Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Overview: Past and Present

The Tradition of Harvard University Athletics:

Our participation in athletics teaches us the importance of teamwork, personal development, and resiliency in the pursuit of excellence. Our adherence to the rules and regulations set by the Ivy League and NCAA, our sportsmanship and respect on and off the field, and our humility in the midst of victory or defeat are all important lessons that our athletic participation engrains in us. These lessons carry over with us into our academic lives. We develop a similar focus on teamwork, resiliency, and respect in the classroom, and our fellow students become our teammates. Our team contributes to the greater Harvard community because athletics bring people together. Games and competitions engage students, teachers, alumnae, and local neighbors and generate a sense of excitement and loyalty. Fans become invested in our games and this investment becomes not only an investment in our athletics program but also an investment in the Harvard community more broadly. Additionally, athletics at Harvard are unique because there are no athletic scholarships. Each and every one of my teammates was admitted through the same process as every other student and was held to the same standard of academic excellence.

Education through Athletics...

Varsity Women's Lacrosse at Harvard University: 

PastHarvard Women's Lacrosse is a program with a history of winning. Through the 1980s and 90s, our program earned 12 Ivy League Titles in 13 years and won and NCAA National Championship in 1990. Harvard was a powerhouse. Over time, however, the program faced numerous coaching changes, schedule alterations, and different recruiting rules, and the number in the "wins" column slowly decreased. With the program's last Ivy League Title coming in 1993, Harvard lacrosse players and alumni alike grew frustrated with the team's trajectory. 

During our four years, we have had a tradition of winning looming over our heads. Knowing what the program once was and knowing what it should be, but not being able to win big games became deflating. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams in the league advance to the Ivy League Tournament, and we only earned bids to the tournament twice during our time here, each time losing in the first round. Additionally, our team culture grew increasingly more toxic as years went on. Members of the team resented the coaches, one another, and the sport of lacrosse. However, in August of 2018, we on-boarded an entirely new coaching staff, which has reinvigorated the spirit of our program. Our new head coach, Devon Wills, and assistant coach, Becca Block, are legends in women's lacrosse. They have instilled in us a will to win and a desire to work hard for one another. Under their leadership, our program has unlimited potential to foster a championship culture and return to the winning roots of Harvard Women's Lacrosse.


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