On a training run a year ago, Roxy Alei set out to beat one of her fastest teammates on the La Costa Canyon High girls lacrosse squad. While Alei charged out and sped away, her teammate was hobbled by an ailment.
Alei finished first but didn’t stop running. She went back to assist her friend. “I really wanted to beat her, but she hurt herself, so I felt bad leaving my teammate behind,” said Alei, a senior in her third varsity season on a Mavericks team seeking to win its fourth straight San Diego Section championship.
It’s no surprise that Alei has become a team captain this season along with senior TaraMarie O’Connor and junior Jenna Hempsey. As Alei stepped into the role, she gained from observing past LCC leaders such as Tara Arolla and Jackie Candelaria, each playing college lacrosse in the Pac-10 Conference.
“I’ve gotten stronger in leadership more than even lacrosse skills from seeing what previous captains have brought to this team,” Alei said. “I don’t like to be bossy or too assertive.
I just enjoy leading by example.” As the training run showed, Alei also brings a fair amount of speed to the team. From her D-wing position, she’s known for getting around both ends of the field.
“Roxy brings everything to the team, including humor and perseverance,” said O’Connor, who has known Alei since they were basketball teammates in seventh grade.
“She’s one of the hardest workers on the team. It’s just amazing. She’s everywhere on the field. I don’t know how she does it. She’s just an all-around athlete.” Mavericks coach Sara Fraschetti, who took over this season after assisting previous coach Katie Dolan, said Alei responded well last year when matched against the oppositions’ top offensive threats.
“We’d ask her to mark tighter, tighter and tighter, and it was a lot of pressure,” said Fraschetti, a former LCC player. “Some kids will break, and some will rise to the occasion. Roxy rose to the occasion and then more. I was so impressed.
She’s just one of those girls who feed off a constant challenge.” Alei plans to play lacrosse at the club level in college. An honor student, she is still deciding on a school and likely will major in math or science.
Her interest in the lacrosse came from watching older brother Ben work out with his lacrosse sticks. Ben, who played two seasons of junior varsity lacrosse and also competed in wrestling for four years, attends San Diego State.
Through the influence of a friend, Alei tried out for cross country and ended up on the La Costa Canyon team that advanced to the state championships in her sophomore year. The distance running has helped her endurance and also fueled shorter bursts in lacrosse.
“I don’t really think of myself as that fast,” Alei said. “Just when I ran down the field, I mentally push myself. The one thing that I took away from cross country is that it’s a lot more mental than physical. You have to push yourself to get to where you want to.” Helping a teammate just comes naturally.