University of Oregon Women’s Lacrosse sophomore midfielder, Erin Schilmoeller #27, talks about her early years and imparts words of wisdom for young girls getting started.
How did you get into lacrosse?
In fourth grade I decided that I didn’t want to play soccer anymore. I had heard about lacrosse, but had never played before. After receiving my first stick from Santa at Christmas I decided to give it a try and have never looked back.
What one piece of advice would you give to young girls just starting out?
I would say have fun with it. Learn all the stick tricks you can, try every position, try new things, and take some risks. All of these things will make you a more dynamic player as you move up in the sport.
What do you remember most about your youth lacrosse career?
Going to a ton of camps and clinics. I remember learning so much from not only high school girls who played, but college women as well.
As a youth player did you ever practice on your own? If so, how often?
All the time. I would drag my mom and dad outside to play catch with me. Neither of my parents were really good at playing catch with a lacrosse stick, so they would just use a baseball glove and throw back and forth with me that way. I also played a ton of one vs ones in the backyard with my sister once she started playing. I loved the game so much that I would take every opportunity that I could to practice or play.
Did you play any other sports and did any of them make you a better lacrosse player?
In middle school I played softball and I ran as well. In high school I ran cross country and played lacrosse. I think that softball helped me with the eye-hand coordination needed and the team aspect of lacrosse. Cross-country helped me to be mentally strong through any situation on the field.
What one person made the biggest impression on you and inspired you to reach the level you are now?
There were two people in my life that inspired me to play college lacrosse. One of them would be Megan Zeman. She played for DU and I loved going to watch University Of Denver games and Megan stood out to me because of her speed and ability. She was also a Colorado native which I though was really cool. The other would be my mom. My mom played both volleyball and softball collegiately. And ever since I was little I told myself, that I would play a sport in college because I wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps.
At what age did you begin to play a specific position? And did you choose it or did a coach just feel you could be most successful at that position?
Right around fifth grade I started to play midfield. I was the fastest kid on the team and could run forever. So midfield just seemed fitting. I think that it was the coaches’ decision to put me there because that is where they thought I would be most successful.
What are you most grateful for that the sport has given you?
The chance to meet and play with some really cool people and visit some awesome places.
How do you think the Duck Women are going to do this year?
I think that our team is going to have a great season. We have great leadership and talent this year and I think that this will help to carry us through our season and into post season as well.