Lacrosse has been a mainstay in UF goalkeeper Mary-Sean Wilcox’s life ever since the sophomore was just three years old. Growing up outside of Baltimore in Lutherville, MD, lacrosse is a rite of passage for many kids in the area.
“I’d have to say probably the first time I picked up a stick was when I was 3 years old,” said Wilcox, “Growing up in Baltimore, it’s a part of the lifestyle there. Everyone just loves lacrosse. It’s very competitive there so people start playing very young.”
Wilcox played for Notre Dame Prep, where she helped her team to a state championship runner-up finish, a semifinal appearance, and a No. 2 ranking in the 2011 Maryland Preseason Poll. She was also named a top-25 goalkeeper by ESPNHS.
“It’s really competitive for the MIAA (Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association),” said Wilcox, “We’re all still playing against players in college, like University of Maryland’s Taylor Cummings. It was great competition.”
When it was time to pick a college, Wilcox chose Florida over Penn State and Maryland.
“Growing up I knew I wanted to play lacrosse in college. I always knew I wanted to play lacrosse in Florida, even before they (UF) had a program,” Wilcox said. “When they created their program, I was really excited.”
Wilcox made 11 appearances in over 176 minutes in goal for the Gators her freshman season. She recorded 21 saves, allowed just 16 goals, held a 5.44 goals-against average, and a .568 save percentage. Wilcox was helped by head coach Amanda O’Leary’s defensive background.
“She (coach Amanda O’Leary) really understands the game so well and knows what to do in almost every single situation,” said Wilcox, ”Her being one of the more defensive coaches, it’s been really nice getting that individual time with her.”
Wilcox and fellow goalkeeper Cara Canington have been training vigorously in the offseason in preparation to defend the net for the Gators in 2014.
“We always work very hard and we work well together too,” said Wilcox, “We know how to help each other out. We’re just trying to make each other better.”
After going 18-3 in 2013 and losing a majority of the founding class, Wilcox has high expectations both for herself and the team moving towards the 2014 season.
“I would say teamwise to stay competitive as we are, keep working out, and keep pushing through and working as hard as we can. Just from losing the initial class, everyone’s expectations are very low. I don’t think that’s the case. I think we’re going to be very good,” said Wilcox.
With hard work, perseverance, and dedication, Wilcox and the Gators will look to achieve more success in the 2014 season.