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NDA lacrosse player has breakthrough year as sophomore

Notre Dame Academy sophomore Josalyn White leads the state for girls lacrosse with 72 goals this season and 28 assists. Submitted photos

By Tori Wittenbrock

Associate Sports Editor

GREEN BAY – Notre Dame Academy (NDA) sophomore Josalyn White has proven herself worthy of center stage notoriety as a lacrosse player in the state of Wisconsin — as a sophomore.

“I think the best thing about lacrosse is seeing it grow in my area and with the people around me and being able to share it with my friends,” said White.

“A lot of my friends have never played lacrosse before their freshman year and I think it is always fun just getting new people to try it out. Even when I was playing youth I would always advocate for more people to start playing lacrosse. I just want to see it grow in my area and I love introducing people to it.”

White amassed an impressive total of 58 goals her freshman year in 2023. This season, she surpassed that, reaching a total of 72 goals and 28 assists for 100 points on the season making her the leading scorer in the state of Wisconsin for girls lacrosse.

“When she joined as a freshman we knew she was going to help the program grow leaps and bounds,” said NDA girls lacrosse coach Hailey Anderson.

“Her talents and great understanding of the game has helped her teammates develop their skills and knowledge quickly. During a game she has a lot of poise and composure to take care of the ball during high pressure situations. She is a player we can rely on to score a goal or play aggressive defense when needed.”

Where it all started

Though it has become her priority and passion now, Josalyn said that lacrosse is something that she has always known and grown up around.

“My family introduced me to lacrosse. My brother and my sister both played lacrosse growing up and my brother played forever and my culture is big on lacrosse. I am Native American and so I just grew up around lacrosse,” said White. “I started playing around second grade.”

Admiring her older sister’s passion for the sport is a significant part of what fueled her own desire to play, according to White.

Though she’s only a sophomore, White is interested in playing lacrosse at the collegiate level and has recently begun the recruiting process.

“My sister, Elise, played on the previous team that was a Green Bay co-op before it became NDA lacrosse three years ago. My youth coach invited me to go out and hang around the team and help out because they needed more bodies. I would just go every day because my sister would go,” said White.

“At the time I was playing travel basketball but I liked going to practice everyday and when I didn’t have anything else to do I would go to the practices and games and help out with the team and travel with them to games. I had to make sure that I had all the stats right and I think that’s really fun. That’s what lacrosse is about. I just love to help out with anything. On the weekends, I’ll be helping out with reffing at the youth level. It’s just so fun to see the younger kids pick it up too and for them to see me as a familiar face as a ref.”

Prioritizing her passion

White said that she has always been athletic and enjoyed participating in sports, but she knew from early on that she had a special connection with lacrosse.

“I played volleyball, basketball and soccer and I did cross country for a year,” said White.

“I definitely think lacrosse started to be my priority around seventh grade and I am planning on playing collegiately.”

In order to prepare herself to play at such a high level, White said that she is taking the necessary steps to improve her game, especially in the offseason.

“I play club. I do it in the summers and in the fall and then play basketball in the winter. It’s just two days during the week over summer but then I work on my strength and conditioning and getting extra reps in and just getting stronger outside of practices,” said White.

Because she is only a sophomore, advancing through the collegiate recruiting process is still on hold for now due to NCAA regulations.

“I am still really early in the recruiting process, but this summer will be a big part of me being exposed to major colleges. Right now it’s just me sending out emails because I am interested in DI and DII but DII can’t reach out for contact until June 15th and DI can’t until September 15th. So right now it’s just getting my schedule out to coaches and going to camps that will get me exposure,” said White.

For now, White said that her personal goals for herself are to just improve her own skills and work ethic day by day.

“I’m just taking it one step at a time. I know that every day is just another opportunity for me to get better and to just keep growing,” said White.

“I try to improve every game. Not just scoring but making sure my defense is good and getting to ground balls first and being fast on the draw to help my team have more possession, too. That’s a big part of my dedication in making sure that not only am I getting better but my teammates, too. I give it my all in every single practice that I do.”

We all start somewhere

White said that the main reason she is such a big advocate of people taking up the sport is because it is a really good way to build a community and have people to rely on through the learning process.

“I think teamwork and knowing that it’s not a one person sport. You need to work as a complete team to finish each game strong. Knowing that you can rely on others and they can rely on you. Being accountable is probably my favorite part and knowing that it needs to be a team effort,” said White.

White also said that she has some advice to anyone just starting out in the sport.

“I’d say, just be consistent because it can be difficult at times. Just know that your hard work will always pay off with consistency,” said White.

However, White acknowledged that without her strong support system, she would not be where she is today seeing so much success at her sport at such a young age.

“I have a big support system. My whole family will come and watch me. It’s a lot of my extended family, too. My grandma, my aunties — they will come out and support me and it’s just fun to see them in the stands and know that they are really proud of me and knowing that I can always count on them to give me extra support and be there for me when I need it,” said White.

White said that one final goal for herself this season is to work on her athleticism to give herself the edge over the tough competition in the area.

“I am definitely getting myself stronger and conditioned and faster so this summer I will be working in the weight room a lot.”

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