Fritts sets the tone for the women’s lacrosse program
Some people learn quicker than others. For the Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse team, senior Allyson Fritts has not only learned the game quickly, but has become one of the instrumental leaders in the program.
Fritts has been lighting up the score sheet this season like a lifelong veteran. However, she only picked up the game when she was in high school.
In just four games this season, Fritts is leading GVSU in points, after accumulating 12 goals and one assist. For the senior captain, her legacy isn’t just about statistics.
“I want people to remember me as the captain who was on the starting program,” Fritts said. “I want people to recognize how much work I put in.”
Fritts, a Howell, Mich native, was a standout player on last year’s inaugural GVSU women’s lacrosse team. The Lakers went 10-7 while being independent of a conference before joining the GLIAC this year.
This year is the first season for GLIAC women’s lacrosse, and a GLIAC championship is at the top of the list of goals for the Lakers. GVSU is not alone in their lack of experience, as seven of the nine teams in the conference are either in their first or second season of play.
GVSU (2-2) is a young program with an even younger roster, featuring just three seniors and one junior. On such a young team, the significance of strong leadership looms even larger than normal.
“Fritts is very important,” said head coach Alicia Groveston. “While she didn’t have NCAA game experience prior to last year, she did have maturity. That was invaluable. She was able to help lead the team by example of what to do on and off the field.”
The lack of NCAA experience didn’t hinder Fritts in the 2012 season, as she was quick to make an impact, notching 25 goals and eight assists in her first year of collegiate play. In her second year, Fritts has brought her play to an entirely new level, as she already has nearly tallied half of her goal total from last season, with 12 more games to play this season.
Fritts’ solid statistics and strong leadership have quickly made her a huge piece of what is still a small program. While the Lakers will miss her skill next year, their offensive core of sophomores Rachel Leibovitz, Victoria Devine and Jordan Luberto will certainly be able to pick up the offensive hole Fritts’ departure will leave. What will be difficult to replicate is her lead-by-example style of being a captain.
“She will leave us big shoes to fill for sure,” Groveston said. “She is the first person to be in the gym working out, either with her stick or on her fitness. She also works incredibly hard in the classroom. She is a problem solver, an advocate and a great teammate.”
Leading a team is nothing new for Fritts, as she was elected as a captain in her junior year at GVSU as well as in high school. In just two years, Fritts has help lift Laker lacrosse from to the preseason favorite to win the GLIAC. The Lakers will certainly miss Fritts in the years to come, but Fritts may miss the Lakers, and her favorite sport, even more.
“I’m really sad this is my last year because this is only the start of a wonderful program,” she said. “I’m happy for what I’ve done for the program. I know that my teammates will continue to make this program reach its full potential, so I can walk away happy.”