Lexi Smith reflects on first career goal for Vanderbilt Lacrosse as fifth-year senior


Photo by Brent Szklaruk

Alyssa Muir

What a difference a year can make.

Last year, Lexi Smith suffered a torn ACL just days before the first game of Vanderbilt’s lacrosse season. This year? She has played in twelve of thirteen games and just scored her first career goal last week against UConn.

“I was really excited,” said Smith of her goal. “We had our alumni weekend and because I’m a fifth-year senior I had all my friends there, so there was some extra motivation to go for it.”

The goal was pretty special for someone who was forced to watch from the sidelines last season as her teammates and friends played.

“That was really, really hard,” said Smith about last year. “My grade, there was like eight or nine of us, and we were super close so it was really hard not being able to play with them. “

Instead of pout and feel bad for herself, however, Smith stayed positive and did all she could to help the team through their rough season in 2018.

“When you’re suffering the losses there is not much you can do,” said Smith. “You can’t really make a huge impact on the field, just off of the field. I took on a different type of role that was just being more supportive and being a huge cheerleader.”

Although Smith would qualify for a redshirt season as a fifth-year senior, she was not sure initially if she would return.

Smith completed her undergraduate degree last May so, in order to play as a redshirt senior, she had to decide if she wanted to pursue graduate studies. She decided on a ten-month finance program at Vanderbilt and is set to graduate with that degree in the coming weeks.

The decision to play one more year has paid off for Smith who is enjoying the best season in recent Vanderbilt Lacrosse history. She has taken advantage of her opportunity and has been a constant example of professionalism to her teammates.

“Lexi does a good job of coming everyday, working really hard, and just enjoying being here,” said Coach Beth Hewitt.

Of course, Smith can now add her first career college goal to her list of fondest memories from her time with Vanderbilt lacrosse.

While she has played defender all four seasons with the Commodores, she had played attack and midfield in high school where she had plenty of scoring opportunities. Smith used that experience as well as support from her coaches to take advantage of her opportunity to score.

“The coaches are super encouraging this year about everyone taking chances on the field,” said Smith.

As excited as Smith was about her goal, her teammates and coaches were just as excited.

“Everyone was so psyched when they saw her score,” said Hewitt. “She’s always told us she was going to score before the end of her year and it was a great goal.”

Now, Smith is looking forward to her first appearance in a conference tournament; a big change from her position on the sidelines last year.