Angie Benson – Virginia Tech Lacrosse

“Lacrosse means the world to me because that’s what it has given me. It’s taught life lessons on the field that I can take off the field and use in my everyday life. Some of the obstacles I’ve faced in my career have/has been doubt, from other people. I have fortitude. Having the courage to face adversity head first in my sport has shaped me to be the woman I am today. I have drive. No one but me is allowed to doubt me. I very rarely have doubt. I can do anything I put my mind to.”

“I hate losing more than I love winning. When I started to ‘embrace the suck’ in my training, I started to know the type of athlete I wanted to be, and the type of person it made me. Preparation and repetition is key for my success. Working hard and sometimes doing things you don’t want to do is how life works, both on and off the field.”

“Looking back, the advice I would give my younger self is that it’s okay to feel they way you feel. Stop caring what other people think and do what makes you happy. Strive to be the best version of yourself today and everyday.”

“Most of the teams I’ve played on, I’ve been the only person of color on the team. Sometimes I’ve been the only person of color in the tournament or in a collegiate stadium. I feel like I have to play harder to gain the respect I deserve. People automatically assume I’m bad because they don’t see people playing that look like me. I just want to be recognized as a lacrosse player and not the athletic player. I play lacrosse. I’m a lacrosse player. That’s it.”

“People need to know that it’s not easy having all eyes on you when those eyes aren’t always for the right reasons. My teammates might not feel the eyes but I do. I think we need to be more aware of people and our surroundings. We need to understand that it’s okay to be different because we are all here for the same goal. As a lacrosse community we have to embrace change. We have to love people as much as we love the sport.”

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