Freshman attack Molly Barcikowski and her 22 other teammates made history by playing in VCU’s first Division-1 lacrosse game, winning 21-9 over Gardner-Webb on a cold day in February.
Since then the Rams have gone 1-7.
Barcikowski, however, has been a standout player in the program. She is second on the team in goals (18) and leading the team in assists with 17.
“She’s an offensive quarterback on the attacking end,” said head coach Jen O’Brien. “She’s a strong lefty with really great stick work and vision.”
Barcikowski grew up in Sykesville, Maryland, a small town outside of Baltimore. She attended Liberty High School where she earned varsity letters in soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
The Sykesville native began playing lacrosse in sixth grade and played for Check-Hers Elite Lacrosse, a club program in Carroll County, MD.
By her sophomore year of high school, Barcikowski realized how much she loved lacrosse and began contacting coaches about playing in college. By her junior year, she was committed to play lacrosse at VCU.
Barcikowski came to VCU with the mindset of a leader for the first-year program. Once she got to VCU, she saw that, despite being a freshman, she could still be a player her teammates could look up to.
“In the fall I wasn’t a very communicative person,” Barcikowski said. “I was more of the person that thought leading by example could get me places, but as the season went on, I realized through my teammates and my coaches that speaking up gets my leadership and points across ten times more than staying behind the scenes and keeping things to myself.”
One of the challenges of the new program has been the lack of tradition other teams have. Barcikowski said this lack of tradition came with an upside — being the team that got to set the precedent for VCU lacrosse.
“We are the one setting the standards, expectations for years to come,” Barcikowski said. “We’re the first girls to show what we want VCU lacrosse to be about.”
As the attack, Barcikowski is the core of the offense. Barcikowski communicates what offense the team transitions into.
“When I get the ball I look to pass it more than I do to go to goal,” Barcikowski said. “I love to set up my teammates when they’re cutting and just feed them a good pass.”
She likens her game to one of a point guard in basketball. She has a pass first mentality, always looking to get her teammates in involved in the action.
“I like them to look better because I’m an unselfish player,” Barcikowski said. “If I have that lane to go I’m definitely going to go but I’m definitely going to look to pass first before going to goal.”
Barcikowski said the lacrosse team is very close knit. They spend their free time together, recognizing the importance of having a close bond on and off the field.
By the end of her four years at VCU, Barcikowski hopes to have an Atlantic 10 title.
“Since we are a first year program right now, starting as one of the leaders is only a great first step to becoming an even better leader as the years go on,” Barcikowski said. “By my senior year, I hope to be a team captain or maybe one of the senior captains the freshman, sophomores and juniors will look up to and hopefully they will become even a better leader than I was.”
Staff Writer, Sophia Belletti
Sophia is a sophomore print/online journalism major with a minor in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. She enjoys writing about current events and sports and hopes to one day be a sports reporter, covering soccer, basketball and baseball. You can usually find Sophia drinking way too much coffee and laughing at her own jokes. // Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn
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