The quintessential lacrosse captain is agile, quick on her feet, and highly adaptable—senior Alex Hendry has done all that and more…in a giant leg brace.
Of course, she didn’t start out like this. In her first memory of lacrosse, Hendry said she recalls “absolutely sucking.” She played soccer with the daughter of a local lacrosse coach, who recruited her to the team. “I couldn’t get any ground ball, and the fourth graders were so scary,” Hendry said. “At that moment, I hated lacrosse.”
But as she continued to play over the years, she learned to love the sport. She even begged her friend, senior Haley Ghesani, also a lacrosse player, to make her yearbook quote “Lax is love; lax is life.” Hendry is intrigued by the fast-paced nature of the game: “There’s never a dull moment.” She also cited the fact that the lacrosse circuit is relatively small, allowing for all the teams and key players to know each other on a much deeper level than in other sports.
Hendry’s history of injuries is unbelievable for her level of skill—she entered her freshman year with a third-degree medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain in her leg that kept her out of the soccer season. In December of her freshman year, she tore her right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and her medial meniscus, also in her leg, preventing her from playing lacrosse. In the middle of her sophomore soccer season, she sprained her MCL again but recovered in time to play the full lacrosse season. The summer before her junior year, she tore her left ACL and lateral meniscus, preventing her from playing soccer but allowing her to play lacrosse in the spring. This year, she tore her left ACL again, along with her lateral and medial meniscus, during the last soccer game of the season.
She has missed three and a half seasons of sports out of a possible eight, yet her spirit for the game is indomitable. Senior co-captain Sarah Carlen called her “a dangerous attacker,” and coach Beth Serughetti said her biggest strength is her game sense. “She does an extraordinary job getting herself free to receive a pass, which often leads to her scoring well-placed goals,” Serughetti said. “Her ability to feed an open player is another one of Alex’s strengths.”
Ghesani now plays the position Hendry played, low attack, and Hendry tirelessly helps Ghesani and others with strategies. “Alex has an extremely smart lacrosse mind,” Ghesani said. “She’s sneaky and quick—she has this one move where she stands directly behind the goal and then waits until her defender isn’t looking to pop out, catch a quick pass, and score.”
According to junior Morgan Hendry, Alex’s younger sister, “She leads by example rather than leading the team vocally.”
“You can always depend on her to come up with big plays, and she never stops hustling,” she added.
While Hendry can be “hilarious and ridiculous,” according to Ghesani, she also knows exactly what to say to get the team into the right mindset. Carlen cited a more recent game this season, in which the team suffered a tough loss. “She talked to us about giving 100 percent, and if you don’t, then you are just wasting your time and a spot on the field,” Carlen said. “That if you don’t give it your all every single time you play, you are so selfish, because Alex would do anything to be able to play.”
Hendry was voted team captain this season. “It was unanimous and did not surprise me one bit,” Serughetti said. However, Hendry was initially angry at herself for her injury. “I kept thinking of all the possibilities that would have kept me from getting hurt, like if I had just quit soccer, or if I just hadn’t gone for the ball,” Hendry said. “I figured it’s not worth the energy being frustrated. I’ve got to contribute as best as I can, and that’s all I can ask of myself.”
Perhaps Hendry’s “all” is more than she gives herself credit for. “If it was anyone else after the second [injury], they would have given up. Refused to play because they’re scared of getting hurt,” Carlen said. “Alex is the exact opposite. She fights. She will give anything to play lacrosse.”