Midfielder Shelby Harrison can dominate both ends of the field for the talented St. Mary's girls' lacrosse team. Harrison is routinely given the responsibility of marking the opponent's best player. She also helps direct the offense and is one of the region's top playmakers. Harrison has committed early to play at Johns Hopkins.
As one of the area's top two-way players, do you do any extra conditioning in the offseason to prepare yourself for the rigors of the regular season?
Shelby Harrison: During the offseason, I work out with my personal trainer, Greg Harris. In addition, I use the preseason strength and conditioning packet that Andrew Carter created for the U.S. women's lacrosse team.
In a conference as tough as the IAAM, what are the biggest challenges with routinely marking your opponent's top player?
SH: While it is tough to mark their top players due to the talent level in the IAAM, I find it one of the most rewarding aspects when I am able to effectively defend one of their best players. It is the most challenging when I have to defend a low attacker and have to run end to end the whole game.
What goals have you set for yourself this season?
SH: This year, I am trying to help my team out in any way to improve our record from last year. In addition, since we have a number of freshmen starters, I am focusing on helping them adjust to the level of play in the IAAM. In practice and games, I try and push myself as hard as I can to motivate the players around me to do the same, so that we all can be the best that we can be.
What went into your decision to commit early to Johns Hopkins?
SH: The coaching staff at Hopkins is amazing. The coaches care about you on and off the field and want you to be the best that you can be in all aspects of your life, both at Hopkins and beyond. I really wanted a family-like atmosphere at the college I was going to, and as soon as I stepped on campus, I felt a part of the Blue Jay family. Not only is the atmosphere amazing, but the lacrosse team is very talented, and the academics are challenging and will give me a great education. Also, it is very close to home, which allows my family to be at a lot of my games.
How is St. Mary's preparing you for such a challenging university? How do you balance your time with academics and athletics?
SH: Academically, the classes mirror a college environment, as they are semester-based, and the classes are challenging. The school and teachers set a high standard for all students. The IAAM is also one of the most talented and challenging conferences in the country, which will better prepare me for the next level in college. Due to our late practices and my hour commute, I have to come up with a schedule to balance my academic, athletic and personal life.