Monday, October 2, 2017
Sports have always played a pivotal role in my life ever since I could remember.
The second photo my parents received (ever) of me illustrated a five month old baby grinning ear to ear with a soccer ball in her lap halfway around the world. I started kicking the ball around at Southshire Community School when I was five before joining a youth league in Arlington a year or two later.
Soccer, middle school basketball, and figure skating kept me busy outside the classroom growing up in Southern Vermont. I loved watching high school kids play at Applejack Field. I remember thinking to myself, “I hope I’m as good as the big kids someday.”
My family and friends supported my athletic endeavors from the get-go. Driving me to practices, paying for travel teams, watching my somewhat graceful figure skating performances, attending tournaments on the weekends, supplying orange slices for halftime breaks. They knew how much I valued being part of something bigger than myself–being part of a team. And they made sure I could take advantage of the opportunities I was presented with.
At Emma Willard, I played four years of varsity soccer and three years of varsity lacrosse. Soccer was my savior my freshman year of high school when I was desperately homesick. My favorite senior, Brianne, taught me the very basics of lacrosse so we could be on two teams together instead of one.
My teammates have always been my closest friends. They’re the ones who push you to be better on and off the field.
My athletic career at Emma Willard was a very positive one. I never suffered from serious injuries, I served as a captain in both sports, and I reveled in the student-athlete life. Having two hour practices after classes forced me to time manage efficiently. I remember rushing from the dining hall to the shower to the library for study hall to hall tea to bed. I recall the adrenaline rush starting as soon as we lined up to get on the bus.
There have been countless glorious victories and many devastating losses in my nineteen years.
As I played my senior games in high school, I didn’t want to believe that my time as a student athlete was over. But in May 2016, it appeared as though it was. I was going to start my collegiate career in Florence, Italy. I was going to travel throughout Europe and learn things that I never could have on the pitch.
Italy was hands down one of the best years of my life. My study abroad comrades were my teammates as we took on the world one pizza at a time. However, I found myself missing team sports. I watched game highlights on YouTube, checked out the rosters at Marist, and looked forward to the one day a week I got to play soccer for an hour.
As soon as I committed to the FFE Program, I let go of my dream to play sports in college. I never thought I’d be able to do both. That was a sacrifice I was willing to make leading up to my flight.
We’re a little over a month into our first semester here in Poughkeepsie, and it’s been an adjustment. In September, I felt lost on a campus without having a sport. My days didn’t feel fulfilling or engaging like they did at Emma.
So I took another chance.
I emailed the women’s lacrosse coach asking if she would hold open tryouts this fall. I met with her and her assistant the next day and decided I would show up a week later to tryout for the division I lacrosse team. It’d been over a year since I picked up my stick and played in a game.
Walking onto the brand new turf field at Tenney was a very intimidating situation. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There were twelve girls on the team, and they welcomed me warmly. We got right into shuttles, 1 v 1s and 2 v 2s, ending the hour with a few sprints. I gave it my best, not knowing what the outcome would be.
The next day the coaches called me to their offices. They offered me a spot on the roster, and I accepted. I knew it would be a challenge and a huge commitment, but I was ready for it. My family and friends supported my decision and encouraged it, especially my grandpa who played basketball & baseball at RPI.
I’m heading into my second full week of practices, and it is exhausting. Three hour practices, four days a week, and tournaments on the weekends (and this is the off season). My stick skills and knowledge for the game are far behind the other girls, but I am determined to get better. I’m learning so much from them already. For most of them, they were recruited to play lacrosse at Marist. It’s their right for them to be on this team, since they did so much work to sign a national letter of intent. For me, it’s a privilege to be on the team. I hope to contribute in my own ways as a teammate. I have gotten down on myself for feeling so far behind, but I remind myself that I’m doing my best and have not had as much experience. It’s not an excuse but rather motivation.
Adjusting to Marist and the lacrosse team has been an ongoing challenge, but I know it will be worth it. “You miss every shot you don’t take.” GO RED FOXES! xo ~ e.
Ice cream at coach’s house and new sticks!
All smiles at our Vassar tournament where we went 4 and 0
Spring 2018 schedule will be released soon!
Marist Women’s Lacrosse