Freshman’s first season canceled

Abbey Kroener, Sports Editor

Brooke Ciampaglio is a division one athlete at University of Delaware.  She says lacrosse has always been a sport she enjoyed and was highly successful in.

   At NH, she was a four-year varsity lacrosse player and the top student in her class. Now a student at UD,  Ciampaglio said she was enjoying her first year, and that her “first year was going really well. I was learning a lot about others and myself.” She adds, “I made some really great friends both on my team and in the honors college and they easily became my family. My campus is beautiful and full of tons of adventures.”

     Soon after the coronavirus disease (covid-19) began spreading throughout the United States, University of Delaware was one of the first school’s to announce schools were closed for the rest of the year.  Students received this news that they weren’t going back earlier than most colleges due to some of the faculty at University of Delaware getting infected with the disease.  “It really stinks because next year I am living in an apartment and I wasn’t done with dorm life just yet,” says Ciampaglio.  

     The freshman athlete was only able to play five games of her season before it was canceled.  “It was extremely frustrating because the day they canceled our season, we were playing University of Louisville at home, and Louisville was already at Delaware. They had flown up the night before and they wouldn’t let us just get one last game in.”  

     University of Delaware’s female lacrosse team ended their season 2-3, “which stinks because we were on a roll,” says Ciampaglio.  She adds, “we got new coaches so it was tough at first, but we finally found our identity. It was the time in our season when we found our groove and we had just beat our conference rival Elon in double overtime, the first time in 7 years. We were going to make history.” 

     Although the season was cut short, the team was still able to celebrate the seniors last year.  They had a senior day celebration planned as soon as they heard the news that Louisville would be their last game; before they found out it was canceled.  

     With hope that the game would still be played, underclassmen began prepping for the seniors early in the morning.  They fully decorated the locker room to have everything ready for when the seniors arrived.  The underclassman bought gifts of cake and champagne and the coaches gave them framed jerseys. 

     “We gave them crowns and we got dressed in our uniforms and had our last walk on the field together as a team,” says Ciampaglio.  According to the freshman, all the athletes on the team are given the option to “fifth year” if they choose to do so and so far, one senior has decided to, “which is very exciting.” 

     As a freshman, she is upset about missing out on the experience because she claims that she doesn’t want to come in next year without a “season experience” and “that is a battle my class and I are going to have to face.” She explains that she has never really been challenged with school and sports, “I am worried about that because next year my classes are harder.”  What Ciampaglio is most upset about with the season is the team bonding she missed out on, “I had to say goodbye to teammates before I truly even got to experience a real season with them, and that breaks my heart.” 

     It’s not just the season that upsets Ciampaglio, but the fact that she didn’t get to experience the full dorm life since next year she will be in an apartment.  “I was in the honors dorm, not the athlete dorm, so I had a whole entire friend group outside of lacrosse and I feel like I was robbed of some precious memories with them.”  Although she is excited for an apartment next year, living with both girls from her lacrosse team and her other best friends from the tennis team; she is still sad about dorm life, “as much as everyone complains about it, it really is quite the experience and can be wonderful.” 

  “The virus changed everything about my lifestyle in college.”  The student became familiar with her daily schedule.  She explains that she would go to class, get some study hall hours in before practice, practice, lift, go to dinner, go to the study hall again depending on her homework and then later have social time with her friends.  “Now I am home where originally, I didn’t have any sort of strict schedule and way too much free time on my hands,” says Ciampaglio. “I like to stay busy and it’s hard not being able to do much.” 

     Although the student athlete still has her hands filled with lacrosse, she claims that she has been working out every day.  “The first two weeks our coaches knew emotions were high, so we weren’t required to do much.”  Soon after that, all the team members were sent workout packets and had individual meetings of what to work on and what is expected of them.  Besides that, there are team meetings every Thursday night where they do some sort of activity.  This isn’t just the team, but also their coaches, trainers, student trainers, and their strength coach.  Ciampaglio says, “we try to keep our family close.”  She adds, this week we did trivia, next week we are cooking.” 

     Ciampaglio eases into a routine, “I found it really works well for me.”  First, she attends class early in the morning, then she works out until about 12.  After that she spends the rest of her day getting work done, while taking breaks to play lacrosse at the high school.  After dinner, she relaxes and enjoys quality family time.  As Ciampaglio continues to run, lift, isolate certain muscles and use both old and new drills; she also plans on joining a summer league of Olympic style lacrosse if they are allowed to happen.