From the Editor: 118 Rosters Later


It was Feb. 10 at 5:28 p.m. when I finally hit send.

After several weeks of work no one asked me to do — poring over 118 Division I women’s lacrosse rosters, opening every player’s bio in separate Google Chrome tabs — I finally considered myself something of a subject matter expert. My computer’s cooling fan sounded like a rocket ship readying for takeoff.

The goal? Familiarize myself with every team and individual playing at the NCAA’s highest level. I was inspired by how our magazine team’s coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice movements brought to light the untold stories of the lacrosse world. Surely, there were more stories worth telling from teams we might not normally pay all that much attention to.

I uncovered uniquely fascinating hobbies and talents — did you know Dartmouth’s Veta Mayer is a nationally ranked rock climber? — and oddity after incredible oddity.

My experience attending Yankees games as a teenager certainly would have been far different without my favorite ballpark snack — garlic fries — which were invented by Cal senior Cameron Gordon’s father, Dan, in 1994. Not to be outdone in the snack realm, the man who helped invent the ice cream sandwich is the great-grandfather of Ohio State captain Lindsay Epstein.

It didn’t stop there. I was suddenly down a rabbit hole, convinced there were even more factoids and answers to obscure women’s lacrosse trivia questions out there. I was right.

George Washington’s Michaela Bartley is a decorated Irish step dancer. Vermont’s Lily Trainor is a certified PADI scuba diver. Villanova’s Taylor Ferry competes in triathlons with her mother. Virginia’s Maggie Bostain plays the fiddle and has opened for Lee Greenwood and the Gatlin Brothers.

There’s the slew of women’s athletes related to professional athletes and coaches. A handful of others who have honed intense levels of discipline as martial artists. Some have competed nationally in bodybuilding, lifeguarding and ice skating.

Heck, there are even deep connections to U.S. history. Iona’s Mary Kate Simpson is the great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Ulysses S. Grant, and Harry S. Truman is the great-great-uncle of UC Davis’ Ashley Laing.

If nothing else, this exercise — which resulted in an eight-page document of more than 3,000 words — emphasized the fact that the best women’s lacrosse players are well-rounded. While we marvel over them every weekend for their stick skills or defensive footwork, we forget to acknowledge other passions that have helped shape their athletic careers.

Among the stories that came from my deep dive are this month’s features on Stanford’s Mikaela Watson and North Carolina’s Taylor Moreno — both star players and exceptional artists. Join me in celebrating these athletes for more than just their on-field exploits. I may have sacrificed my work-provided laptop’s cooling fans (sorry, US Lacrosse IT department) out of respect for their accomplishments.

— Kenny DeJohn, Digital Content Editor

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