BY SYDNEY MUSSER, ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
Senior women’s lacrosse goalkeeper Emily Stankaitis wasn’t even supposed to be out on a field, much less in the net.
She was originally slated to be in the pool, making waves and splashing her way to success, not making saves and helping her team reach fourth in regional rankings. But, as fate would have it, Stankaitis decided against her first plan — swimming for Susquehanna — and went for something a little more familiar.
“I’ve been playing lacrosse since fourth grade,” she said. “It is a really exciting game. It is fast paced. There is room to take risks, and there is a lot of strategy that goes into it. It is a challenging game, and I love challenges, so it is very fitting for me to play this sport.”
She continued: “Above all, lacrosse is just a lot of fun, especially when you get to play it with team like the one I am on. I cannot imagine being part of team who has more fun or loves the game more than we do. Initially [I] just wanted to play, but it turned out to be more than that.”
The women’s lacrosse program might as well have heaved a sigh of relief.
The team did not have a goalkeeper until Stankaitis volunteered for the position.
Named a Pepsi/SAAC Super Crusader, Defensive Player of the Week of April 15, she has started every game this season and maintains a .543 save percentage with over l00 saves.
Despite her rampant success, she is graciously humble, expressing pride at the team effort rather than her own first-rate performances.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about this season,” she said. “We’ve started out really strong, and just had a great victory over Catholic this weekend. We were ecstatic about that… hopefully we’ll host for finals. Last year we were the cutoff team.”
For spectators, it would be difficult to say if Stankaitis has ever had an off day. Her record certainly does not seem to show one.
When asked of her favorite game this season, Stankaitis said, “We’ve just had so many great games,” she said. “It’s hard to choose. But I’m gonna have to say that our game against Drew, that we played a week ago, was my favorite. We were all just really on that game, and we completely dominated.”
She continued: “Everyone had fun — it was a great game all around, and it was especially meaningful to me because my freshman year, we got beaten by [Drew] a lot. It was pretty frustrating, and so I’ve got a little bit of a personal vendetta against them… I feel really accomplished, though, because as a team, we’ve come so far.”
Besides starring in lacrosse, Stankaitis is majoring in psychology, something she enjoys due to a long fascination with how peoples’ mind work. After Susquehanna, she plans on attending graduate school, but that is all “completely up in the air,” she said.