Generations: Team Bonding

A mother and daughter talk about their experiences as Bryn Mawr lacrosse players.

Sushma Patel ’89:
I played both field hockey and lacrosse at Bryn Mawr all four years of school. I was a chemistry major and pre-med track, so I was involved with a lot of labs, but there was only one professor that gave me a hard time about missing or leaving lab early. Most of my professors were pretty supportive.

Maya Difrischia ’23:
Being on the lacrosse team is a huge part of my Bryn Mawr experience. It really just grounds me. It’s nice after long days of labs to be able to run around and unwind, and it’s always good to be around the girls on my team. The support of my teammates is something I feel on and off the field. I have been fortunate enough that three of my teammates are in the same major. Physics can be a challenging discipline to study but being able to rely on each other for support definitely makes it an easier time.

SP: As a captain of both my teams, the experience taught me to develop an environment of respect with other people of different backgrounds. I’m a radiation oncologist and as we treat patients, we have a team that works together within our department as well as with colleagues. It is such an important lesson learned that when you are part of a team, you need to give and take and be a good communicator.

MD: COVID-19 has definitely impacted my experience of lacrosse. Michi Ellers, our coach, has had her work cut out for her keeping the team strong during the pandemic. All our practices were non-contact, and contact is a big part of lacrosse, so she had us do ultimate Frisbee and other fun activities. I think she has succeeded and  the team has gotten much closer.

In addition, I joined BMAA (Bryn Mawr Athletic Alliance,) a club that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in athletics, with my teammates and I am now an outreach coordinator alongside one of our captains!

SP: Going back to Bryn Mawr it is always amazing to see how the campus has changed. Park is completely different than it was when I was there. It’s so bright and welcoming now, and it has really cool collaborative spaces. Though parts of the campus are physically so different, I think Maya and I have had similar experiences in terms of meeting people from all walks of life and experiencing a really positive female environment.

MD: And being in a women’s environment we don’t have to fight for the varsity turf. We don’t have a men’s lacrosse team that would try to take it from us. In my high school, we didn’t even have a girl’s locker room because the boy’s baseball team took it. So, it’s really nice to come to an environment where gender minorities and women are the focus.

SP: I think Maya will come out of Bryn Mawr with a lot of confidence. From an athletic perspective, it’s an experience she’ll never forget, because the friends you make on those teams and the bonds you create will always last. Even now, if I reach out to someone I played sports with at Bryn Mawr, they remember the experience of us doing something together on the team.