Jan. 15, 2014
Junior, Midfield, 5-4
In 23 days, the Vanderbilt lacrosse team begins the 2014 season on Feb. 7 at Kennesaw State. To get ready for the 19th season in program history, vucommodores.com will spotlight all 29 players and coaches Cathy Swezey, Susan Ellis and Julie Gardner. This segment will offer an inside look into the team on and off the field.
Today, Rebecca Ryan, who wears jersey No. 23, continues our countdown. A junior from Ipswich, Mass., she hails from an athletic and academic family. Her parents both attended Harvard where her father, Mike, played on the lacrosse team and her mother, Pam, was on the diving team. Her younger brother, Matt, is a freshman on Harvard's lacrosse team.
Rebecca was named a two-time All-American by US Lacrosse while at Phillips Exeter Academy. Down time was a rare occurrence as she also lettered in field hockey, swimming and track. At Vanderbilt, she is a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree. She is pursuing a major in human and organization development with a minor in corporate strategy and financial economics.
We sat down with her to ask a few questions about lacrosse, her family and this year's team.
With your family background, lacrosse was always the big sport?
My mom was a diver in college and my dad was a lacrosse player. My siblings are younger but they're both athletes as well. So my family is really inspiring to me and I think that is how I got into it. Growing up I was always a swimmer and I played soccer my whole life. I just kind of found lacrosse was my favorite and I kind of ran with it.
So your mom's OK that you went over to lacrosse?
Well, I kind of didn't get that gene of liking to flip off tall things. I'm kind of scared of heights. It is funny when you get us all together because we're all really competitive and we all play with each other. It's really fun.
Looking at your family's background it appears academics is very important.
Academics is something that is really important. Vanderbilt does a great job with the work/life balance. I have a little sister (Emily, 15) who is going through the recruiting process right now so it is going to be fun to see where she ends up.
How is this year's team different than last year's team?
This team, especially, we have such an amazing group of freshmen. The freshmen add such a spark. I feel like we have leadership throughout all the different classes. That has really added to the camaraderie and it just translates into having a great work ethic among everyone. It is just a lot of fun every day.
Age I picked up a lacrosse stick: 7 years old
A few words that describe the way I play lacrosse: Hustle and tenacity
Favorite sport other than lacrosse: Swimming
Favorite musical performer: Beyonce
Favorite movie: Now and Then
Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Andy Roddick
One thing my hometown is famous for: Clam chowder
The person I admire most: Ally Carey (a former three-time All-American at Vanderbilt from 2010-12)
Biggest influence in my life: My parents
My advice to young people is: Fortune favors the bold!