Three weekends in a row last November, Molly Rovzar traveled to the East Coast.
Rovzar racked up the frequent flier miles with her XTeam club girls' lacrosse team. First there was a tournament in Maryland, then another tournament in Maryland, then a tournament in Florida.
The grind did not wear on Rovzar. In fact, the Corona del Mar High junior didn't consider it a grind at all.
"It was crazy, but it was the best lacrosse I've ever played," she said. "It was so much fun, and so intense. It was definitely worth it."
Rovzar eats this stuff up. She definitely wants to play lacrosse in college. She loves the sport so much, striving to be better and better.
Name a big game this season for the Sea Kings, and the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week has stepped up. Rovzar, typically a midfielder for CdM, helped out on defense in her team's huge Pacific Coast League victory over defending-champion Beckman last month. And, oh yeah, she still managed to lead the team with five goals.
The latest big game was the Battle of the Bay. Rovzar again came out strong, scoring a team-high six goals and dishing out two assists in CdM's 24-6 romp over Newport Harbor. She helped ensure CDM would win the rivalry match for the third straight year.
The next day, there she was at Mission Viejo High, competing for a spot on the prestigious Women's Divisional National Tournament team. Rovzar made the squad for the second straight year and will compete with the team in a tournament over Memorial Day weekend at Stony Brook University in New York.
"I think the game on Saturday kind of pumped me up to go out to the tryout," Rovzar said. "I was a little sore, not going to lie, but I think just having that excitement on Saturday definitely built up my confidence for Sunday."
On the lacrosse field, Rovzar usually makes CdM's opponents feel the pain. She leads CdM (9-1) in many statistical categories, such as goals (42), ground balls (27) and faceoffs won (36). She is the complete player for Coach Aly Vislocky's Sea Kings. Vislocky has seen the junior captain put in the work.
"A ton of work," Vislocky said. "I'll often use her as an example of how much you can improve during the offseason. That's where you really pass other players and other teams, during the offseason, because everybody practices during the season ... She brings a fun personality to the team, but maintains a sense of competitiveness."
It's all quite impressive for someone who has been playing the sport for just about three years. Growing up, Rovzar was a soccer player. She said that changed after she broke her left leg in seventh grade.
"It was kind of a realization that I wasn't ever going to be that good in soccer," Rovzar said. "That was the moment where I was like, 'OK, I love sports, and I need to figure out what sport is going to fit me.' "
Rovzar was friends with Kylie Mulvaney, now a junior defender for CdM. Kylie's mom, Lauren, was just starting up the Newport Wedge youth lacrosse program.
It did not take long for Rovzar to fall in love with the sport. Soon, she was even setting ambitious goals for herself.
"I was trying to get good for high school," she said. "I wanted to make varsity as a freshman, and I did. I didn't play a ton, but I got in some."
Her sophomore year, Rovzar blossomed into a first-team All-Pacific Coast League player. She was second on CdM in goals scored, and she was fully committed to lacrosse.
Last spring, she tried out for the Women's Divisional National Team as a sophomore, and Rovzar said she surprised herself by making the team. In the summer she joined XTeam and traveled to the East Coast for tournaments. In the fall, she was promoted from XTeam's "Blue" team to the higher-level "Black" team.
On her club team, Rovzar plays with talented girls from around the country. But she also has local friends on XTeam, players such as Julie Crowell of Los Alamitos and Regan Anderson of St. Margaret's. Both are also on the WDNT squad.
High school lacrosse can be a pretty close-knit community; Rovzar also has plenty of friends on Beckman.