Athlete Spotlight – Bliss Vernon ’22 & Morgan Giardina ’22 – Girls Varsity Lacrosse

Varsity Girls Lacrosse – Bliss Vernon ‘22 & Morgan Giardina ‘22

Interviewed and written by Gale Gai ’22

Learn more about two girls varsity lacrosse juniors – Bliss Vernon and Morgan Giardina – from Gale Gai’s interviews.

Bliss Vernon ‘22

GG: What’s your story with lacrosse?
BV: I started lacrosse when I was in 3rd grade, playing in my public town’s league. My mom and my sister were actually my two coaches for most of elementary school and middle school. Then, I started playing club lacrosse when I was in seventh grade. Once I got into high school, my first high school, I was on the varsity team my freshman year, played with one of my older sisters and older cousins, which was amazing because they were both seniors and captains. That year, we won the state championship, which was incredible. COVID then hit, and I also had a chance to come to Deerfield to repeat my Junior year. Now, I’m here playing, and I’m also committed to American University for lacrosse, which is exciting.

GG: What do you enjoy the most playing with your team at DA?
BV: I think that the Deerfield lacrosse team is different from all others because we are always in the same environment. I have always been in public schools my whole life, and for my first year at a boarding school, I feel a new level of comfortability with my team. It’s so fun to walk to classes together, then go to practice together, then go to dinner together, and finally go back to our dorms together. I have five girls on my team who are on my floor, so I’m always with and surrounded by them, and it is nothing less than an amazing time. I also love the coaching staff here. The athletic director Mr. Howe has really made our season incredible, and I would say the facilities and the whole athletic program at Deerfield is pretty exceptional.

GG: How do you balance your time with school work and lacrosse?
BV: [laughs] Yeah, it is pretty hard. Lacrosse definitely takes over my mind, especially during the season because it is all I want to think about. Having to figure out injuries, icing, and rolling out and stretching in making sure we are staying in shape throughout the season is definitely hard to balance with school and with family time and self-care time. I try to do all my homework as soon as I can: I sometimes do it in the day, in between classes, so I have the afternoon to fully focus on lacrosse. I like to compartmentalize. I’ll be in school, and I’ll be in school only; once I get to the locker room, it is full lacrosse mode. That usually helps me be most productive as much as I can.

GG: Tell us your best moments so far with this Deerfield team.
BV: There’s too many [laughs]. Even though only had four or five games, I already have so many memories with this team. There’s nothing really quite like swarming the goalie after a big win. But something that is a little bit different is the time in the locker room before practice, when we all finish school and we all felt like we could let go of the school day. We would be energized, listening to music, having a little dance party, and getting excited for practice. My favorite game memory is the second game of the season, when I was connecting really well with Sarah Stonestreet (’21). I loved feeding her perfect passes for her to go on to score, and there’s nothing really like jumping up and hugging her after she scores.

GG: What is the most valuable thing about lacrosse for you?
BV: The biggest thing that I will gain from lacrosse, even until I’m older, is friendships. I’ve been on sports teams my whole life, and it is an outlet for me for finding friendships, and it is also often where I find people with who I can connect with the most, not only on the field, but also off the field. I guess making friendships with everyone on the team is what I’ll learn the most from. Hopefully, I can keep all those friendships forever.

 

Morgan Giardina ‘22

GG: What’s your story with lacrosse?
MG: I’ve been playing lacrosse since I was little because both my parents played it. I played it all the way through primary school and middle school. But I endured some back issues, so I couldn’t play either my ninth grade or tenth-grade year. I repeated 9th grade and junior year. I was supposed to play last season, but COVID hit. So, this is actually my first high school season, even though I have been in high school for five years already. It feels great to be back, and I am really happy to play a regular season.

GG: How was it like joining this team as a new player?
MG: I found it to be really great. I played on a lot of club teams, and club teams can be very competitive and not the most welcoming. But Deerfield’s team has been awesome. All the girls have been super nice and supportive. Coming in as a new junior is a challenge, but the team has been very supportive, and I have so many friends on the team now.

GG: Share with us your best moments with this Deerfield team.
MG: There’re many good ones, but I think spending time in the locker room with the team is so much fun. In those times, we’re not fully thinking about lacrosse, and we could really get to know each other. I think if we know each other better off the field, we can play together better on the field. So, my favorite times would be just hanging out with the team outside of the field.

GG: What is the most valuable thing about lacrosse for you?
MG: I really love playing this sport. It has taught me to a really good communicator with others. In the game, I don’t interact with the attack that much, but in defense, we are a cohesive team, and it has taught me to be a good team player and to work together with others. It is definitely a team effort to keep the other team out.

GG: Do you have any lacrosse player whom you look up to or take inspiration from? Why?
MG: Definitely my parents. My dad played lacrosse in college, and he is a big reason why I am playing today. I also do like watching the men’s pro league. I also have a lot of respect for the Deerfield defense this year. We work really well together, and I think we have done a really good job so far this year.

Go Big Green!

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