Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player to help you become more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Salisbury senior Katie Bollhorst, last season's Division III Attacker of the Year and Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year, who was named to the 2013 Tewaaraton Award watch list.
The St. Mary's graduate scored three goals and had an assist in the Sea Gulls' season-opening 19-5 win over Stevenson and stands seventh on school career points list with 121. She's fourth in assists with 72. More than all the individual accolades, Bollhorst would prefer to finish her career with a national championship after the Sea Gulls lost to Trinity, 8-7, in last year's final.
Why did you choose Salisbury?
At first, I wasn't even looking to play lacrosse in college. It was a very last-minute decision. I went to a lacrosse camp down here, and the coach asked if I was interested in playing and I said, "Oh, yeah. I'll give it a shot." Actually, I had no idea that I would have such a successful career here and that I would be on a team that would win a national championship my freshman year. That was a big surprise.
Your team led Division III in points last season. How would you describe your style of attack?
We run a very fast-paced attack. We like to get out early and shoot often. We averaged 15 goals last year. We were taking probably about 30 shots. We have a lot of people who can score and like to score. I think that's why we get so many goals. Everyone on the field is a threat and everyone is looking to shoot.
What's your role on the team?
I would say someone more behind the goal looking to pass the ball or slow the pace down if we need to. I'm not the one that gets all the goals all the time. I'm usually there in the background trying to make passes and trying to get people good looks and making good decisions with the ball.
What have you learned about what it takes to win the national championship?
I think the key to that is how close we were my freshman year as a team. There's many All-Americans who have graduated from Salisbury, but they haven't all won a national championship. Just because you have a ton of players doesn't mean you're going to win it all the time. This year, we are really focusing on team chemistry and getting better that way.
What was your reaction to making the Tewaaraton watch list?
[Laughs]. It was a shock. I look at my name up there with people like [Syracuse attacker] Michelle Tumolo. She's my age, but I still idolize her. To have my name on that list with such great players, it was truly amazing. It was really, really inspirational. It was so unexpected, coming from Division III.
What do all of the individual accolades mean to you?
I enjoy receiving them. I'm very appreciative, but at the same time I played on the championship team, but I didn't see the field. Being an All-American and conference Player of the Year, that was great, but I don't have a national championship ring that I was on the field to get, so I'm still looking for that national championship, something I want to share with my team. I can get as much individual stuff as I want, but at the end of the day, if you don't have a national championship, it doesn't mean anything.
You wear No. 13. Are you at all superstitious?
My freshman year, we were practicing and still thinking we were in tryouts and during a drill, one of our assistant coaches came up and said, "What number do you want?" I said, "Does that mean I made the team?" They gave a list of numbers, and the number that I usually have was taken by a senior, so I switched to 13, because my grandfather, that's his lucky number. He went into surgery on a Friday the 13th and he came out healthy. He was like, "That's my lucky number," because it was something he probably shouldn't have been able to walk out of so easily.
What are you going to savor most about the last few months of your lacrosse career?
I'm just going to take every day and work the hardest I can. You hear all the time about how you should have savored the moment more when you were there. Every game, every national anthem — every time I hear it, I get chills. You're there with your teammates and you're looking at your nation's flag. It's just a feeling I can't explain. Valuing moments like that, moments in the locker room, the bus rides — those are the moments that make the team, not how many goals you scored in whatever game.