Athlete of the Month: Julia Ryan

Julia Ryan ’16, captain of the PHS girls lacrosse team, is renowned for her athletic prowess and dedication to the sport. “On the field, she plays strategically and is one of our greatest assets in offense,” said Emma Glasser ’18, a teammate. “She makes the right moves at the right time and it pays off.”

Last year, Ryan was able to lead her team to success at the Mercer County Colonial Valley Conference, a tournament among participating regional high schools. They earned second place, and she was chosen as one of the select few Academic All-Americans. This prestigious award is given to outstanding student athletes that are significant contributors to their teams while also maintaining a GPA that is above 3.30.

Ryan had an unorthodox start to lacrosse. “I got involved in lacrosse on a whim in third grade because some of my friends from the soccer team started fooling around,” Ryan said. Ryan’s interest in the sport was also fostered by her father. “My dad is what got me, like, really into lacrosse. My best memory of lacrosse is having my dad take me out before my first practice and try to teach me how to play. Instead, he taught me how to play based on boys’ rules, so it was all wrong, but he tried his best to get me excited about a sport he knew nothing about,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s teammates often look to her for leadership and guidance, especially during hard times. “Julia is a great athlete and captain, always making lacrosse fun through laughter, but pushing us when going on runs or during practice. It is this leadership that prepares us for our toughest games and results in our greatest achievements,” Glasser said.

“The team faced a lot of adversity this season,” Ryan said, citing the loss of “the leading scorer,” Jordyn Cane ’17, due to injuries, and goalie, Mira Shane ’15, “the best goalie in the state of New Jersey,” as particularly strong blows to the team.

However, under her guidance, the team has come back with two wins to start the season and has bounced back mentally from the losses it endured last year. “[I’m really] proud of how well everyone is working together and how mature we play despite only having two healthy seniors,” Ryan said.

The coach of the girls lacrosse team, David Schlesinger, is confident in Ryan’s future lacrosse career in college. “Julia is a solid and reliable part of the team in and out of games. She really does manage to bring the team together and helps foster the camaraderie in the team. When she leaves next year … She will be missed,” Schlesinger said.

As a departing senior, Ryan looks fondly back upon her years at PHS and her lacrosse career. “I have played and met some incredible players who have also become some of my best friends who make going to practice everyday so much fun,” Ryan said. “I’ve seen some great talent which inspires me to be better and better. ”
Ryan was recruited to play lacrosse at Temple University.

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