Tuesday night’s lacrosse game against Stockton University was a special one for seniors Ashley Lechliter, Dara Hennessy and Julia Grlica.
“Senior Day” is dedicated to recognizing the hard work all three co-captains, along with junior Gianna Rusk, have done for this growing program.
“‘Senior Day’ I always look at as my final thank you,” coach Lindsay Delaney said. “We always have two ‘Senior Days.’ We, as a team, without anybody around, honor our seniors before the season starts.”
“It’s a longstanding tradition,” Delaney said. “It’s giving a thank you because as the season goes, things change and transpire, but we want them to know how valued they are before the season starts.”
However, the team acknowledges the seniors in public, too.
“Senior Day’ we share with everybody else,” Delaney said. “Normally we would wait until the last home game, but we just don’t want to wait in case something happens because of [COVID-19] for the last home game.”
Grlica, Hennessy and Lechliter all bring something different to the table, yet have found what works for them as teammates and co-captains.
“They’re a great mix,” Delaney said. “They’re completely different on the field, but they’re completely different off the field.”
“We needed to be able to hit each player in a different way and they are able to do that,” Delaney said. “There is a bridge between us and them and they hold people accountable. They are the best group for the situation that it is.”
During her junior year, Grlica showed her strengths by switching positions and getting playing time as a starting midfielder for all five games. Even though the season was cut short, Grlica was able to step into a leadership role.
“She has a ton of speed, so she’s really learning the defense. She’s taking on more responsibility, so somewhere in sophmore year we recognized that maybe she could do both,” Delaney said.
Before she became a midfielder, Grlica was an attacker. It wouldn’t take long for her to find what works best as an important player on the team.
“As you get older, you definitely grow into your role on the team and you kind of find your niche and once you do, you just have to take it and run with it, which I started to do my sophomore year,” Grlica said. “Once I got into a groove my junior year it kind of got cut short, so just being a senior now, my vision is broad and I’ve been through it all with this program and it’s taught me so much.”
“Just being able to go out there and give it everything I have for the last time is what I’m trying to do and it’s very important to me,” Grlica added.
Applying your best qualities to any situation is something that Lechliter, Rusk and Hennessy have taught Grlica.
“Individually, the four of us bring something different to the program in a leader perspective,” Grlica said. “Finding a balance in your personality and recognizing what you bring to the table and using it to the best of your ability is something that they have definitely taught me.”
Grlica credits her teammates for helping her realize her full potential.
“Them showing me to take what I’m good at and using it in every situation I can is something that I would have never recognized or realized on my own,” she said.
After coming off of a canceled season last year and losing top senior players, Grlica and her teammates are ready to make up for what they missed out on.
“We had a really talented senior class last year, so just wanting to do it for them and wanting to finish what they started and just take the opportunity we were given to make up for lost time,” Grlica said. “I think that was the most important thing we could go into this year with, more than anything.”
The Profs took a loss against Stockton University with a final score of 14-9, bringing their record to 1-4.
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