Zeltwanger leads by example
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Lindsey Zeltwanger wasn’t allowed to join the neighborhood lacrosse team until she reached third grade. But even before then, she would tag behind her older sister and could catch and throw a lacrosse ball better than most of the older girls.
“I started playing as soon as the older girls let me,” Zeltwanger said.
By her sophomore year of high school, she knew she wanted to play as a Division 1 athlete. She set her sights for the South despite her Midwestern roots in Ohio, and she shipped herself down to Georgia.
As a freshman, Zeltwanger was already dubbed one of two captains. She earned a place on the Second Team All-Conference and a spot on the A-Sun All Freshman Team. Coming into her sophomore season, her captain role has brought under even more pressure.
“Figuring out how to deal with motivation can be hard,” she said.
Zeltwanger’s role is more focused on leadership by example rather than leadership through vocal jabber.
Women’s lacrosse has bloomed in the last 10 years. Still, it is one of the collegiate sports that does not receive the same level of recognition or popularity as the high-profile staples.
“People down here still say, ‘Lacrosse? What’s that?’’’ Zeltwanger said.
The women’s lacrosse team is slowly changing that trend.
The team came into this year not knowing who their coach would be. With a new head coach and assistant coach, the expectations have been set much higher than in previous years.
The coaches are “way more invested in us,” Zeltwanger said.
But the new intensity has brought its struggles. Several girls quit the team, and many others are out because of injuries. This has only made them push harder, and as a midfielder, Zeltwanger spends entire games sprinting down and up the field.
“Running an entire game is exhausting,” she said. “You can’t catch a break.”
But Zeltwanger said this is what any incoming athlete should expect from playing a high-level sport — fatigue and exhaustion.
“Your body is going to be tired all the time. You have to decide if it’s worth it or not,” she said.
For Zeltwanger, it is.