We recently had a great question asked to us by Esther. Every player has their own path, below is a response with how Founder/Owner Liz Hogan got recruited to Syracuse University and ultimately earned a spot on the USWNT.
Do you have a question you want answered? Submit it here to our question bin and we’ll make sure we get to it!
Question: I was just wondering how you got recruited to Cuse and then successful [sic] made your way to the national team.I play lacrosse at a small private university… and I really want to take lacrosse to a whole new level. I’m looking for any opportunity that will help me play at a higher level.
So, how I got recruited to Cuse is an interesting story. First thing to note, when I was being recruited, Syracuse wasn’t that good. They were ok, but they weren’t ranked in the Top 10 (I think maybeee 15-20) and they had NEVER won an NCAA tournament game. At the time (2006) Lisa Miller was the head coach and Gary Gait was yet to be in the picture.
As it turns out, I was actually not highly recruited. I’m from Upstate NY, so through local tournaments and word of mouth I think that’s how Lisa saw me (even the National Tournament that year was the year NCAA coaches could not attend!). I was recruited late, even by those days standards and July 1st going into my senior year was a big day for me – first day coaches could actually call recruits. I heard from a variety of D2 and D3 schools, along with a few D1s- Cornell (in the Top 10 then), Louisville (my freshman year would be their first year), St. Marys of CA, Stony Brook, Canisius and a handful of others. Throughout the summer I played in a few summer tournaments with Lady Roc, my first and last summer playing club. I went to Duke camp and William and Mary became interested. So you can see… I took the road less traveled. I started late (see my whole story here). Ultimately I narrowed down my list to 4 schools and took my official visits (crazy… right?). I went to William and Mary, Louisville, Cornell and Syracuse. At the time I actually wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. They were all so different, yet also all so appealing. I narrowed it down to W&M and Cuse… only to find out apparently I wasn’t the #1 goalie recruit for W&M so that left me with Cuse. I was nervous, but excited all the same. I committed right around the end of October of my Senior year.
I think one of the things that has made me successful, is probably something that led to me not being so heavily recruited- while I had played boys lax growing up, I didn’t start taking goalie seriously until spring of my freshman year. In other words, I was raw. But I was athletic and willing to learn. I spent countless hours online learning as much as I could, from technique on the field to stringing off of the field. Once I got to Cuse, I was lucky enough to have Gary as a HC, and Maggie Koch (Georgetown ’07, a legend in her own right) as a goalie coach. Both heavily influenced my style of play and work ethic. I was always playing wallball outside of practice, doing individuals before practices, etc. I think that passion and honestly being no where burnt out fueled me. I had zero expectations but was able to jump into a starting role as a freshman. Trial by fire if you will, I was one of only two goalies.
Beyond that, I tried out for the US team three times before I made it. I was cut twice, once actually on my 21st birthday, but my heart wasn’t always in it. After college I took a year off from playing because I was over it. Outside of coaching, I rarely picked up a stick or gave much thought to suiting up in cage again. That lended itself to being refreshed and I found my passion again. To say college athletics is hard is an understatement. You sacrifice a lot, you’re not a normal student. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but mentally I wasn’t always about lax 24/7 when it ended. And if you’re not about it, it’s that much harder to make the US team. Anyways, the year off did me well and I finally made the team in 2012 (never give up on something!). It’s a much different system than what I’m used to, but with tryouts every year you can’t be complacent or you’ll be replaced by the many talented players who tryout. At times I definitely get frustrated, but it also fuels me. Again, so much more to learn, different ways and being a part of a different team brings so many challenges that it’s almost nice that it’s so different. I’ve been on the team for almost 5 years now, and I can say every year is different. Sometimes I am burnt out, but then I also think about the day that comes when I can’t play any more. And that gets me out of be.
So to answer your question in a short manner, I think two things have lended me to getting to where I am- 1. Endless passion and desire to learn. Really learn. I am athletic, but I knew NOTHING about being a goalie. I learned through watching, asking questions and surfing the net. It’s amazing the resources out there. It also is huge to actually want to do that. If you’re not passionate, there’s only so far you can go. 2. Keeping myself from being burnt out. I think the path I took to playing in college and the US team, while definitely has put a chip on my shoulder from being under recruited and cut multiple times, has kept me fresh. I played multiple sports in high school, wasn’t laxing 24/7 and really kept myself from being a laxrat until college. It’s something that keeps me going and motivated, and also has given my body and mind rest when its needed.
2Lacrosse Founder and Owner