Syracuse University Women’s Lacrosse…Always Number 1 in my heart!

May 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to start this blog. I knew I wanted to talk about the Syracuse University Women’s Lacrosse team, but I had writer’s block. And every time I started to write something, I would delete it. As a Newhouse grad and former radio news journalist, this was frustrating. Frustrating because this topic was something that I loved to talk about. I thought the right first words would come easily, but it just wasn’t happening. So, after several failed attempts, it became apparent that I needed to step away from my computer, and that’s exactly what I did. So, while doing the laundry, yes laundry, that’s when it hit me…I would write a letter. A letter to Liz Harbeson…a senior on the SU women’s lacrosse team, a starting defender, #5. A Syracuse University scholar-athlete who also just happens to be my next door neighbor, a close family friend, a former babysitter and someone who I have known since she was 10 years old…

 

Dear Liz,

I’ll never forget that day when you came over to my house to tell me that you had made your decision regarding college. You had chosen Syracuse University! You’d think that I had just won the lottery the way I was carrying on. I was just so excited and proud of you that I could hardly contain myself. I really enjoyed talking with you about all things “Syracuse” that afternoon, and even then, I could feel our bond growing that much stronger and closer. I’ve found that Syracuse University has a way of doing that to people. Later that day when I tied some orange and blue balloons to your family’s mailbox, I felt like a kid again. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take a step back in time to reminisce about my college days. Liz…can it really be more than five years ago since you shared this wonderful news with me? Where has the time gone?

I remember when you left home. I couldn’t wait for you to be on campus and experience life as a college student on “The Hill”…and I was hoping, really hoping, that you would enjoy SU as much as I did.

Through the years, I’ve had the pleasure of watching you grow into a beautiful, kind, compassionate, confident and graceful woman. Your parents did an outstanding job raising you, Liz. You are very blessed.

Fast forward to this year, your senior year at Syracuse. You spent this past semester finishing up with your studies in the School of Education. And on the field, your team went 18-2 in the regular season! Plus, to top it off, on Senior Day in the Dome you scored your first career goal! A game-clinching effort that got you lifted onto your teammates’ shoulders and got you mentioned in the local newspaper. I only wish that I had been there in person to see this and help celebrate with you.

As you prepared for post season play, you were busy finishing up with finals and attending your convocation in Manley. Congratulations, Liz! Sorry you had to miss your graduation day in the Dome. I was hoping you would be able to hear my commencement speech. Oh well, maybe I can read the speech to you and your family this summer!

After securing the No. 2 seed in the tournament and winning your first two games, it was off to the Final Four! What an exciting time for you, your teammates and coaches. I enjoyed watching Friday’s semifinals game and seeing you advance easily into the championship game. The stage had been set. And the team played with the strength, poise and conviction of a true champion. And you battled valiantly all the way to the very end. Liz, I hope you and your teammates could feel the love and encouragement coming from the SU section. Your team’s “Don’t Quit” attitude was simply awe-inspiring. I’m just so sorry that the game didn’t turn out the way you and your team had hoped it would.

After the game, my heart broke when I embraced you on the sidelines. I was so sad because I knew your journey at Syracuse was over. And I especially felt for you and the other seniors on the team. But, I have to tell you something Liz, your class was something special. The culture of winning that you have instilled in this program is part of your amazing legacy. And that is something that can never be taken away from you. You should be very proud of all that you have accomplished at Syracuse, both on and off the field. Congratulations, Liz! I love you, lots…

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