Sports

Schlesser scores in her quest for success in LAX, life

Co-captain Lucy Schlesser hopes to help the team to a state title. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Co-captain Lucy Schlesser hopes to help the team to a state title.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Lucy Schlesser doesn’t come across as a dominant lacrosse player. She doesn’t appear particularly strong or fast when she’s out on the field for Bainbridge.

But when opponents make the mistake of misjudging her, they pay dearly because Schlesser is often in the right spot at the right time to put one between the pipes.The senior co-captain was consistent all season – her lowest total for goals in a game was three – as she led the team and the league with 59 goals, helping the Spartans make it back to the playoffs for yet another year.

They’ll try for their first state title in several years when they meet arch-rival Lakeside at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center.

Head coach Tami Tommila described Schlesser as a “finesse scorer.”

“She sucks people in,” she said. “She’s really smart at getting people to bite on her stick (fakes).

Tommila even went so far as to compare Schlesser’s game to a legend in another sport – Wayne Gretzky, who learned how to avoid body checks by playing lacrosse for a few years as a youth in Canada.

“He was smart and had excellent stick skills and she has excellent stick skills,” she said. “She does what she wants to do out there.”

Tommila also credited an offseason training program for getting her in better shape for this season.

“She’s not huge but physically she’s very, very strong,” she said. “When you’re like that you can do that for an entire game. I think that’s why she’s been so effective as an attacking player this year.”

Schlesser has been relentless at developing her game ever since she picked up a lacrosse stick back in the seventh grade.

“It was something different to do,” she said.

Once she got the bug, she did whatever she could to get better.

She puts that same intense focus to classwork; the National Honor Society member takes three AP courses, and carries a 3.9 GPA. But when she made the varsity squad as a sophomore, she didn’t get involved much because she was a little intimidated by the size of opponents plus she felt too nervous she would make a mistake out on the field.

“I never really asked for the ball that much because I felt intimidated by the other players,” Schlesser said. “So even though I was a starter I never ‘played.’”

But after all her hard work, she relishes being the scorer that everyone depends on to take control in a game and come up with the big score in crunch time.

Schlesser also tries to keep the younger players loose and give them advice on how to handle someone on the defensive side.

That kind of leadership made it an easy choice for Tommila to name her a co-captain along with Natalie Evans and Rachel Harmon.

“I think she’s a great role model for younger kids,” she said. “She is a great example that patience and hard work will pay off.”

In the fall, Schlesser will head to Boston College; she’s later thinking of grad school in engineering. She’ll “see what happens,” she said. “Just go with it 100 percent.”

But before she gets on with the rest of her life, there’s the small matter of winning a state title.

With Evans the only player on the team who has won a title, Schlesser said they are motivated to bring it home and not ponder the unthinkable if they come home empty handed. But she also said she gets so much more out of it than just winning.

“You learn so much more playing for Tami,” Schlesser said. “You learn more than just playing lacrosse. So losing wouldn’t take that away.

“But it would mean so much to win it senior year.”

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