Sports & Outdoors

Athlete of the Issue: Phoebe Crowther 

Logger lacrosse goalie Phoebe Crowther in his helmet and gear. Photo by JT Allen Media

By Kate Patterson

Congratulations to athlete of the issue Phoebe Crowther! Crowther is a junior and the goalie for Puget Sound’s lacrosse team. He made an impressive 13 saves in an early April game against Linfield University, and has continued to be a dynamic presence on the team. The Trail thanks Crowther for their lacrosse-ome responses to our questions, and wished the team the best of luck as they wrap up their season this weekend!

Q: When did you start playing lacrosse, and what was the learning process of the sport like for you?

A: I started playing lacrosse when I was in 5th grade, but it’s always been a really huge part of my life because of my dad’s love for it. So, when I actually started learning the sport, I felt very comfortable with the rules and the sort of theory of the game, but I was honestly completely helpless in the… playing of the sport. I don’t think I actually started improving until my 8th grade, when I chose to switch from playing on the field to being a goalie.

Q: Logger women’s lacrosse gained a 10-8 victory on April 14 against Pacific University. How do you celebrate victories like this one?

A: It’s hard for me to give an actual list of things that I do to celebrate a win, honestly. Winning in lacrosse is kind of a weird thing when you’re a goalie, because obviously you’re overjoyed about the win, but I at least always have the reminder in the back of my head of how many goals the other team scored. I really love and cherish the time I spend with the team after a win, though, because there are truly no better people to hang out with than athletes who just won. Especially when you can spend 2 1/2 hours just complaining about how bad the referees were, or talk about how good somebody’s shot looked.

Q: How do you measure or think about your success as goalie in a game, when lots is out of your control?

A: Success is really hard for me to define as a goalie. I struggled with that a lot in high school, because I thought the only way I was doing well was if I never let a single goal in. That sort of mindset made it really hard for me to feel good about myself when I played, and it took a pretty significant part of my college career to turn that way of thinking around. Now, I try to define success on whether or not I’m having fun. It’s an important thing for me to remember that, at the end of the day, I play lacrosse because I enjoy it and want to continue improving at it. The result of a game is entirely secondary to whether or not I allowed myself to continue having a good time throughout all of it. It feels kind of silly as a collegiate athlete to believe that nothing about what we do out there really matters, but that’s also not really what it’s about, I guess? I only play lacrosse because I have fun doing it, that’s true. But it’s also true that playing lacrosse is a LOT more fun when everybody is playing really well and we’re winning- and that ONLY happens when everyone out there is working as hard as they can to improve and win. So finding a balance between the two ideas has been a struggle, for sure, but I find I love this sport and every struggle is worth it.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice, whether it’s something you’ve been told or something you would like to share with others, about how to be successful in a sport during college? 

A: I used to have a really tough time with not crying on the field during tough games, when I first started playing. I always think about a piece of advice my high school coach gave me once: “It doesn’t matter what’s going on with you internally, what matters is the energy that you communicate to the rest of the team. They can’t see your face behind your helmet, but they can hear your voice.” Or something like that. Anyway, that’s always been really important to me because it was one of the first times that I really understood that I don’t have control over my emotions, but I have control over what I do with those emotions. And what I choose to do with those emotions, good or bad, impacts the people around me and has the potential to change a lot of things.

Q: What is your favorite memory with logger lacrosse?

A: We had a double header last year (one game on Saturday, one on Sunday) where we were away for the whole time. For the event I had decided to bring my whole Nintendo switch set up, so that we could play in the hotel. At first, there were only like three of us in there, but the team started coming in. We eventually had all 18 or 19 of us, including the coaches, crammed into one room- playing “New Super Mario Bros”, tying tinsel into each other’s hair, some people were watching a really stupid reality T.V. show I can’t remember. It was the noisiest and funniest night I had that year, and it really made me feel connected to and comfortable with everyone on that team. Trust is such a crucial element to success in a team sport, and there’s really no one better at that than Puget Sound Lax.