Andersen’s lacrosse success takes her to Irish national team

Andersen’s lacrosse success takes her to Irish national team

LUCK OF THE IRISH: Cradling the ball, senior Noreen Andersen moves upfield in a game against Loyola. Andersen will play for the Irish National Lacrosse team at the 2015 European Championships in the Czech Republic in August.

Sophie Hensley, Staff Reporter

Whether it’s sprinting down the turf or strumming a guitar on stage, senior Noreen Andersen pursues a wide range of activities in and outside of South in the field of athletics, music and media.

Andersen is a key component on the lacrosse field, according to head coach Annie Lesch. Andersen first picked up a stick at the end of eighth grade and her game escalated from there.  Andersen was also one of three freshmen to make varsity her freshman year.

“Our coach went up to me and [then freshman] Jane Brennan, and said, ‘Hey I just want to tell you before I tell the entire team, you guys are starting today,’” Andersen said. “I played a really good game, but it was more just I had a lot of fun doing it. Going into high school I thought basketball was going to be my main sport because I’d been playing it for a very long time. But lacrosse is such a fun, fast, team sport, so being on the field like that, I was like ‘Yeah this is the sport…I want to keep doing this for sure.’”

Since her freshman year, Lesch  has recognized Andersen’s strength both on and off the field due to her outstanding work ethic and determination to succeed.

“I think she leads by never being satisfied [and] always doing the extra,” Lesch said. “Even as a freshman, she was the one to stay late after practice or come in early and work on something. For as good as she is, she is not satisfied with her play and so she’s also willing to stay and do the extra work. I think at the same time she is able to connect with people as individuals [too].”

During Andersen’s sophomore year, she needed hip surgery after getting hurt on the field. According to Andersen, that caused a setback during her junior season.

“I tore my labrum,” Andersen said. “It’s kind of like the hip equivalent of tearing your ACL. I just played on it basically until it stopped functioning, which was January of junior year.”

Lesch believes Andersen’s injury opened a door to new opportunities, despite the fact that she couldn’t play.

“[Her injury] was really unfortunate, but at the same time I think she learned a lot about herself as a player [and] as a person,“ Lesch said. “I think she learned a lot about the team when we went so far in playoffs [because] I think it humbled her in terms of the team and what the team could accomplish with or without her. She took on the role of a motivator and just a positive energy on the bench.”

Regardless of the six-month recovery process, Andersen came across an incredible opportunity and dream by deciding to try out for the Women’s Irish National Lacrosse team on the weekend of Oct. 31, 2014, according to Andersen.

“My mom just had made a donation to the Irish Lacrosse Foundation in my name, so they sent a brochure and it said something about the tryouts,” Andersen said. “I realized I’m a dual citizen of Ireland, [so] I went on their website and saw I was eligible. I was like, ‘Mom what if I make this team? That would be so cool [because] I can play for Ireland,’ which is cool culturally as an Irish person. So, we thought about it for a little bit… [and] over Halloween weekend I went to Dublin for five days and did a three day tryout.”

To add to the many accomplishments Andersen has under her belt, she committed to play lacrosse at Princeton University her sophomore year.

“Not a lot of kids from the midwest go out there, so I think it’s more of an ‘I want to represent lacrosse from out here,’” Andersen said. “I’m so blessed that I get to go there and that lacrosse gave me that opportunity.”