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Driven: Wroblewski takes the next step

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

Expectations are never an easy thing to live up to.

Seton Hill lacrosse player Ella Wroblewski knows all too well about expectations. While at Lockport High School, Wroblewski was a goal-scoring machine. She was the one on the field that everyone looked to if the Lions needed a goal.

Pressure never got to Wroblewski. She would thrive under the immense expectations that were placed on her every single year, during her high school carer.

College has been a little bit different. Wroblewski quickly realized the college game wasn’t going to be as easy as high school. If it was, everyone would be able to play college sports.

“For myself personally, I took college as an opportunity to learn rather than boast. I never had high expectations of myself going into college, which made my freshman year run pretty smoothly for me. A lot of girls in high Division I and Division II sports have amazing reputations from high school, and freshman year comes with a lot of ups and downs,” stated Wroblewski. “I always looked at my freshman year as a learning curve, I was able to connect with plenty of girls on the field who helped me learn to play my best. I learned some of my own weaknesses because I didn’t experience that playing in high school. I also had to remind myself that I was playing with new girls who I have never met or played lacrosse with before, and who were much more experienced than I was.”

Wroblewski will be the first to admit that it has been frustrating at times. She was used to scoring goals. She was used to taking over games at a drop of a hat. In college it has been a lot tougher.

Those opportunities are coming as infrequent. Being unrecognizable as the player she was earlier on her career can be deflating at times. But, she also knows she is still in a learning curve.

As she starts up her juniors season, Wroblewski is looking to make the big jump that most upperclassmen make.

“Not being the recognizable player that I once was can be frustrating, but I also have to remind myself that I am still learning and I am now an upperclassman. There are plenty of girls on my team that I look up to and I have looked up to that taught me the things I know,” stated Wroblewski. “I also now have the ability to play with girls who are playing at my level or higher, I like to be a team player and I always have been, but it is showing a lot more in college. I have the girls on my team that I work best with and I also want them to succeed. I was an underclassman for two years and it was my time to learn from the best and sit back and watch. I have a different feeling about this upcoming season and I am very excited to see what the future holds for me.”

Don’t think Wroblewski is satisfied with her start to her collegiate career. She wants to get better, She has the mentality to get better. This game is more mental than physical. A player like Wroblewski can do everything she can to get ready for a season physically.

But, if she doesn’t want it mentally then it won’t work.

Wroblewski wants it. She wants to get better. She is driven, and hardworking, to prove to herself that she can compete at the highest level.

“Positivity plays a big part in improvement, you have to want to get better to be better. I have seen plenty of girls in my years of lacrosse be satisfied with their game and have that be it. Mentally I am never satisfied and I think that is why I continue to be so driven and hard working,” stated Wroblewski. “Sure, it can be upsetting not getting the playing time that I think I deserve, but I use that as my fuel and push myself to learn and be the player my coaches need. It can be rough mentally but I like to be optimistic and keep an open mind. I'm playing the game that I love and I had the opportunity to play in college. This is still my biggest lacrosse accomplishment.”

Two years of learning has now come down to her junior season. As the snow has been falling in the Western New York area for about a week now, Wroblewski is preparing for this season. But, the work just hasn’t started when the calendar clicked over to January.

Wroblewski has been working hard as soon as last season was over. No rest for a young lady that is looking to make her mark when the season starts soon.

“For myself personally, I have worked on getting stronger and faster, and I have also worked on my skills. I go to the field with teammates when it is nice out, if I have extra time but also when I feel like I had a rough practice earlier in the day,” stated Wroblewski. “Accountability has been a big thing that I have taken on this fall, whether that be getting extra help in school or doing extra work outside of practice. I know that I have to be accountable in every aspect in my life in order to be successful. I am mentally and physically ready for this upcoming season and I am very excited to see how well our team succeeds.”

Succeeding is something that Seton Hill knows something about. This team has high expectations every year. They aren’t just looking to win games, they are looking to win a division title and move on to the NCAA tournament.

Wroblewski embraces playing on a team that where winning matters, and getting the best out of every player is important.

“Not only does playing on a high Division II team give me high expectations, but seeing what we can do when we work together makes me want more every year. Every off season and in season we as a team remind ourselves that we want to get to the next level, we want to achieve a conference ring, we want to get further into the NCAA Tournament,” stated Wroblewski. “There is still so much to achieve and I’m hoping with our new coaches we can get to where we want to be. Every practice is a competition, a time to learn and gives us the chance to figure out what does and doesn’t work for us. Coach Dina has set these expectations and goals for us as a team since the first day she met us and I know working with her will get the team to reach more than our goals.”

That’s why being an upperclassmen is such a big deal for Wroblewski. Now, the younger players will look to her for leadership, just like she has done for the past two years. Wroblewski likes to be a leader.

She was a leader throughout her time in high school. It’s a very comfortable position for her.

“I had always really looked forward to being a leader and taking underclassmen under my wing, just like all the older upperclassmen and those who graduated did for me. It’s similar to when I was in high school but now it's about teaching the freshmen and sophomores how to live away from home and depend on themselves and their upperclassmen. We have a great group of girls and the smaller bunch fills the team with so much energy,” stated Wroblewski. “They make it really fun. I love to be like a big sister to a lot of these girls and I really care for them. I always open my home up to teammates and offer to take them places if need be. I also get to help teach how to reach that new game they’ve never played. Our team is like a big family, we spend every single day with each other and I feel like it’s the best bond any college athlete could have.”

While Wroblewski is looking to make an impact on the field, the junior is killing it in the classroom. We all know being a student-athlete is not easy. Especially now with everything that a student-athlete has to do deal with.

Wroblewski knows, however, that academics allows her to play the sport she loves. Classes aren’t easy, but she attacks school like she attacks defenders.

“One hundred percent, balancing school and lacrosse can be very difficult. I am a Clinical Exercise Science major so I am in hard classes year round. As a team we set a certain GPA for the semester and this fall 2023 we actually surpassed our goal. We also participate in study hall all together in and out of season so we can all maintain our GPA’s and remain eligible. My coaches are great at holding everyone accountable, but also making sure that everyone is doing okay mentally as some of the underclassmen do struggle with being away from home and starting a new life. It took me a while to get a hold of my academic situation as it is a big change from high school all while playing lacrosse everyday, but I finally feel comfortable where I am at with school and I motivate myself to work harder everyday,” explained Wroblewski. “At the end of the day I get the privilege to play the sport I love while also studying the career I want to work in for the rest of my life. School is ultimately the most important but lacrosse helps me loosen up the stress a bit and reminds me to have fun.”

Her lacrosse journey still isn’t finished. It has been a journey that has seen her grow as a person, and lacrosse player. From club, to high school, to college, Wroblewski is still learning the game.

Shoot, she’s still learning about herself. She still has two chapter left right. The pages are blank, now it’s up to her to fill them in.

“I think that I have grown a great amount as a player, within all of my years I have been coached by plenty of amazing coaches - high school, club, and the coaches I get extra work from. I worked so hard to get to where I am now and it honestly would be an understatement to say that I am proud of myself and all of the hard work I put in because it’s paid off. I am satisfied with myself but I always like to push harder and see what else I can do. I have gotten stronger, struggled with overuse injuries, came back from them, became smarter in school and on the field, I also have allowed myself to be a coachable player – it’s what coaches want no matter what your experience is,” stated Wroblewski. “It is one of the biggest and the best things I have learned, you have to stay open-minded and prepared for change, and that’s what keeps me so interested in lacrosse after over a decade of playing. Be open to learning new things and being ready to adjust your game.”

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