Lacrosse standout Kelly Baumann ’20 will probably never forget what it felt like to get the news that her senior season was over, almost as soon as it began.
“I remember calling my parents, brother, and extended family to tell them that I would no longer be playing lacrosse because of COVID-19,” she remembers. “Each time that I had to admit and state that my senior season was canceled, it got harder and harder.”
Like many athletes, Baumann has been taught to focus on mental toughness while facing down obstacles. She has played through injuries, including fractured shins, a torn meniscus and a broken thumb. Having already faced both mononucleosis and pneumonia, it was hard to wrap her head around the idea that an illness could suddenly halt competitions for thousands of college athletes.
“Every coach always tells you to play every game like it’s your last, and I think now that statement hits home because of how true it really is. It was really tough for me trying to cope with the fact that I never really knew that my last game was going to be my last game of lacrosse, she says.”
She played through fractured shins, a torn meniscus and a broken thumb — faced both mononucleosis and pneumonia. So, it was hard to wrap her head around the idea that an illness could suddenly halt competitions.
In her final game — only the second of the 2020 season — Baumann broke the college’s all-time career points record. But the accolade was bittersweet. Having scored 88 points last year, she was likely to break other records in 2020. Baumann was only 55 points away from 300 career points — a mark never-before achieved at the college. She was also only 39 goals away from a career goal record, 25 assists away from owning the assist record and 31 ground balls away from breaking the career ground ball record.
But like many successful athletes, Baumann prioritizes her team above herself.
“I think that it is important for all players to set team oriented goals rather than personal goals,” she says. “If you aim for team goals, the personal accolades will follow.”
And though she is thankful that she will be able finish her last season of college lacrosse as a master’s student at West Chester University, Baumann says her Albright teammates and coaches made lacrosse a sport that she will forever love.
“Albright is the best team that I have ever been a part of and I am so thankful for the countless memories, opportunities and the best friends I could ask for that came out of this program,” she says. “Lacrosse has taught me so many lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”
“I never anticipated this to be the ending of my senior year, but I’m thankful to Albright lacrosse for giving me the best four years of my life, that nobody, not even the coronavirus, can take away from me.”
– Carey Manzolillo, MBA