By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Yet another highly talented lacrosse player from Middle Township High School is set to play at Division I LaSalle University.
Kira Sides, a junior three-sport standout, has given a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at the Philadelphia school, where she’ll join former teammates Allison Hunter and Bridget Ruskey, who both completed their freshmen seasons with the Explorers earlier this year.
Sides chose LaSalle over St. Joseph’s, The College of New Jersey, Butler, Mount St. Mary’s and Bryant College, among others.
“I was looking at a bunch of other schools, but I really liked LaSalle right away,” Sides said. “It’s right in the city and it seems like an awesome place to go. I really like the coaches. I’m just really excited about the whole thing.”
Sides, a midfielder, is already one of the Cape-Atlantic League’s most prolific scorers through her first two high school seasons. She led the CAL with 129 goals and also added 57 assists, 60 face-offs won and 81 ground balls collected last spring as a sophomore. She has 185 goals and 78 assists for her career. Her combination of speed, size (5-9) and quick hands has quickly turned her into one of the South Jersey’s most complete players.
Sides is also a basketball and soccer standout at Middle. She recorded six goals and nine assists this past fall in soccer. Last season in basketball, Sides averaged 16.2 points and 5.0 rebounds and won the Boo Pergament Award given to the CAL’s most improved player. She’s helped Middle to a 2-0 start to the current basketball season, having scored 19 points combined in the two games.
Sides believes competing in three sports at the high school level has played a major role in her landing a scholarship for lacrosse.
“It’s definitely helped me a lot,” she said. “When I’m playing lacrosse, I’ll find myself boxing out and thinking, ‘Wow, we do this in basketball.’ And then all the running in soccer, that definitely helps in lacrosse, too. I don’t think I’d be as good an athlete if I didn’t play three sports because every sport has helped me with another in a different way.”
LaSalle went 7-10 overall, 3-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2018. Ruskey tied for the team lead in goals with 46 and was second in scoring with 54 points while starting all 17 games. Hunter started 15 games and added two assists.
“I loved playing with Bridget and Allison. The fact that I’ll get to play with them again is awesome,” Sides said.
Sides said she plans to major in nursing. She also plans on honing her lacrosse skills even further.
“I understand now that I have to work 10 times harder and train 10 times harder,” Sides said. “I’ve done a lot of work but now I have to do a lot more.”