Prior to arriving at Millersville University, Sarah Leverentz played for coach Mia Hall on the lacrosse club team Lanco Elite. Then, as if Hall were running for office, Leverentz signed up for four more years.
The connection that the two were able to form during their time at Lanco Elite was one of the reasons that Leverentz decided to play lacrosse at Millersville. The proximity to Elizabethtown, which is roughly a 40-minute drive, certainly didn’t hurt either.
“Being able to come home for the little things was big. I knew I wanted to stay close to home,” Leverentz said.
The process of playing collegiate lacrosse began during Leverentz’s freshman year at Elizabethtown Area High School when she formed a bond with assistant coach Jess Donohoue, who played at the Division I level herself.
The duo, who still communicate often with each other, developed a plan of sorts to make the transition as seamless as possible.
“She took an interest in me and showed me what to prepare for. She really helped me prepare for college,” Leverentz said. The Millersville midfielder also said that Donohoue and Hall are good friends as well.
Hall, who is heading into her 7th season at Millersville, has said that she looks for players with a certain “hustle factor” on the recruiting trail and Leverentz is a perfect embodiment that.
“She’s an unbelievably hard worker with such a positive attitude. She goes 100 percent in drills and is one of the hardest workers on the team. When she got on campus she still had a great attitude, but she has that hustle factor,” Hall said.
One additional characteristic that Hall looks for in potential recruits is a well-rounded athletic skill set. She is more interested in players that play more than one sport. In addition to the transferrable skills, it also prevents athletes from being burnt out.
In her four-year career at Elizabethtown, Leverentz also played field hockey, which meant that she checked off another one of Hall’s boxes.
“Playing field hockey gave me a greater awareness of everything on the field. I noticed things like give-and-go’s that would lead to transitions. It also helped develop my work ethic,” Leverentz said.
While field hockey helped her understand on-field transitions, neither lacrosse nor field hockey were able to have her completely prepare for the level of play at the collegiate level.
“It was definitely a faster pace. I’m such a tiny person compared to everyone else. I’m not really a lifter, but I was in the gym a lot,” said Leverentz, who is listed at 5-foot-2 on the team’s roster.
While she admittedly isn’t into lifting, one thing she is into is talking. So much so that the team occasionally has to hit the proverbial silent button on the bus to road games.
“I sit right behind coach Hall on the bus and I’m always talking to her or someone else. I can’t stop talking,” Leverentz said.
That outgoing personality is something that Hall would like to see more from the former four-year Elizabethtown Bears captain in between the lines. Hall believes that the leadership qualities are there, but finding her voice on the field would allow Leverentz to morph into a steady offensive force that could call the plays for the Marauders.
Hall also said that her midfielder thrives when the game is on the line like it was against Edinboro this past season. Leverentz logged a career-high 85 minutes and scored the game-winning goal in overtime.
“That goal was so exciting. My teammates were supportive and happy for me. That really lets you know that you’ve got a whole team behind you,” Leverentz said.
Since the spring semester and lacrosse season came to a close, Leverentz has been working with a local 4-year-old that has autism. The early childhood education major provides a one-on-one connection to help improve their speech.
“I’m always looking for fun activities and games to do. I try to stay very involved and make sure the kids have the best they can get,” Leverentz said.
“She is so dedicated to making sure that she is going to be the best teacher possible. She’s going to be a great teacher,” Hall said. “She has one of those personalities that lights up the room and makes everyone feel super welcome.”