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Dear Alfie – Answering all your Juniata questions – Round 2!

Caroline Benfer ’21

Hi Future Eagles!

Welcome to the Dear Alfie blog! For those not familiar, Dear Alfie is an opportunity for prospective students to ask a current Juniata student questions about life here. Consider it a way to get Juniata info straight from the source.

My name is Caroline, I’m a rising senior at Juniata and my POE is environmental science. I have several jobs in the admissions offices, and I love just about any outdoor activities with hiking, camping, kayaking and cycling being my favorites. I’m also an avid gardener, music enthusiast and novice baker. Due to quarantine, I’ve recently discovered my wine making abilities and I have acquired two fluffy friends, khaki campbell ducklings Flora and Fauna. 

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Surprised? College Online brings the best out of JC Athletics!

Theo Weinberger
-Theo Weinberger ’21, Communication POE, California Skater Dude

It’s been over a month since spring break ended, and the reality for Juniata athletes became classes in pajamas as they co-enrolled at in Zoom University. Parents’ home cooked meals have replaced our sweet Baker and Eagles Landing meals. Lovable pets and our cute siblings may be replacing our team bonding and connections for now, but we shall not forget the Oak shaped holes in our hearts that our early departure from Juniata left us with. Maybe this sounds like an ideal college experience for you? Studying from home may sound like paradise for some, but for others it quickly became clear that not all aspects of life at Juniata College are as fruitful when recreated at home. Being at home has made me miss the appeal of living at college. Part of what makes us Juniatians is that we are adaptable and we press on, and that’s exactly what the Juniata Athletics program is at the forefront doing.

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Do You Even Lax Bro?

I was first exposed to lacrosse as a freshman in high school when I was applying to Fountain Valley School of Colorado.  I knew nothing about the sport, but from the moment I saw the few pictures of what looked to be combination football-hockey players striding through the trees of Fountain Valley’s Victory Road, I knew I wanted to play.  These hopes were soon dashed by an aside comment from one of my Track and Field teammates who, when I told him that I wanted to play lacrosse because it looked fun, said, “Dude you’re so tiny those guys would kill you.”  And that was the end of that.

At the beginning of this spring semester, Juniata Women’s Lacrosse made their NCAA D3 debut.  I can’t say that I was all that excited about watching the sport because I didn’t understand the rules (and even after watching two games I still don’t understand what half the fouls were called for) and my initial infatuation with the sport had faded.  But I was excited to watch my friends play a sport they loved and had practiced hard to do well in.

Figure 1: Our Juniata Women's Lacrosse team, warpainted up for their first game!  Their record is now 3 wins to 0 losses.  Is it too early to say "undefeated?"
Figure 1: Our Juniata Women’s Lacrosse team, warpainted up for their first game! Their record is now 3 wins to 0 losses. Is it too early to say “undefeated?”

The day of the first lacrosse game was cloudy but uncharacteristically warm for mid-March in central Pennsylvania.  The stands were not as full as they could be for the inaugural game of our lacrosse program, but those of us who were there were all there to support our friends and family and we were excited!

To be honest I’m not sure how many of us thought we were going to win that first game.  Of course, we were all hoping and praying that our team would win but it was their first game and we assumed the girls they would be playing would be hardened Lax athletes.  But from the moment Kat scored the first goal, I knew it was going to be a good game.  The moment the crowd saw the ball hit the back of the net, it exploded to its feet cheering and screaming in the elation of an early success.  Then Britt scored, then Natalie then Kat again and Britt again and before I knew it the game was over and we had managed to win by a decent margin and we had made it into the double digits.

Before this year I never attended Juniata sporting events.  I just never found the time to.  But the energy of that first lacrosse game, the support that the crowd gave to the team was infectious and next year, when I will be a Senior you will hopefully find me at every single home game, supporting my team.