There are plenty of loud elements for Jackson girls lacrosse. Junior attacker Jaclyn Litman is not one of them.
There are plenty of loud elements for Jackson girls lacrosse.
Junior attacker Jaclyn Litman is not one of them. A spot in last season's state final four, multiple college recruits and a 6-0 start to the season all speak loudly, but one of the team's top offensive weapons isn't the outspoken type.
Litman, one of the linchpins for the Jackson offense, doesn't like to raise her voice, but she does plenty of talking with her play.
She posted two goals and four assists in a recent win over Hudson and added a goal in a 6-5 win over Olentangy Liberty as the Polar Bears claimed a pair of one-goal wins at the Hannigan-Galipault tournament in the greater Columbus area. Through six games, Litman has tallied 11 goals and seven assists.
Litman doesn't receive as much attention as teammate and Ohio State-commit Anna Seanor. Staying out of the spotlight fits perfectly with her personality.
"I'm kind of shy, so I don't mind," Litman said of not receiving a lot of attention.
Litman also doesn't mind mixing it up on the field. Having developed a physical mindset playing basketball and soccer growing up, she is more than willing to battle for loose balls and fight for space on the field. Bringing a toughness and combative mentality to the field comes naturally for her.
"I'm aggressive because I played basketball and it's a lot more (about) contact and when aggressiveness comes in, I like that more," Litman said. "I really enjoy that contact and I thrive on competition."
Lacrosse is the most recent entry on the ledger of sports Litman has played while growing up. In addition to basketball and soccer, she has is a student trainer for the football team.
Litman didn't pick up lacrosse until eighth grade, when she attended some of her friends' games and became interested in playing. Picking up the nuances of a new sport entering high school is often difficult, but Litman credits her success to her hand-eye coordination.
Her capability with the stick has given the Polar Bears another weapon to complement Seanor and the rest of their attack. That offensive prowess has been a driving force in an undefeated start to the season.
In assessing the team's play over the first few weeks of the year and its fast start, Litman singled out the team-building activities the Polar Bears have used to bring the squad together and develop better chemistry.
"I think, definitely, practice and building our confidence up and starting well early was a big thing for us. And doing (training) at 4.40 (Performance Center in Green) helped us get stronger and more mentally strong," Litman said. "We also went to North Carolina and went on this ropes course activity together and really learned to trust each other and communicate."
Making it further than they ever had in the state tournament has upped the pressure on the Polar Bears. According to Litman, the knowledge that other teams want to play and beat them has added an extra layer of motivation. Confidence within the locker room is high, but a return to the later rounds of the postseason is still a long way off. Both the leaders within the locker room and the coaching staff have issued consistent reminders to not look ahead and live by the "one game at a time" cliché.
The squad's confidence in reaching its goals has been buoyed by several lopsided wins, but don't expect to hear Litman talking too much about it. She prefers to go hard on the field and stay off the radar away from it.
Reach Andy at 330-580-8396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @aharrisBURB