Women of Western Winners: Sam Smith
Sam Smith is the kind of multi-sport athlete that every college coach looks for in the recruiting process. When she showed up to Western Winners as an underclassman, her basketball IQ and all-around athleticism stood out from the start. She was able to hang with the rising seniors and get on multiple schools’ radar as a gritty athlete who didn’t back down from a defensive match up or a drive to the goal. Sam just completed her senior season at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California where she dominated several statistical categories for her program and league. As a member of the Tenacity 2021 team, she helped a group of girls from California and Utah compete with (and beat) top competition from the Northeast on a regular basis. Sam will be heading to Northwestern University in the fall to make her mark as a Californian and help the powerhouse Wildcats continue their NCAA Championship tradition. We caught up with Sam this week.
What is your favorite Western Winners Showcase memory?
“My favorite Western Winners memory is definitely meeting a bunch of incredible lacrosse players and coaches from all around the country. Throughout the camp experience I met a bunch of girls and became really close friends with a lot of them. When we were put on teams with random girls it was so fun to meet new people and get to know and play lacrosse. We all bonded over our desire to win our scrimmages. I remember one year my team had started off on a losing streak and we thought that there was no way we would make it to the championship, but then we ended up winning the rest of our games and beating the other teams out for the championship. The experiences I had playing with girls I had never met before really helped me expand my lacrosse IQ seeing as I got to play with many girls who had different and unique styles from my own. Overall it was super fun to meet so many incredible lacrosse players and I am still in touch with a lot of them and will be playing with some of them when I am at Northwestern.”
How did Western Winners impact your recruiting journey?
“Western Winners impacted my recruiting process because I got exposed to many college coaches, learned how to talk to them and got to see their different coaching styles. By meeting and being coached by many amazing college coaches I was able to narrow down the style I liked best and what I really wanted out of a coach. I also got to learn more about the colleges from the coaches in attendance and understand what made their schools unique. Western Winners was a great introduction into the world of college lacrosse and helped me narrow down what I wanted from a college and lacrosse program.”
What made you want to go to Northwestern?
“I chose Northwestern because I felt that it was the perfect blend of a demanding academic environment and the opportunity to play lacrosse at the highest level. I was drawn to how welcoming the coaches and players were on my initial visit. I knew that Northwestern would become my home the first time I stepped onto the beautiful campus when I was fourteen. I can’t wait to be part of such an incredible lacrosse program and become a part of the Wildcat community!”
What are you most looking forward to at Northwestern?
“The thing I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to play along side some extraordinary lacrosse players and be coached by one of the best in the country. I am so excited to see what I can learn from the Northwestern lacrosse community and the people who encompass it.”
Good luck as you head to Illinois this summer, Sammy!