As the lacrosse season kicks off, the Stags look up to student-athletes Katie FitzPatrick ’18 and Will Fox ’18.

As the lacrosse season kicks off, the Stags look up to student-athletes Katie FitzPatrick ’18 and Will Fox ’18.

Physical, mental and spiritual leaders are vastly important to the overall success of sports teams at Fairfield University.

The school’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are indeed fortunate to have two outstanding examples of well-rounded student-athletes to power them in 2018, both on and off the field: Katie FitzPatrick ’18 and Will Fox ’18.

“Katie is a tremendous leader for us,” says Laura Field, head coach of the women’s team. “She has a natural leadership style that empowers those around her and makes her a pivotal member of our team defense. More than just the value of her play is Katie’s unflappable enthusiasm and positive approach to everything she does. Her spirit is contagious and we are thankful for her boundless energy every day.”

“I was thrilled and honored to have been voted co-captain for the 2018 season,” said FitzPatrick, a midfielder from Newtown Square, Pa. and two-time member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic team. “I look at the girls who have been my captains and know I have some big shoes to fill.”

FitzPatrick takes her role as a co-captain, alongside Olivia Russell ’18, very seriously. She considers herself a leader, and a vocal one at that. “I am always communicating with my teammates during games and letting them know what’s going on and that I have their backs. I try to raise the bar and exceed expectations so we can get better as a team.”

FitzPatrick chose Fairfield because she wanted to go to a school where it was just far enough from her hometown that if she needed to go home it could easily be done. “I also loved the campus. Having the beach so close by was icing on the cake for me.”
Three individuals have played a key role in FitzPatrick’s growth at Fairfield. “The first person would be Melissa Liable. She was one of my teammates, graduating in 2016. She was a key player for our defense and was someone I always looked up to.”

Two other major influencers have been coaches Mike Waldvogel (now coordinator of women’s lacrosse operations) and Head Coach Field. “They saw something in me from the very beginning. They believed in me and pushed me to become the player I am today. They challenged me and helped me overcome my weaknesses on the field. They both have been there for me throughout my entire journey at Fairfield.”

Of Will Fox, a standout on the men’s team, head coach Andy Copelan said, “Will has an impressive balance of being fiercely competitive as both a student and athlete, but also a true gentleman who puts others first. His impact on our program has been transformational; the type that will be felt long after he graduates.”

Fox considers himself a leader on the team, “first and foremost” by his actions. “I lead by example, whether it is talking to underclassmen, getting extra reps, conditioning, or strength training. My teammates know that they can always rely on me to do my job and that is something I pride myself on.”

The faceoff expert and second team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection in 2015 and 2016 took his crosse and cleats to Fairfield because of “the great Jesuit education I knew I was going to receive.” He added, “The lacrosse program has sustained success as a national and conference competitor. Something that was also important to me was the coaching staff. I liked the way competition drove them and felt that their desire to bring the best players to Fairfield would breed more success.”

The future of Fairfield lacrosse is bright, indeed, believes Fox. “The coaching staff has done a great job recruiting well-rounded individuals who are great representatives of what it means to be a men’s lacrosse player at this University. The facilities here will continue to keep the eyes of the lacrosse world on Fairfield. Playing at Fairfield, where the student body comes to every game and where you get to play in a venue like Rafferty Stadium, makes it one of the best places to play in the country.”

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