Had the COVID-19 pandemic never happened and the high school spring sports proceeded as scheduled, the District Three boys and girls lacrosse championship games would have been held this week. And in the District 3-2A mix might have been the Lancaster County Day/Lancaster Catholic girls lacrosse team, led by senior standout Lauren Wassell, a three-time Lancaster-Lebanon League all-star and the Cougars’ leading scorer each of the last three seasons.
Instead, Wassell and her teammates have been left to wonder, “what if?” What if the Cougars would have been able to take the field with its five returning starters in 2020. What if they would have a second chance to play under the system of second-year coach Julie Safran, a Penn Manor alum and the L-L’s Most Valuable Attack 10 years ago who was looking to restore LCD/LCHS to prominence.
Wassell might have also had the chance at cracking 100 single-season goals and 300 career goals after tallying 58 goals as a freshman, 96 goals as a sophomore and 95 goals as a junior. She instead will end her career with 249 goals and 27 assists. Those stats go along with her 71 career goals in field hockey, where she was an all-league selection each of the last two fall seasons.
LNP|LancasterOnline recently caught up with Wassell for a lacrosse Q&A to discuss how she’s managing a spring without lacrosse, her plans for the future and more.
When did you first start playing lacrosse? “In third garde with the Hempfield program.”
How would you describe yourself as a lacrosse player? “I’ve been a midfielder pretty much my whole life. I’m a very aggressive player. I’m a go-getter. I have a strong motor and run up and back quickly. Speed is a factor. I can dodge on attack, and my shot is a very hard shot.”
You’re also a field hockey standout. Are there any other sports you’ve tried? “I tried squash this year. And I’ve previously done swimming, and I tried basketball the year before that.”
What were your expectations for the girls lacrosse team this spring? “I thought we had a good senior base. We had a diverse group all over the field. I was looking forward to the leadership role. And Libby Lobeck (18 goals, three assists) was going to step into a big role on attack. And our defenders were good.”
How tough was it to lose the 2020 season as a whole? “It was extremely tough because I love the sport. I’ve been playing lacrosse since fourth grade. To not have my final season with my teammates. ...lacrosse is so much fun. There will be nothing like it again.”
How have things been on the classwork side since school has been online? “So Lancaster Country Day has been amazing with the online school work. School is the exact same as it was. It’s just online classes everyday. I’ve been keeping up with the school work. I have a lot going on. Five classes, two of them are AP (advanced prep) courses, one literature and one in statistics.”
You plan to attend and play lacrosse at NCAA Division I Robert Morris University. What do you plan to study there? “I’m going to major in accounting. My dad is an accountant so I’ve looked into it.”
What have you been doing to stay in shape? “I have a trainer at Universal. She sends out a list of workouts for us to do. And I’ve been tossing (a lacrosse ball) against the wall, working on more diverse tricks.”
While it was hard to accept the 2020 season being cancelled at the beginning, it sounds like time has given you some perspective on a difficult situation? “I think I’m definitely at peace with it since it’s been awhile since it happened. It’s still devastating we didn’t get to have the last season with our seniors. At least I have the chance to play in college.”