For four years, senior captain Lori Wohlschlegel has helped lead the women’s lacrosse team on an amazing resurgence. From a 9-6 (3-4 Ivy) finish in 1999, her freshman year, to last year’s NCAA appearance and the lofty expectations of this season, the attacker from West Chester, Pa. has been an important component of the Red’s success.
Coming into 2002, much was expected of the lady laxers, and, as captain, Wohlschlegel was up to the challenge. That is, until Cornell’s Feb. 23 scrimmage against Duke.
“Right when it happened, I knew something was pretty bad,” recalled Wohlschlegel.
Indeed, what had happened was serious — a torn anterior crucial ligament that put Wohlschlegel’s senior campaign in severe jeopardy. But, having not missed a single game since her rookie season, Wohlschlegel was determined to return to the field for the Red for one final go-around.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I was coming back,” Wohlschlegel explained, “no matter how long it took, I was coming back.”
After missing the Red’s first four games of the season, Cornell’s single-season assist leader returned on March 23 against Penn, a week earlier than originally expected.
“Everything she needed to do to help her knee heal quickly, she did,” lauded head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
Wohlschlegel’s hard work is paying huge dividends, as she is now able to play almost pain-free.
“All those hours of rehab, the Princeton game was going through my head,” she explained, “that was what I was working towards.”
Against Princeton, Wohlschlegel saw her first significant game action since her injury. In limited playing time, she recorded two assists, moving her to within two of the career assists record of 55 set by Linda Miller ’84. Wohlschlegel also moved into sole possession of third place in total career points with 136. Her 83 career goals rank 10th in school history.
As the season progresses, Wohlschlegel’s contributions will become even more important as the Red attempts to capture its first Ivy League title.
“She’s such a great leader and such a great player that as long as her knee is not troublesome, then I look forward to playing her as much as possible,” said Graap.
Wohlschlegel’s skills make Cornell a better team, and her presence makes those around her play better as well.
“She can feed the ball,” Graap commented. “To have that back in our arsenal is really important because it adds a different dimension to what our offense is able to do.”
“She can see everyone on the field,” added junior midfielder Rachel Friedman, “you know if she has the ball, a goal is going to be scored.”
Off the field, Wohlschlegel’s contributions might be even greater than those on it.
“I think she has set a huge example for the team,” said Friedman. “She was put in such a hard situation, and it goes to show no matter what situation you’re in, you can work hard and pull through.”
“I think the emotional impact of having her back is a very positive one,” Graap added.
Archived article by Owen Bochner