Bryn Mawr's Kate Snouffer's unique approach to athletics is the key to her success.
For the senior three-sport star, going full throttle on every play is required.
"Kate Snouffer is one of the toughest competitors the Bryn Mawr soccer program has ever seen," Bryn Mawr soccer coach Tina Steck said. "Kate's personality exudes confidence that we don't always get to see in female athletes. That confidence allowed her teammates to follow and emulate her in a very natural way."
The 2013 Baltimore Messenger Athlete of the Year's aggression, skill and relentless will to win make her as tough of a player as there is to compete against on the soccer field, basketball court, or lacrosse field.
Her hard work and determination are part and parcel of the way she leads and practices. A three-sport varsity standout for all four years, Snouffer uses a multitude of successful past experiences to lead her teams by example.
Not every road was easy, especially for the soccer team in its debut season in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A conference last fall, forcing the Mawrtians to adjust to tougher competition without the stars who earned three consecutive IAAM B Conference title.
The challenge of building a new team with new leaders was something that Snouffer faced along with her fellow seniors and captains. Despite finishing the season with a 2-9 record, the Mawrtians were able to keep it close in most of their matches against tougher competition.
"We really came out stronger and had a more successful season than people were expecting," Snouffer said.
As the basketball team's point guard and leading scorer, she made sure the betterment of the team was always a top priority.
According to coach Mimi Walters, Snouffer "is not afraid to take the last shot, but also is just as happy to make the assist; the team's success is Kate's No. 1 goal."
Her ability to overpower defenders made it nearly impossible for lacrosse opponents to stop her. While her dominance was apparent in her all-around play, her ability to control the draw was a specialty her coaches particularly admired.
Going to the goal was another strong suit, something she did well against unbeaten McDonogh in March by scoring four goals in a 12-7 setback to the Eagles.
A two-goal, one-assist performance in a 10-5 victory over Maryvale was another seasonal highlight, although her senior season came to an abrupt halt when she sprained her ankle in an 8-6 overtime win in the last regular season game against John Carroll.
"It was a bummer ending the season with the injury," said Snouffer, who didn't allow her inability to step on the field stop her from leading the team to the end. "When I sprained my ankle, I wanted to stay positive and encourage my teammates every day in practice and in games."
A prime example of her leadership was displayed during Bryn Mawr's semifinal battle at St. Paul's School for Girls. With Bryn Mawr down, 8-3, in the second half, Snouffer lifted her teammates' spirits from the sideline as she had done so many times before on the field.
"I tried to get the sidelines energized by doing a team ritual called 'chi' where we all raise our hands in the air and get the players on the field pumped up by helping them to believe in themselves," she said.
Her positive attitude helped Bryn Mawr go on a 6-1 run in the second half of an eventual 12-9 loss.
Snouffer has earned much praise from all of her coaches throughout her Bryn Mawr career, prompting athletic director and lacrosse coach Wendy Kridel to say that, "Kate is among the best athletes to go through Bryn Mawr."
Snouffer will attend Georgetown University on a lacrosse scholarship in the fall.
"The transition from Bryn Mawr to college will be difficult because it's a whole new level of playing and academics," she said. "But my coaches have really prepared me for it. I think Georgetown will be a good fit for me. I love the style of lacrosse they play."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun