It is common for student athletes at Washington and Lee to give up playing their sports in order to have more free time. It is not so common, however, that a student begins college playing no sports at all and graduates as a member of two varsity teams.
Kingsley Schroeder, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, is the exception to the rule. Schroeder came to W&L having played many sports in high school, such as soccer, basketball, hockey and softball. But as a first-year, she was not a member of a sports team at W&L.
“I wasn’t as happy as I felt I could be during my first year,” said Schroeder. “I knew something was missing.”
That “something” dawned on her one day when, as a sophomore, she came across an advertisement in Campus Notices that the Women’s Soccer Team needed a backup goalie.
“Sports had always been such a huge part of my life,” she said. “I think that learning how to work for something together is a really important thing to be a part of.”
Schroeder responded to the notice and tried out for the soccer team. After putting her through a handful of drills, the coaches were impressed and offered her a roster spot.
Head Women’s Soccer Coach Neil Cunningham says he feels blessed that Schroeder joined the team and that he was able to coach her for three years.
“Kingsley brought great enthusiasm to our program every day,” he said. “She exemplifies the true meaning of a team player…[and] her energy is infectious.”
Cunningham said that Schroeder can “out work” most people, and that he has no doubt she has already brought her positive outlook and dedication to the lacrosse program.
“She will selflessly do anything to make the team better,” said Cunningham.
Sophomore soccer goalkeeper Addie Healy said that she was so excited to hear that Schroeder was going to play lacrosse. Healy said that Schroeder has always been so encouraging as a teammate, and that she will miss her next year.
“She made everything more fun, even the serious drills,” said Healy.
Schroeder’s ability to relate to everyone and her passion for sports caught the attention of her friend Meade Brewster, a fellow senior and one of the captains of the lacrosse team. The team currently has only one goalie on its roster.
“They were brainstorming people who would want to [be their second goalie], and the way I joined soccer made Meade think that maybe I’d be interested,” said Schroeder.
Before a couple of weeks ago, Schroeder had never picked up a lacrosse stick.
“That was a little daunting,” she said. “But it seemed like it would be a fun thing to try out. It really only took one practice for [me to see] it was so fun.”
Schroeder said that there are several big differences between being a soccer goalie and being a lacrosse goalie. For one thing, she said lacrosse has more rules to learn than soccer does. In addition, Schroeder said that the way she saves the ball and reads a shot is very different in lacrosse.
“A lot of times, just from soccer [habits], my body will get to the [lacrosse] ball before my stick,” she said. “The hardest part is knowing when they’re going to shoot. In soccer, it’s pretty obvious, but in lacrosse they’re [able to] fake you out easily.”
Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Brooke Diamond O’Brien says she can relate to Schroeder’s transition from soccer to lacrosse. O’Brien began her athletic career as a soccer goalie, but in high school began playing lacrosse goalie as well.
“It’s great because I can make good comparisons for her,” said O’Brien. “It’s been incredible how quickly she’s picked things up. Her quickness, athleticism, and willingness to learn and make mistakes are really helping her.”
O’Brien says she is elated that Schroeder has decided to help out the team.
“It’s great to have a second goalkeeper,” she said. “But we’re just really excited to have her as a part of our program in general.”
Schroeder said that she has yet to decide whether or not she will join the team as an official member, but she said that it is something she is strongly considering.
“For right now, I’m just helping them out,” she said. “But we’ll see. I’m really having so much fun
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