Susan Leonard Toll '85

Susan Leonard Toll '85

A trailblazing athlete at a place where women’s athletics are now considered among the finest in collegiate sports, Susan Leonard Toll overcame extraordinary hurdles to become a three-sport star. The first female athlete at Bowdoin to captain three teams, Toll earned varsity letters for the field hockey, women’s lacrosse, and women’s ice hockey teams at the College.

Toll set a high standard in the infancy of all three programs, becoming a regional All-American and a State of Maine All-Star in field hockey. In women’s lacrosse, she still stands among the best in program history, ranking second in career save percentage (.633), single-season goals-against-average (4.53, 1986), and career goals-against-average (4.67). But Toll’s lasting legacy at Bowdoin most likely came on the ice of Dayton Arena and in the hallways ofMorrell Gymnasium, where she was a driving force behind the push to gain varsity sport status for women’s ice hockey. Finally achieving the goal her senior season, she co-captained the team in the 1984–1985 season, posting three shutouts as the team went 8-6 in their inaugural campaign.

What is extraordinary about Toll’s achievements, however, is that they came so close to not occurring at all. Prior to arriving at Bowdoin, during her final weeks at Northfield Mount Hermon, Toll was diagnosed with a brain tumor, resulting in surgery and a prohibitive amount of rehabilitation. After playing for the field hockey and ice hockey teams as an underclassmen, she also joined the lacrosse team as a junior and performed for all three squads in her final two years.

In addition to her athletic successes, Toll was exceptional in the classroom, completing a double major in psychology and government with summa cum laude status, and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1985, she was awarded the Andrew A. Haldane Cup, honoring the senior who demonstrates outstanding qualities of leadership and character.

After Bowdoin, Toll coached field hockey and lacrosse at Suffield Academy and ice hockey and lacrosse at the Groton School. She now lives in Harvard, Massachusetts, with her husband, Ned Toll of the Class of 1983, and their three children.