Athlete of the Issue
March 31, 2014
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by Libby Hyde
It was the final game of the lacrosse season last year when STA was playing Notre Dame de Sion. The clock was down to the last 2 minutes. Sophomore Kristina Coppinger was feeling dead on her feet, but all of a sudden, she was ready to play.
“I don’t want to lose this game,” Coppinger thought to herself. “We are not going to lose to Sion.”
“Sion had thought they had won by then because we only had two minutes left and were down by three,” Coppinger said. “I cut out and cut back to the ball. I got a really awesome clear and I saw Maggie Kienan, an awesome Sion player, running at me. I didn’t pay her any mind and went right past her. I was going for the goal. I cleared it up the field to one of the attack players and we got a goal.”
That was the first time Coppinger experienced real motivation. That day, she put her own needs and pains aside to play for the team.
Coppinger has been playing lacrosse since she was in 5th grade. She’s been working hard ever since to develop her skills.
“There is no off season,” Coppinger said. “I play basically year round for 4 different teams and that usually keeps me in shape. Whenever I am not playing, I am running outside, playing wall ball, or shooting on cage. [I do] lots of strength and endurance training and sprint work.”
As a sophomore, this is Coppinger’s second year playing varsity lacrosse.
“Being a varsity player takes a lot of heart,” Coppinger said. “You’ve got to really want it not only for yourself but for the team.
Although Coppinger will be playing midfielder this season, she has had experience playing all over the field.
“I played goalie for three years,” Coppinger said. “As a goalie, you have to be really loud, so now you can hear me a mile away. You’ve got to be big and move to the ball, and that’s what you have to do as a field player. You also have to have a lot of confidence.”
Coppinger’s teammate senior Katie Tampke commented that Coppinger has been talented since freshman year, but has grown as a leader.
“She allows herself to be a large force on the field, but girls aren’t afraid to ask her for help because she’s not vain or intimidating,” Tampke said.