Lacrosse Seniors Lean On Teammates Through Uncertain Careers

Patrick Gustavson, Sports Editor

As the four Central Connecticut lacrosse seniors walked off Arute Field for the final time on Saturday, it capped off a career of inconsistency, as most of them experienced up to four coaches in their time at the school. But throughout the uncertainty, one thing remained consistent that kept them going: the bond of their teammates.

“The coaches have been inconsistent, but I have been playing with the same girls. So, that’s what I’m definitely going to remember. We’re going to be friends for the rest of our lives,” five-year defender Jane Henry said.

What kept midfielder Carson Adelberger, who leads her team in goals this year, going was the sport and her teammates.

“There’s so much love for the game and so much love for the girls on this team and it’s really just the bonds that we created that kept us going,” Adelberger said.

Though Alaigra Usher played for just three years at the school, she also experienced two coaches and echoed the sentiment of her classmates.

“I think it’s hard to adapt to each coach, but the team did it and we leaned on each other. We’re a family, so it’s all right,” Usher said.

But the seniors said the hiring of alumn Betsy Vendel has brought consistency and life back into the team and program.

“She just cares about us a lot on and off the field and she can support us and understand how we’re playing because she’s played here before, so she’s relatable and it’s really helped us,” goalkeeper Jackie Branthover said of Vendel. “She came on kind of late but got the ball rolling.”

“She’s really just helped us bring the fun back to the sport. She brings high energy, positive energy to practice every day. So, it’s easier to feed off that,” Adelberger added.

But Vendel said it was the seniors that she leaned on in her first year on the job, despite it being their only year together.

“I leaned on them a lot throughout my year to figure out the ins and outs,” Vendel said. “They were my test subjects, if you will, for my first year. It was great that they accepted me and what I was doing and it trickled down to everyone else.”

But for these four soon-to-be graduates, lacrosse may not be a part of their future.

Usher will be attending graduate school at the University of Denver next year. She said she has been talking to their lacrosse coach and may even try coaching.

Branthover will also be attending graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. She, along with Henry, also stated they would consider coaching.

Adelberger, on the other hand, succinctly said her lacrosse career was over.

Vendel had incredibly high praise for the group.

“This is a great group of seniors. I am so happy that I had them as a senior class,” Vendel said. “They’re a solid, solid class. They contribute on the field. They work hard off the field. They were great role models for all the underclassmen.”