Underclassmen Featured: Mariana Lopez-Ona ’19

Mariana Lopez-Ona ’19, a midfielder for the PHS lacrosse team, has a pregame routine that gets her ready for competition.  She listens to some of her favorite motivational songs, such as “Stronger” by Kanye West, to get herself energized before she takes the field.

“The lyrics are very motivational, and it helps to play them over in my head,” said Lopez-Ona about “Stronger”.

 From an early age, her father’s involvement in lacrosse has influenced her own interest. “My dad played [at Franklin & Marshall College], so it was kind of like him bringing the sport into our family,” Lopez-Ona said.

Her father also was a coach and instructed Lopez-Ona throughout her youth. “For a while, the only person I really considered a coach was my dad, and we would always play catch.”

Her passion for the sport is also shown through her siblings, as her sister, Emilia Lopez-Ona ’14, played on the high school’s varsity girls team for all four years and was recruited to play for the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, her brother, Johnny Lopez-Ona ’17, has been playing competitively on the school’s varsity boys team for the last three years.

An avid competitor in the sport, Lopez-Ona trained with Princeton Girls’ Lacrosse, a local club team, until last year. Since then, she has participated in Ultimate Lacrosse, a summer lacrosse program.

For Lopez-Ona, the best part of lacrosse is being part of a unified team. “You have to work around other people. If you play for a team for a while, you come to understand and know what someone would do,” she said. She also finds that the sport has enabled her to meet many friends who make practices enjoyable.

In her club teams, Lopez-Ona was often a leader and star player. One of her proudest moments in this sport was when she scored a deciding point for her team. “In the finals of a tournament … we were in overtime, and my team was deciding who would take the draw, and my coaches were like ‘Mariana should do it.’ And then my friend got the ball and passed it to me … [and] I scored,” she said.

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Photo by Annie Kim

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