Sports Spotlight: Lillian Begley


Family picture including Lillian's aunt, cousin, and second cousin at Towson University, Under Armour All-America Uncommitted game, July 2017.

Katherine Sharafinski, Social Media Editor

New Beginnings 

“It’s a joke, but I’ll do it,” thought Lillian Begley, MODG class of 2020, as the M&D club team lacrosse tryout approached.

The girls that make up the M&D team are some of the best, and several of them play Division I lacrosse after high school. Just a year before tryouts, Lillian had never even handled a lacrosse stick, while most girls in serious lacrosse have been ushered into it “out of the womb…there you go, here’s a stick,” as Lillian now puts it.

Before lacrosse, Lillian played soccer, swam, and ran both cross country and track. After a full year of club swimming, the summer of 2015 left her ready for a change, but when her mother suggested lacrosse on a recreational team, she hesitated. The idea of starting a new sport as late as eighth grade daunted her. Besides, she had no real understanding of lacrosse.

She finally agreed to play on the rec team for a season. Her lacrosse schedule was a mere weekly practice and she recalls now with a laugh that, since all the other girls on the rec team were beginners as well, “It was basically like field hockey ‘cause everyone dropped balls all the time.”

Seeing Lillian’s talent, her rec coach advised her to look into club teams.

There are several major differences between rec teams and club teams, one of them being that, whereas recreational teams play other teams from the same program, club teams play teams from other states on a more competitive level. “It was kind of scary,” she admitted. “I had been playing for about two months solid.”

Giving It a Shot

At this point, midway through eighth grade, Lillian was still on the fence about the sport. Encouraged by her coach and her mother, however, she gave the club tryouts a shot. “And that’s how everything started.”  She made the B team and soon found herself traveling out of state and playing with girls with more experience.

Lillian and her sister Annabelle at University of Maryland Lax camp Summer 2016

The following summer, Lillian resolved to try out for the A team in her current club team. But her uncle broached the topic of the M&D club team, a team with a reputation of talented players. “I already knew about them,” says Lillian, “but I had no intention of trying out… no intention.”

Eventually, she decided to try out for the M&D as well as her previous club team, as she doubted that M&D would work out. During summer preceding the tryouts, Lillian practiced several times a week in order to prepare herself.

The tryouts for both teams occurred over the same three day period in late summer 2016.  For the M&D team, tryouts consisted of several speed drills. “ I think the coaches liked seeing speed… even though my stick skills weren’t the greatest, I think they thought that I could improve in that area and that I already had the speed,” says Lillian while reflecting on the tryout process.  Despite her inexperience in lacrosse, her athleticism paid off, and Lillian made M&D’s B team. Although Lillian made the A team for her first lacrosse club, she chose to play for the M&D B team due to the lacrosse club’s hard work ethic and national reputation.

She was ecstatic. As she started to play with M&D, her previous uncertainty quickly grew into a sincere passion for the sport.

The Lax Life

Her schedule now includes lacrosse year-round. During this past fall, Lillian’s schedule was sprinkled with clinics, gym time, and tournaments. Starting later in the fall and continuing through winter, games were moved indoors. Lillian also plays for a local private school in the spring, so her schedule will soon pick up as she juggles her private school lacrosse schedule, M&D practice, and conditioning. Then in the summer she will be practicing and traveling with the M&D team for tournaments.

Lillian has only been playing lacrosse for a grand total of two and a half years, but her position on a team like M&D has given her the possibility of using her talents at a higher level one day. She admits that there is some pressure in learning about girls her age who have already committed to play lacrosse at the college level, but she remains focused. To date, she has been contacted by three Division III, two Division ll, and two Division I colleges.  She is determined to give God all the glory in the opportunities He has given her, and she is very grateful to her parents and relatives for supporting her on this journey.

Click HERE to watch a video of Lillian’s 2017 summer highlights made by Lillian and her father!