Centennial High School senior defender Laurie Bracey was recently named to the 2017 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game. Bracey continuously locks down the opposition's top attacker and is a consummate leader on the field. Bracey plays club ball for Hero's 2017 and has committed to the University of Maryland, currently ranked No. 1 nationally in NCAA Division I women's lacrosse.
How excited were you when you found out you were named to the 2017 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game?
Laurie Bracey: I was elated to be awarded with the prestigious honor of being named an Under Armour All-American and selected to participate in the 2017 senior game. It has always been a dream of mine to participate in that game and be dubbed one of the best high school seniors in the nation.
How much lacrosse did you play in the offseason?
LB: Regarding an offseason, I don't really have one. I play club lacrosse for Hero's 2017, coached by Alex Pagnotta, and we play lacrosse year round, including fall and summer tournaments littered with practices sometimes up to three times a week. One of my coach's notorious practice schedules included 6 a.m. practices with an 8 a.m. lift session to start the first few days of summer vacation after school has ended. Club lacrosse has really helped me develop as a player and completely eliminates any opportunity of not touching my stick for even a day out of the equation.
What goals have you set for yourself in your final year at Centennial?
LB: The most integral goal for my senior year at Centennial was to just have fun. I think it's important to enjoy the sport you're playing and let everything else fall into place regarding scoring, turnovers and other aspects of the game. Another goal this season was to remain healthy, as to maximize my level of play during the summer in anticipation for college lacrosse.
What has been the key to balancing your time with academics and athletics?
LB: In order to balance academics and athletics you have to really understand the true definition of who you are as a player on the field: a student-athlete. First and foremost, you are a student, and I've always remained conscious of that fact. Making sure that I am doing well in all my classes is extremely important to me and will remain that way throughout college, as I plan to follow the pre-med track upon entering the University of Maryland.
What went into your decision to attend the University of Maryland?
LB: It's not surprising to know that I had been dreaming of playing lacrosse at University of Maryland since I was a little girl. I had attended all their games, hung their posters on my wall and received autographs from all the great lacrosse stars who played there over the years. I was over the moon to hear that [Maryland head coach] Cathy Reese was interested in me playing at the top ranked school for D-I lacrosse, and on my visit in my freshman year of high school, I soaked in as much information about the school as I could get along with my father. During dinner that night, we spoke as a family regarding the academic vigor of the school and discussed how attending University of Maryland would affect my dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. We collaboratively decided that attending Maryland would be a perfect fit for me academically and athletically, and I called Coach Reese later that evening to let her know.