The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

Lacrosse leaders step up when competition mounts

Grace Zimmerman and Ethan Faini show grace under pressure

When Bellarmine spring sports were in full swing, players dealt not only with pressure in school, but on the field as well. 

On April 13, the Bellarmine Women’s Lacrosse Team played at home against Stadium High School. This game was significant, as it was a “Go Gold” themed game, honoring kids fighting pediatric cancer. As the game went on, Bellarmine fought to even the score, as they were behind by more than 6 goals in the first half of the game. The time was ticking and Bellarmine fought until the very end, with a 9-10 score with only a few seconds left. All the pressure was on the players, but one player in particular.

Midfielder Grace Zimmerman, had stepped up to shoot an 8 meter after the coaches trusted in her, drawing up a play that put the ball in her hands.  Although it was what she did that led to the result of the game, it was her thought process that determined it. 

“It came as a shock to me that my coaches trusted me with this shot. Knowing this was a shot I had struggled with, I had been practicing it for a large portion of the season thus far. It is really one of those shots that comes down to one singular player, and the pressure of that alone was my main source of struggle. As the time-out came to a close, one of my teammates and I said a prayer. We returned to the field with about 15 seconds remaining. The play did not go as planned so one of my teammates and I improvised; this was a moment of pure chemistry and wouldn’t have been possible without trust. I had successfully got the 8 meter, and I could feel my heart pounding. As I stood on the line, I could hear my teammates, coaches, and the whole stadium yelling. I blinked and everything went away. It sounds sort of cliche, but I genuinely silenced out everything around me. I knew that this was 100% on me and I wanted to prove myself wrong. All of the doubt that others and myself had in me was my main source of energy in those last seconds. I knew that if I missed that shot, I would be so upset with myself. at the ref blew her whistle it was a blur. I recall the noise of the ball as it hit the pipe of the goal and then net. To me, that was one of the best moments I have had in my lacrosse career. The horn sounded, and my teammates piled on top of me.”

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 Zimmerman’s game-tying shot not only shows her experience, but her ability to play under pressure. But that doesn’t mean her lacrosse career lacked difficulty and doubts.

“In playing any sport where you are held at such a high standard under copious amounts of pressure, it is difficult to maintain confidence. it becomes easy to feel like you are constantly letting your team down, even over the tiniest mistakes. I have always been an athlete who feels as though they are constantly underperforming; however, I can say that after 2.5 years of playing lacrosse, the faith that my coaches had in me brought me a step closer to becoming a more confident player.”

Zimmerman’s experience with fighting doubt is an amazing example of what many varsity athletes face throughout their sports season. 

Varsity goalie, Ethan Faini, has also experienced playing under pressure, and has learned how to manage it. 

 “Pressure only gets to you if you let it. Just relax and remember that you’re on varsity for a reason,” Faini responds to what causes him success in the face of adversity.

As juniors move up as seniors next year, they face pressure to lead their teams. Both Faini and Zimmerman reflect on many years of practice in their spring sports and show immense potential for Bellarmine’s sports teams next year. 

The lacrosse team mobs Grace Zimmerman after her 8 meter. Photo courtesy of Alexis Douglas
Grace Zimmerman demonstrates grace under pressure (pun intended). Photo courtesy of Alexis Douglas

About the Contributor
Alexis Douglas
Alexis Douglas, Reporter

Alexis Douglas is joining the Lion Journalism Staff as a Senior this year. She’s very interested in social justice topics and has previously worked for Lakeside Living, a local magazine. Around campus, you may see her involved in Link Crew, ASB, Outreach, and the Ignatian Global Scholars Program. Off campus, she likes to kickbox, play piano, spar on her Taekwondo team, sing on First Baptist Worship Team, and coach students in self defense tournaments.