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Women’s Lacrosse team speaks on student athlete mental health

By Aliya Couillard, staff writer

The LIU women’s lacrosse team is just starting to get a foot into their Northeast Conference (NEC) games. They currently hold a record of 5-7 overall but are 3-1 in the NEC.

On Saturday, March 18, the Sharks won their first conference game. They blew out the Saint Francis University Red Flash with a score of 16-7. Four sharks scored a hat trick in that game, including freshman midfielder Julia Trainer, who received NEC Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season. Along with Trainer, junior goalkeeper Lily Bilello received NEC Defensive Player of the Week after her 11-save performance. 

With many conference games still ahead of them, senior defender Caroline Person reflected on how their season is going so far. 

“[It’s going] really great. Every season has its highs and lows. We just started our conference games, and so far, I think the spirits are really high, and our team atmosphere feels very positive and uplifting all the time,” she said.

Sophomore attacker Pierson Schuchart also said that the season is going well and believes there is more success to come. 

“I think we’ve learned a lot from each and every single game we’ve played. After our first conference game and winning, I think we feel really confident going in, and our energy is super high right now,” she said. “Practices are competitive, so I think for the next couple of games, there are going to be some good outcomes.” 

Schuchart discussed the biggest challenge that the team has seen so far and touched on a very prevalent subject that has been on the rise in college athletics.

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Singh

“One of our biggest challenges that affect us sometimes during our games and practices is our mental state. We go through challenges where we just feel stuck in the mud and don’t really know how to get out of it, and sometimes in our games, you can really tell on the field that we’re all going through something mentally,” Schuchart stated. “We’ve really worked on it,and we have been working with a mental coach, and overall our mental stability has been going up over the season.” 

Person said that the team has seen a lot of positive progress in their mental health since working with a mental health coach. 

“Our mental game has been getting stronger. I would say now that is becoming one of our strengths, so I think we’ve really played off and learned from the days where we’re really low, and we have gotten a mental health and mindset coach who’s really helped us a lot and has helped us cope through those tough days and those hard games, so I think that’s helped a lot,” she said.

Person believed that the growth of the team’s huge freshmen class ended up being a huge strength of theirs. 

“We have a big freshmen class, so we have a young team but that helped us. It seems kind of daunting at first to bring in such a big class and have such a young team, but they are so fun, and I feel like they just mesh so well with the team so our team culture is great,”  she said.

Although beneficial that a team gets along well, Person commented on how they need to work on staying focused as their season progresses.

“We have such a big team, and we can get very giddy and excited and almost lose focus a little bit, so I think if we can translate the energy of giddy, funny, and goofy and just translate that into focus and do the work, that’ll help us a lot,” Person said. “We have such an energetic team, and we can’t lose that because that is so much of who we are, but if we can just figure out a way on those days where we seem like we don’t have a lot of focus to just really narrow in those two hours of practice.”   

Schuchart shared a different area of focus that the team can continue to work on moving forward. 

“Because we have such a large team and a large bench, we need to continue to support each other throughout these games and practices and obviously push each other cause everybody has a role on this team whether you’re on the field playing or not,” Schuchart said.

The Sharks still have quite a few games ahead of them, and both Person and Schuchart believe the team is headed in a good direction.

“We are really excited for the NEC and what’s to come. There are definitely going to be bigger games that are going to be tough to play, but we are excited, and the energy is high.I think we are going to do good,” Person commented.

Schuchart felt similarly.

“I think the season is headed very positively. I think if we keep pushing each other in practice and pushing each other to get better, be competitive, and go in with no fear, I think each game we’ll take [one] by one, and I think it will go very well for us and hopefully [lead to a] NEC championship,” she said.

The Sharks play Howard Saturday, April 8, in Washington, D.C.

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