By Jenna Notarfrancesco, Staff Writer
With less than a minute remaining on the clock, the Hofstra women's lacrosse team jumped in celebration of its eighth victory last Sunday. Finally the buzzer sounded and the Pride won 16-8 against Old Dominion University, giving the team an 8-3 overall season record.
The victory last weekend raised their in-conference record to 2-0 and according to freshman midfielder/attack Jill Maier, boosting confidence and eagerness to rack more wins in the upcoming games
Maier, who is majoring in elementary education, is critical to the Pride's successes. Earlier this season Maier scored three goals, one assist, three draw controls (the equivalent of a tip-off in basketball) and one ground ball, which earned her the WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week honors for her strong play against Rutgers University and University of Penn. Shortly thereafter, the Colonial Athletic Association presented Maier with Rookie of the Week honors, adding yet another award to her collection.
However Maier is not a rookie to the sport. After playing five years of lacrosse and three years of basketball at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School, she was named a High School All-American as a senior.
Beginning her high school career as a basketball player, Maier soon decided to take up lacrosse in order to quench her thirst for running.
"I loved it. I loved being outside and I loved to run so just being out on the field and a bigger court than basketball…I think that was a big reason," said Maier.
Her fervent and responsive gameplay illustrates her passion for the sport. As a midfield/attack, "I try to work really hard between the 30's in transition," said Maier. This requires getting the draw during transition, what Maier calls, "scrap plays", or getting ground balls, scoring on offense and preventing goals on defense.
With the season heating up, Maier is expected to be working hard during intense practices in order to ensure a quality performance on game day. Not only does her coach, Abby Morgan, expect it but also her teammates expect the same effort and dedication with which they play. This can often times be difficult when also facing challenging college work but Maier quickly credits her lacrosse friends for advising her during times of need.
"It was really hard starting out, especially when the season started," she said. "I honestly used my teammates to help me. Stephanie Rice and Courtney O'Connor are two girls who I could go to and they had similar experiences as me trying to balance school and the stress of lacrosse. They helped a lot just giving advice and telling me what they did to deal with their problems too."
Although some playing time is dominated by seniors, Maier knows that time on the sideline is merely an opportunity to observe and learn from veteran players, which allows for her own improvement.
"Being able to contribute anyway I can on the field is a huge reward for me and every day I get to step on that day, I am thankful for my opportunities I am given," said Maier.