From the minute she started playing lacrosse, Tierney Larson knew where she wanted to go.

The graduated senior from Fairfield Ludlowe High School got everything she worked for, when it was announced that she would play college lacrosse at Marist College starting in the spring of 2011.

"From when I was in eighth grade on, all I wanted to do was play lacrosse in college," Larson said. "It's a great accomplishment for me."

Larson's lacrosse successes were not immediate. She battled from the beginning to get better, and played club lacrosse in eighth grade.

"It wasn't something that I thought I could be really good at," Larson said. "I was an athletic person, but then I started playing and I loved it right away."

However, as she played more, she got better and became more of a leader on the Falcons team. Despite three straight losing seasons to start her career, Larson was positive that her final year would be worth the growing pains of the first three.

Larson impressed her teammates, and new head coach Amy Alvord, who named her a captain from the start of the year. Alvord was especially impressed by how Larson communicated with her teammates.

"I was really impressed by how she carried herself," Alvord said. "She brought the team together."

Larson led the Falcons through a surprising season as Ludlowe went 11-5 and qualified for the FCIAC and Division II state tournament with 72 goals and 39 assists for the season. As the season went on and the games got harder and harder fought, Alvord quietly relied on her to take over, and Larson did, scoring 17 goals in the state tournament.

"I never coached our team for one player to take over," Alvord said. "But there were times when we needed her to come through for us, and I can't tell you how many times that she did."

The Falcons rolled through the Division II tournament, knocking off Staples for the third time of the season to push Ludlowe to its first girls lacrosse championship ever.

For Larson, it perfect cap to a wonderful career and special year with great teammates.

"It couldn't have been any better," she said. "The team loved each other, and we loved our coaches. There was no conflict at all."

Now she will be off to Division I Marist, and a high-quality program. The Red Foxes have won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference two of the last four years, reaching the NCAA Tournament both times.

But Alvord knows that Larson will help the Red Foxes get better both on and off the field.

"I'm sure she'll be a huge addition to their team," Alvord said. "They're getting a great person."

For Larson, Marist was the perfect choice in a school. She wants to study business and realizes that the 70-mile distance between Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and Fairfield is just far away enough.

"I wanted to be close, but not too close," she said. "I get home sick."

She also gets to play hometown Fairfield University next year, and is excited for that date to come.

"It should be a great day," Larson said.

Marist's caliber of lacrosse is also a draw for her. Playing Division I lacrosse was the goal from the get-go for Larson, but playing at a level that was too high would deter from her college experience.

"I wanted to play extreme competition," she said. "But I wanted to have a life as well."

In short, Marist College is the perfect place for Tierney Larson.

"It was the whole package that sold me," she said.