“How do you feel about playing goalie for lacrosse? Does that interest you? Scare you? How do you feel about it?” A 16-year-old who always had something to say was speechless. She had no idea what to say or what she wanted to do. Instead of words she responded with a timid nod of her head. What she did not know is that this moment would change her life forever.
Fast forward six years and this same speechless girl is sitting behind a computer and writing about how her split-second decision to try something new was the best decision she has ever made. I am that girl and I would like to share how I got to where I am today.
My first memories at a park were kicking around a soccer ball. I would sit in front on the T.V. with my nose pressed against the glass, admiring every single U.S. Women’s National Team member. I was taught that I could be anything with hard work and patience. At a young age I knew exactly where I wanted to be, and it was right in front of me on the T.V. Not only did I know where I wanted to eventually be, but I knew I wanted to be a goalie. People always found this odd. Usually goalies are born out of unfortunate circumstances or involuntary decisions provoked by coaches, however, my goalie journey is unique. I knew from an age where I could hardly count past ten that I wanted to be a goalie. My parents were very ambivalent to indulge my desire to become the essentially sacrificial lamb of the team. The player who puts their whole body on the line in order to make a save, however, no was not an option to me. Quickly my parents realized this, and they transformed into my biggest advocates and fans.
I played soccer on a club team and for my school all the way up to Sophomore year in high school. My soccer career came to an end that year not because I had lost my love and passion for soccer, but because I found these same feelings for a different sport. However, these familiar feelings I had for soccer were much stronger for this different sport—lacrosse.
It is important to provide some background on my involvement in lacrosse. I was not unfamiliar to the sport. I had dabbled in lacrosse in middle school as a defensive player. I looked at lacrosse as an outlet for fun and soccer as my main sport, which I would pursue in college. Lacrosse was merely a social outing with my best friends where we got exercise and occasional donuts from our coach.
Fast forward to Sophomore year. “How do you feel about playing goalie for lacrosse? Does that interest you? Scare you? How do you feel about it?” At this moment I decided to take a risk and say yes. After hopping in the lacrosse net for the first time I knew soccer had lost my heart to lacrosse. Quickly, I had to make the inevitable choice between two sports I loved. I thought this would be a hard decision, but it ended up turning into a no brainer. Lacrosse was my passion. Not only did I love the sport, I had fallen in love with the community and the excitement of being part of a rapidly growing game with infinite opportunities.
This decision did not only affect my life at home, it pushed me towards something bigger. After I dove headfirst into my love for lacrosse I was given the opportunity to bring this passion to Israel and Sevilla, Spain to help grow the game overseas. I have gotten to play with Israel Women’s Lacrosse several summers in the past and play for Sevilla Women’s Lacrosse my Junior semester abroad. Without lacrosse my connection to Spain and Israel would not be the same. Specifically, without lacrosse I would not feel impassioned to apply for dual-citizenship in Israel following my completion of college.
Currently, I am playing Division III Lacrosse at a small school in Ohio. Lacrosse did not only provide me with an incentive to stay active and determined, it introduced me to my college, which has proven to be a perfect fit both academically and in terms of lacrosse.
The land of lacrosse is rich with opportunities and support. Potential is a key word in lacrosse. All those who pick up a lacrosse stick have the potential to make a difference in this game. A game that is growing a local and international community. Lacrosse will take you on a journey if you allow it so grab a stick and take a risk.
Epoch Women Author