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Rachael Leonard

Three-part image. Left side of image has a headshot of Rachael Leonard. Bottom-right has white text over a blue box reading

Rachael plays lacrosse because she loves the culture of the sport and being part of something bigger than herself. It is that love she continues to have for lacrosse that has inspired her to continue playing lacrosse at Saint Mary’s.

“I love the adrenaline rush you get when stepping on to the field for the first game of the season, after all of your team's preparation,” she said. “Time seems to slow down when the first whistle is blown until the ball hits the back of someone's stick to start play. It's about working together, with your teammates, who are just as passionate as you, and reaching for a greater goal.”

That desire to achieve a greater goal has also driven Rachael beyond the lacrosse field. A biology major with minors in both neuroscience and psychology, she has studied abroad in Rome and is part of the Biology Club and Belles for Life. A team captain as a junior, she feels ready to take on whatever may lie ahead.

“I believe I have been extremely prepared for life after college because of the resources and encouragement that are available to students here. With every move you are planning to make, you are encouraged to push yourself even further towards your goals. The professors, advisors, coaches, and faculty want students here to succeed in the future. I feel prepared knowing that I have a support system at Saint Mary's College cheering me on every step of the way.”

That support for Rachael and other student-athletes extends beyond the Department of Athletics. She and her teammates have all encountered professors who are understanding of their passion to excel academically and athletically. 

“The support from the professors and coaches makes the balancing act of academics and athletics much simpler, and it makes the whole experience of playing a Division III more enjoyable.”

At the end of the day, the camaraderie of the Saint Mary’s lacrosse program continues to motivate Rachael.

“My teammates have become some of my best friends, and I look forward to watching each and every one of them succeed. It's an incredible thing to watch your teammates accomplish different feats, and I think that without this team, throughout my four years, I wouldn't have grown into who I am today.”