Senior spotlight: All-American girls lacrosse player aims to give Mt. Lebanon shot at WPIAL title

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Saturday, April 4, 2020 | 6:01 AM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight a WPIAL spring athlete whose senior year has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.

Maddie Reisinger and members of the Mt. Lebanon girls lacrosse team want a chance to play for a WPIAL title.

After finishing fourth in Class AAA last season, the Blue Devils have high expectations … if there is a season.

“We have a very dedicated group of girls who all have one goal in common, winning a WPIAL championship,” Reisinger said. “We have worked so hard both in the offseason and our abbreviated preseason practices, and I believe we are more than capable of achieving that goal.”

Reisinger was an All-WPIAL and All-American selection last season. She’s holding out hope for a shot to compete for a title this spring if the PIAA allows spring sports seasons to commence after concerns over the coronavirus pandemic are eased.

How have you been keeping busy during the coronavirus pandemic?

I have been spending a lot of time with my family as well as working out every day. I have had to adapt my workouts since the turf fields and tracks are closed, but I am making the best out of the situation. My favorite part of my day has been taking my dog on a long walk around the neighborhood, since it is truly one of the only ways to get out of the house. Keeping a positive mindset has definitely helped me through the process.

Have you been doing any lacrosse activities?

I do wall ball every day, and practice shooting in the net we have in the backyard. A former teammate created a slide show a couple years ago with our plays that I have been studying. I’ve taken this time to better myself individually as a player, so it can transition well into team play.

If there is a lacrosse season, what are you hoping to accomplish personally?

My personal goals for the year are to achieve 100 goals and hopefully become a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American.

What makes Mt. Lebanon a successful lacrosse program?

First off, our coaching staff plays a huge role in our success. Brian (Kattan) and Julie (Buschman) have been my coaches for my four years and they’ve improved my game immensely. When I tore my ACL at the end of my sophomore season, they constantly supported me through my entire rehab process. Last year, Paige Russel (former Duke Player) joined our coaching staff and brought a new perspective to our game plans.

At Mt. Lebanon, we focus on a more fluid game play rather than a rigid playbook. Another component is the players themselves. It does not matter whether we are in-season or not, we are always looking to improve our stick skills. In the first couple weeks of the season, each and every teammate showed up with a determined mindset and made sure everything was accomplished. Work ethic is something the senior class emphasized from the very beginning, and everyone is certainly fulfilling that.

How much practice time did you have before the shutdown?

We had two full weeks of practice time before the shutdown. In that time, we definitely improved upon our skills and built a foundation that we can further improve upon once we hopefully return to play. Prior to the shutdown, our coaches provided us with individual tasks and skills to work on, as well as team-based terminology.

Have you made a college decision yet?

I will most likely be attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

What do you plan to study?

I plan on studying speech pathology and audiology.

Will you be playing lacrosse?

Yes. Miami doesn’t have a Division I team, but they have a nationally ranked club team, and I look forward to playing in college.

What do you like most about the sport?

Since I began playing in the third grade, lacrosse has always served as an escape for me. Growing up, I played a number of sports, but I never felt as confident or as happy with any of them than I do with lacrosse. There is something about the team aspect, combined with the individual aspect of the game, that is so special to me. I have the best teammates I could ask for, and that has remained the same throughout my high school career.

What have you missed most during this quarantine period?

I have missed living life normally. It is quite difficult to fixate a schedule when you are very limited on what you can and cannot do. This experience has definitely changed my outlook on life. As these are unprecedented times, we are all unsure of what is next. I most certainly miss being on the field with my teammates. But, I try to remain optimistic about the future and am hoping to get back on the field as soon as possible.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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