Perhaps the Rollins Tars should send West Chester’s Lauren Glassey one of those wide, round sailor hats that the Rollins players were sporting after the game (a Tar is an old-fashioned term for sailor). A game in which Glassey scored five times, helping the Golden Rams eliminate the upstart Tars 19-10 in the NCAA Division II Lacrosse Championship semifinals.
It isn’t as though an offensive assault by Glassey comes as a surprise. Coming into Thursday’s game at Bellermine University’s Owsley B. Frazier Stadium, Glassey ranked fourth on the Golden Rams squad with 37 goals.
But there’s something about this time of year, big stakes, the limelight, that makes Glassey elevate her game to another level.
She had a hat trick (stopping at three goals) in West Chester’s 11-7 first-round win against Limestone. She also scored three times the last time West Chester was in the Division II championship , a 17-7 loss to Adelphi two years ago in Gettysburg, Pa.
“It’s an internal switch she flicks on,” West Chester coach Ginny Martino said. “Glassey loves that pressure, loves the defender coming out to get in her face, the challenge of it.
“Usually a defense as aggressive as Rollins or Limestone plays into Lauren’s game. Once she has them beat, it’s tough to stop her.”
“I’m pumped up for every game,” said Glassey, a midfielder from right outside West Chester, Pa., in Exton. “When I get one goal I want to keep going. I want to pump the team up.”
Pumping her team up includes being the player to set the team’s mood music each day. It could be pop, could be rap, could be something else from across the spectrum.
“Usually it’s stuff you wouldn’t want to listen to,” Martino said.
One thing for sure: Glassey doesn’t fall back on a certain type of music or song to be her acoustic talisman.
Glassey may believe in sweat equity to get the job done, but she doesn’t believe in superstitions.
“Talk to the team,” Glassey said. “They have plenty. How they do their hair, what they listen to, what they eat, weird stuff. One of Tori Dugan’s brothers wears a tie and full school uniform to the games to make us win.
“I just make fun of them. I’m like, ‘Come on … you’ve got to tie your shoes that way?’”
The lucky charms will probably be left in the box Friday, when West Chester participates in a clinic at a local school and practices before facing off Saturday against old nemesis C.W. Post in the championship game.
The Pioneers bested Le Moyne 15-10 in Thursday’s second semifinal to set up the fourth championship meeting between West Chester and C.W. Post. The Pioneers beat the Golden Rams in 2001 and 2007, while West Chester won in 2008.
Glassey is looking forward to the clinic, a chance to do her part to help grow what is already widely acknowledged as the nation’s fastest-growing sport.
“We did the same thing at last year’s tournament,” Glassey said. “I heard the kids had to look up what lacrosse actually was. It’s exciting. We’re role models for them, which is cool.”
If the kids are watching Saturday, maybe Glassey will give them another example of how to come up big in the biggest of games.