After being nominated by Lacrosse Magazine for national player, this former Panther is now an assistant coach at Bridgewater State.
“I kept hearing from people in different states how respected the Adelphi phys ed department is,” she says, “particularly in the fields of teaching and research. You could say I chose Adelphi because of its physical education department.”
She didn’t expect the news, but there it was— she’d been nominated by Lacrosse Magazine for national player of the year. “I didn’t believe it at first. Those nominations usually go to players from the Division I powerhouse schools, like Maryland or Northwestern,” she says, referring to the fact that, while it is quite successful, the Adelphi women’s lacrosse team competes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II level. She quickly got used to the idea, though. “It was such an honor to be nominated,” she says, “to be listed as one of the top four players in the country and recognized for all of the hard work that goes into being part of this team.”
Caitlin Fitzpatrick’s modesty belies her tremendous achievements as the women’s lacrosse team goalkeeper. According to Lacrosse Magazine, Ms. Fitzpatrick’s stunning 14 saves in goal allowed her team to capture its second consecutive NCAA Division II championship in 2010. Among her numerous honors are two C. Markland Kelly Awards, given to the top women’s lacrosse goaltender; being the only player named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association First Team All-American in Division II in 2009 and 2010; and being named Northeast-10 Conference Goalkeeper of the Year. She concluded her Adelphi career with a 54–2 record and 487 saves for the Panthers.
Ms. Fitzpatrick’s athletic success story began in Port Washington, New York, where she attended Paul D. Schreiber High School, and where she was a successful athlete from a young age. “I played soccer, and we once went undefeated and won our conference championship,” she says. “I also competed in indoor track and field, and won a county championship for shot put.” She first considered Adelphi for a variety of reasons. Its proximity to home was appealing, as it would make it easy for her family to see her play, but with academics her top priority and her strong interest in physical education, she did her research. “I kept hearing from people in different states how respected the Adelphi phys ed department is,” she says, “particularly in the fields of teaching and research. You could say I chose Adelphi because of its physical education department.”
Even with a demanding athletic schedule, Ms. Fitzpatrick maintained a variety of interests off the field. “I also am a member of the Port Washington volunteer fire department,” she says, “and head sailing instructor at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club.”
Earned success and welcome camaraderie marked her Adelphi experience. “Hands down,” she says, “the biggest highlights of my athletic career have been our two national championships, in 2009 and 2010. We were the first Division II team to repeat titles, which is a huge deal. There have been individual things, like the two C. Markland Kelly awards for best goalkeeper in Division II, or the Lacrosse Magazine nomination, but lacrosse is a team sport, and what we’ve accomplished as a team are my biggest highlights on the field. She adds, “Off the field, it’s the times outside of class and practice and games; the snowball fights outside the dorm, or the time we built a giant snowman on the baseball field after a blizzard.
Maybe the best thing of all is the relationships, the time spent bonding with my teammates and friends.” Last December, Ms. Fitzpatrick was named an assistant coach of the women’s lacrosse team at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. “Between my educational and athletic experiences at Adelphi, I gained a lot of knowledge,” says Ms. Fitzpatrick. “And now I’m working to transfer that knowledge to my team at Bridgewater State.”