A smiling Brittany Bennett, 22, of Smithtown, N.Y. seems ready for winning or losing. But of course, winning is more fun for her.
Bennett, the captain of both the Women’s Lacrosse and Women’s Soccer teams at SUNY New Paltz, said she aims to beat as many SUNYAC teams this season to make the 2011 SUNY Athletic Conference playoffs. The Hawks currently have a 5-5 record.
She said she’s enjoying the season so far despite a difficult season at the last SUNYAC.
“We just lost a couple of games and SUNYAC is one of the toughest [conferences] in the region,” Bennett said. “SUNY Cortland, Geneseo and Buffalo are very good teams and we’re definitely trying to show people how we can keep up with them.”
Bennett is a fourth-year secondary education major concentrating in earth science. She said she will be staying an extra semester to complete her student teacher training next fall but said many years of hard work have paved the way for where she is today.
“I started playing soccer when I was two and a half, three years old and I actually started playing lacrosse because I didn’t want to run cross-country in eighth grade,” she said.
In her final year, Bennett said she can see differences in the team this year than in year’s past.
“I think we made a lot of improvements in the past three years. There are giant leaps from years before because we keep getting new recruits and we keep getting better and better,” she said.
Bennett, who has been playing lacrosse since her second year, won the team MVP award in 2009. She said she used to practice almost six days a week, but sometimes it changes if there are games on Saturday. As a leader, she tries to keep her 20 teammates focused and motivated.
“I’ve always been a competitor and hated losing so I guess the way I personally deal with it is to make myself better and try to internalize that anger and frustration especially since I’m a leader on the team,” Bennett said. “I don’t really want to show that especially to the younger players. I want to lead by example and be as positive as possible.”
Bennett sees herself as a leader and a captain, and with leadership comes a few special qualities.
“I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is to be aware that a lot of people are looking to you being an example and a lot of eyes are watching you,” Bennett said. “You definitely have to be strong and positive.”
Although the Hawks recently lost Saturday’s game against SUNY Brockport, Bennett is still a proud player and proud of her team’s hard work.
The next game is on April 14 against Mount Saint Vincent College at 4:30 p.m.