“I feel like my career is ending unfinished.”
To the dismay of seniors like Ashley Lizzi, the Butler women’s lacrosse season came to an abrupt end amidst the cancellation of sports seasons across the United States earlier this month. In a short span of time, the coronavirus pandemic has flipped the sporting world, and life itself, upside down.
Many collegiate athletes expecting to graduate at the end of the semester have now been forced to come to terms with the end of their athletic career. Those in spring sports, like Lizzi, were confronted with this disappointing reality in the middle of their seasons.
“To me, we should be practicing today at 3PM!”
Lizzi was a midfielder and captain on the team, one of the few remaining players who took the field in 2017 when the program first began. She has been with the team since its inception and stepped into the role of an experienced leader in her senior year.
The team struggled in its first three seasons, going a combined 5-46 in that span. However, the 2020 season looked promising, as the team went 5-2, 3-0 at home, before the season was cut short. The Bulldogs finished second in the Big East and outscored opponents 97-58 overall, averaging almost 14 goals per game.
Lizzi expressed her frustration with the cancellation of such a dominant and exciting season after three years of hard work and few victories.
“We had a lot left to do and more records to break.”
Despite the circumstances, the senior captain made sure to mention her immense pride in her team that had accomplished so much in a short time.
Although missing the senior send-off that she had hoped for, life goes on for the passionate, optimistic leader. She is now setting her sights on finishing strong academically and preparing for her future career, one that will surprise nobody.
“For me, I cannot leave athletics! I am looking for an assistant coaching job at a lacrosse program somewhere while completing my master’s degree and hoping to continue coaching the game I love even after.”
Lizzi plans to enroll in online classes at the University of Florida this summer as a part of its Online Master’s in Sport Management program.
In a time full of uncertainty and panic, Lizzi chooses to look on the bright side.
“It may be one that many don’t want to remember, but I believe it was one of the most impactful years on my life,” Lizzi stated. “Never have I been more proud to be on a team, this team, Team 4.”
Perhaps we can all take a page from Lizzi’s book right now, when that kind of positivity is needed most.