield.
And her dance moves on the sidelines.