A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Plum’s Sophie Anderson

Monday, April 22, 2024 | 11:07 AM

For second-year Plum girls lacrosse coach Dom Barnabei, having senior defender Sophie Anderson has been a blessing.

“Most high school players are just playing lacrosse,” said Barnabei. “Sophie thinks lacrosse. Her ability to analyze and explain to the younger players the thought process as to why she made her decisions is difficult to explain. It has to be witnessed.”

Anderson has been playing lacrosse since fourth grade when she made a club team. Back then, she was up against some strong competition.

“There was only a 14U team in the youth league, so I was playing against eighth graders,” Anderson said. “It was scary, and I had to catch on pretty quick.”

Anderson virtually had no offseason, playing club lacrosse as well when she got into middle school. All that experience allowed her to learn about the sport and harness an understanding of how the game is played.

“The maturity level she possesses for lacrosse is amazing,” Barnabei said. “She understands the game, where her strong points and works on her weak points.”

One of Anderson’s notable strong points is her ability to dissect the tendencies of her opponents, something she’s picked up because of her familiarity with the competition.

“I’ve gotten insights from just the connections I’ve made through the years,” Anderson said. “I played with a lot of these girls in club. It also stems from playing against the same players on the same teams for so long.”

Added Barnabei: “If I have a question about an opposing player, chances are Sophie knows that player and will have an insight on how to defend them. She really knows the competition.”

Anderson and her Plum teammates are determined to make a deeper run in this year’s playoffs after being bounced by Quaker Valley in the quarterfinals last season.

So far, the reigning Class 2A Section 1 champs are faring well at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the section.

Anderson, who scored 25 goals last year, scored her 75th career goal earlier this season.

She took a few minutes for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

What’s your favorite part of lacrosse?

The speed and intensity. It keeps you on your toes.

How motivated is this year’s team after an early playoff loss last season?

We did really well in our section last year, which we won for the first time ever. To get in the playoffs and lose early was unfortunate to say the least. I think this year, we all want it.

What is the team going to need to focus on to do well in this year’s playoffs?

Looking at film from the Quaker Valley game, simple things like transition and stick skills were things that hurt us. Those can be easily fixed.

Undefeated in section last year and off to a strong start again this season, what’s that say about the consistency the program has built?

My freshman class, when we came in to Plum, we wanted to go out and make a statement all four years. We’ve all been playing together a long time, know each other really well, so we wanted to come out and do something that would leave a legacy after we were gone.

You scored your 75th career goal already this year. Out of all those goals, which was most memorable?

My freshman year, I had a game-tying goal against Franklin Regional at Franklin Regional. I believe it was their senior night, and we scored again near the end to win.

Do you think you’ll get to 100 before the end of the season?

I’m not as much of an attacker as a defender, (but) that’s the hope and a goal I have.

Was there a part of your game you were looking to improve on coming into the season?

You have to be able to use both your hands to play in college, so I’ve really been working on my skills with the left hand whenever the opportunity presents itself. I’ve also focused on my fast-break defense.

College plans?

I’ll be attending Frostburg St. University, playing lacrosse and majoring in art education and psychology with the end goal being an art psychologist.

Favorite high school moment so far?

Beating Hampton last year. We knew we had to go out there and beat them to win the section. We played so well. It was something I’ll remember forever.

What’s something people might not know about you?

I tend to be very creative. During breaks, I’ll paint and bake.

One piece of advice to leave your teammates before graduating?

Enjoy and savor every moment. It truly goes by in the blink of an eye.


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