Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Adam Cheek, Staff Writer
Growing up in New York, junior attacker Jessica Del Rossi didn’t play lacrosse until she was in third grade, when one of her friends showed her the sport.
“She had an older sister in college who played, and she said I should join,” Del Rossi said, “so I started doing it and I’m loving it.”
The North Massapequa, New York, native played lacrosse and volleyball at Plainedge High School, playing with five Division I players. Del Rossi gained leadership experience as captain of the volleyball team.
Del Rossi was drawn to the Black and Gold because of VCU’s campus.
“The city is really open. You can walk anywhere,” she said. “What drew me to the lacrosse team was the coaches and how friendly they were, and that they had a goal to win the A-10 tournament.”
During her freshman year, Del Rossi was a key playmaker for the Rams. She logged six goals in a game against Duquesne and also tied for second in scoring during that campaign, logging 36 goals.
“It was what I’ve been working for my whole life. It was like I made it,” Del Rossi said. “It was great, my team is really inclusive, and everyone wants the same thing. So it’s just a good feeling to be a part of that.”
Del Rossi has also improved her own skills during her time in the commonwealth, specifically her ability to lead.
“I definitely like communicating more and being open to like having more of a leadership role,” she said, “and it’s okay to communicate to people and help people out, because we’re all there.”
The team was a great place for the then-freshman to settle after she arrived at VCU.
“We all just got along really well, just like working for each other like we’re a hard working group,” Del Rossi said. “We have one goal we all want to work towards … I think we’re higher ranked than we normally have been so we want it more.”
Del Rossi also considers lacrosse an occasional escape from typical college life.
“Once I step on the field,” she said, “I forget about everything else.”
The attacker said the team has gradually evolved over her career and that losing to important opponents motivate the entire roster.
“We’re a heavy upperclassman group. So it’s been mainly the same people that have been coming back every year,” Del Rossi said. “Playing the same teams every year, when we lose to the same teams, we want to come back and win. So we work together.”
She has also helped mentor rookies by having lunch with them and giving tours around campus. A number of those recruits ended up choosing the Black and Gold, she said.
Del Rossi said she takes a lot away from lacrosse and her career in it.
“The friendships that you get, memories that you have, you’ll never forget them,” she said. “The big wins, big moments that help you in overtime or those that tie up games to send them to overtime.”