Campbell's Jillian Summers, a freshman from Hamburg, N.Y., is a defender for the first-year Fighting Camel program. She took time to chat with Athletics Media Services Assistant Laura Caroline Spell about her collegiate debut and her expectations for Campbell this year.
Why did you choose to come to Campbell?
"I really didn't know anything about the school and I was kind of struggling choosing a college, because originally I wasn't going to go to school for lacrosse. I sat down with my high school coach and he told me about Campbell. I came and fell in love with the school, and I agreed with Coach Schuman about his goals, and I just knew this would be a good fit for me."
What has the transition to college play been like?
"Coming from a place where lacrosse is all we do from the time we were born, it wasn't as drastic of a change, but there is a lot more intensity in the game. There's a lot more people that want to be here every single day like you do rather than in high school when you have people that play just to play."
In high school you earned the leadership award for both gymnastics and lacrosse – have you brought that mentality to CU?
"I hope so. I just think that it's important to know that your team is behind you and you can't really do anything without your team behind you. As one person on defense, you can't really do much without the rest of them."
You played attack and midfield in high school – how have you handled the switch to defense at Campbell?
"I really like defense a lot better than I like attack and midfield. It wasn't that big of a transition, just because I've played a lot of midfield, so you play both. But I do really enjoy playing straight defense."
What do you think your greatest contribution to the team has been thus far?
"I hope my willingness to play and my excitement for the game every day rubs off on the people around me. I just love playing lacrosse and being out here and I hope everyone gets that vibe from me every day."
What was your main personal goal coming into the season?
"My personal goal is just to utilize everything I have around me to the best of my ability. Every practice we have and every lift and conditioning we have, I just want to get the most I can out of it."
What is it like to build a program from scratch?
"It's different from anything else I've done. You have to realize we're not going to be where we want to be right from the start, it's a work in progress. It's fun because of the people we have around us building it. They really make it worth it."
What does "it's a marathon, not a sprint" mean to you personally and to the team?
"As Division I competitive athletes all we want to do is get out there and win every single game. Obviously it's not going to happen, because we have a lot of things we need to work on every day we go out there. We know that the hard work we're putting in is going to pay off, and eventually we're going to get those big wins like we want to get right now."
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