Lauren Naida
Soccer, Basketball, Tennis
Inducted in 2007
Lauren Naida was an outstanding athlete at Suffield High School where over her four-year high school career she earned nine varsity letters. She was the starting point guard on the basketball team for two years, a team that earned a state tournament bid in 1999 with a 14-9 record. In the spring, Lauren played on the tennis team earning three varsity letters and was named NCCC All-Conference for two of those three years.

It was in soccer, however, where Lauren really made her mark. In her first two varsity games as a freshman, she scored an amazing ten goals. Coach Mimi Park’s team went on to win 15 games that year, losing but one, and tying three as they made their way to the Class S State Semi-Finals before losing for the first time. Lauren finished her first year with 35 goals and 17 assists to lead the team in both categories. Her reputation now established, Lauren was a marked person throughout the rest of her career but her goal totals remained high, scoring 20 as a sophomore and 24 as a junior. As a sophomore, she teamed up with another prolific scorer, Sena Maziarz, and the two led Suffield to a 15 and 1 regular season record. Suffield won the NCCC Conference Championship but lost in the state quarterfinals. In her junior year, Lauren was joined by her freshman sister, Tracy, and Suffield once again ended the regular season with only one loss. This time they were upset in the opening round tournament game when they tied Coventry in regulation time but lost on penalty kicks. In all three years, Lauren was named to the All-NCCC Team, the All-State Team, and as a junior, added All-New England honors to her accolades. As Lauren prospered, so too did SHS girls soccer and the team won one NCCC title outright, tied for a second one, and was runner-up for a third. They also made three trips to the state tournament during this time.

In the summer of 1998, Lauren was selected to participate in the Elite Addidas Invitational Soccer Program featuring the top 100 girls soccer players in the country. To everyone’s dismay, she tore her ACL at the camp and was forced to sit out her entire senior season. Undaunted, she spent the campaign on the sidelines with Coach David Sullivan and the team helping in any way she could. The team went on to win the Class S State Championship!

Lauren finished her high school career with 79 goals, which at the time was the school record.  Following graduation, she took her abundant talents to the University of Connecticut. She was an impact player there for four years, scoring a number of key goals, and helped lead the Huskies to their first ever Big East crown. As in high school, Lauren again suffered a torn ACL just before her senior season, but this time was able to play most of the year.

Lauren, too, had a long and successful career playing for Oakwood in the Connecticut Premier League where she was the team captain and led the team to two successive state titles. She also participated on the Olympic Development Team, playing on the state team for six years and the Region I team for two.