Lindsey Farrell, a senior on the soccer and lacrosse team, had an unstoppable mindset to become a dual-sport athlete in college. She had a commitment to play both sports and, in the process, set a high bar both athletically and academically, finishing her college career with a eight total seasons of competition. College athletes accomplish a lot in their career. Even most dual-sport athletes excel more in sport than another. Farrell, however, has excelled in both nearly equally.
"I think the deciding factor to play both soccer and lacrosse was that I couldn't imagine my life without either," Farrell said.
In high school, it is common to meet athletes who balanced two sports or more. However, in college it is becoming rarer to meet a dual-sport athlete. Farrell struggled mostly with balancing both teams in the off-season. While she was in season for soccer, she felt distant from lacrosse and it was the same when in season for lacrosse.
"I felt distant from my freshmen. It was hard to put myself in two places at once"
Her overarching goal was to experience both team environments in college. She wanted the challenges, the successes, and a lifetime of best friends in both sports.
A student-athlete has a lot on their plate. Farrell experienced a full plate with the opportunity to play both. Her workload was now twice as much as the average student-athlete. She questioned her judgment as things started get hard.
"There was a lot of pressure and It was hard to concentrate my craft on one sport," she said. "The stress of school really put me over the edge some days but, at the end of the day, sports made life at college easier."
Her coaches, teammates, professors and family gave Farrell a lot of support. They understood what she was doing was challenging. Everyone knew that she worked hard in everything that she did and her coaches gave her their approval and she understood that she had to prove herself. Without the guarantee of playing time, she knew she had to work even harder.
On the bright side, Farrell knew she was supported. Her soccer coaches watched her lacrosse games and her lacrosse coaches watched her soccer games. Farrell never felt as though she did not have a support system. She always knew that the people who surrounded her were proud of her.
Head soccer coach Sandy Lagana knew that Farrell was going to be a major asset to her team as soon as she stepped on the field her freshman year. Coach Lagana mentioned that one of Farrell's best qualities as an athlete is her energy.
"She changed the whole bench culture on our team. Farrell made sure that the bench cheered even louder than the field and she did that as a freshman "
Farrell's top priority was her teams. She made sure that her health was always in top condition for her teammates. She knew she had to be in her best shape to perform in both seasons. Farrell was lucky enough to have never experienced a setback of physical injury.
"As soon as one sport ended, I gave myself a two-week period of rest," Farrell said. "Then its straight to getting reps in my other sport. I stayed committed. I would work ten times harder to get those extra reps in that I missed out on. I had a lot to prove and I knew it was all worth it."
While Farrell was constantly working hard, she had to deal with some mental hurdles. She lost a few family members during her career. She had to excuse herself from practices and a few games to make trips to the hospital and even funerals.
"It was my emotions that pushed me back rather than physical. I'd rather have been injured than lose a family member. But my coaches and teammates were understanding and were always there for me."
She never once doubted her teammates or coaches.
She knew she could rely on them for mental and physical support during her hard times. She thought of her teammates often and always made the effort to support them during their off-season. She always wanted to be connected to both of her teams and that meant putting in more effort than usual to create those lasting relationships with her teammates.
"I left inspirational messages in our locker room to let them know I was always watching. I was always trying to split myself in two, which became hard. I don't see my friends that often because I'm always in season, so I try my hardest to involve myself. I always ensured to my teammates that I was committed and that meant being there for them physically and mentally."
The only regret that Farrell had over her four years is that she was not be able to be with her teammates in the off season. She wished that she could have attended the hard 6 a.m. practices but she just was not allowed.
"It was hard to be a leader for the team when I couldn't be there. I wish I could get that time back."
However, a leader is more than what Farrell was for her teammates.
She went through many hardships during her four years on campus, but she was also rewarded with many successes. Within her last year, she has moved mountains. Her soccer team won the 2018 ECAC tournament. Farrell made her first appearance on the all-conference team. She was third on her team with four goals and 12 points. During her lacrosse career, she has 116 points and counting. Not only did she leave successful physical contributions to her teams but also a mental one. Her favorite memories as a dual-athlete is that she got to have 20 best friends in soccer and 20 best friends in lacrosse.
"My favorite memory in soccer was bulldozing through 2018 ECACs as this year's host and being able to hold the trophy with my seniors and my other teammates. That was a feeling I will never forget"
Her favorite lacrosse memory was being able to play right next to her older sister. During her sister's career she got to watch her overcome and injury and then come back and receive a academic and athletic awards.
"My sister motivated me, and it was the best opportunity I ever received."
Coach Lagana mentioned that Farrell left a legacy that she expects for her younger players to continue.
"We love her to death, and I don't think there will be another kid like her. My only words to Lindsey are to keep being herself and the best version of that."
Farrell just landed a full-time job for after college and has many other goals she wants to accomplish. Both sports have taught her a lot and have truly prepared Farrell for the real world. Her one goal was to live up to her potential in both sports and she did more than accomplish that.
As Farrell finishes up her last season on campus, she wanted to leave this behind for her fellow athletes.
"Don't be afraid to be uncomfortable. You're going to be put in high pressure situations as an athlete and all you have to do is push through it. Lean on your coaches, teammates, and friends. They can pull you out of a bad day and make your day better."
- By Emma Lorenzen '21, McDaniel Athletics Communications Intern