This past weekend, the Hopkins women’s lacrosse team fell to the Northwestern Wildcats in a grueling 11-10 loss. Despite the game’s disappointing finish, the Jays saw impressive performances from a variety of players. Freshman midfielder Shelby Harrison added an additional three draws to her record, landing her just two draws short of the school record for draws by a freshman, while sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg tallied four goals in the game.
But this week’s Athlete of the Week goes to another deserving athlete. After earning her 100th point this weekend, this week’s title goes to junior attacker Miranda Ibello.
Ibello has been a consistent performer for the Jays over the past three seasons. Totaling 11 goals, 10 assists and nine ground balls in her freshman season, Ibello garnered the most goals, assists and total points among Hopkins freshmen in 2016.
Ibello’s 2017 season was poised to be equally impressive. In 13 games, she tallied 17 goals, 18 assists, 35 points, 16 ground balls, two draws and seven caused turnovers before tearing her ACL in early April, causing her season to abruptly end.
Yet, Ibello’s injury would prove to be just a mild obstacle on her way to the record books. This weekend, with just 19 minutes and 20 seconds left in the first half, Ibello earned her first assist in the game, garnering her 100th career point in the process. She is now the 22nd player in school Division-I history to reach the landmark and join fellow senior teammates, attacker Emily Kenul and midfielder Shannon Fitzgerald in doing so. Ibello’s second assist in the game, coming with 15:16 left in the second period, served to propel her past the 100-point mark.
Following her landmark performance, Ibello sat down with The News-Letter to discuss what the 100-point milestone meant to her and what the team’s goals are for the remainder of the season.
The News-Letter: Following a season-ending injury last April, what kind of work did you have to put in during preseason this year to return to peak condition?
Miranda Ibello: Immediately after my surgery, I was rehabbing my knee with an awesome physical therapist. I was really determined to get back by the start of the spring season, and he pushed me so that I was confident and ready to get on the field again. I was actually cleared to play full contact the Sunday before our first Monday morning practice, and the winter workout packet our strength and conditioning coach had given us really helped me get into shape. Once preseason hit, I could do the lifts and runs with the rest of the team, and that really helped me and our team get in good shape, so we could be in peak condition for the start of our games in February.
N-L: Going into the game against Northwestern, you were just one career point short of the 100-point milestone? Did this benchmark add any pressure?
MI: I honestly didn’t know that it was coming up! It was pretty special to hear that announced during the game. I’m lucky to have such great teammates around me helping me be the best I can be. Northwestern was a huge conference game for us, and we came out extremely confident, and that showed on the field. Unfortunately, we still fell a little short.
N-L: How did it feel to earn your 100th career point?
MI: It was awesome. I want to help my team be successful. Two players on my team who I have tremendous respect for, Shannon Fitzgerald and Emily Kenul, have hit that mark, so it is cool to be able to have this in common with them. It is awesome to see the hard work we put in at practice every day paying off on the field.
N-L: What is the team hoping to improve upon before you take on the University of Michigan Wolverines next Sunday?
MI: Michigan is another awesome opportunity for us because they are also in our conference. Learning and growing from our last two one-goal losses is going to help us come out even stronger against this next team. We are looking to improve on pulling away from a team offensively and locking down on defense. We are always looking to improve at the draw and getting ground balls. Working on our fundamentals and staying positive will help us win games.
N-L: Do you have any personal goals or does the team have any goals for the remainder of the season?
MI: With five games left in the season, it is important to remember to leave everything out there on the field not only in games but also in practice. Making each other better every day is what is going to make the team as a whole successful against these upcoming opponents. Our goals are to win a Big Ten Championship and to play for, and win, an NCAA championship.