Cavalier Corner

April 2023

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BY NICK OXNAM F or many young lacrosse players, stepping onto a Division I field is a dream. A select few dream of scor- ing a goal or making a big save. For Rachel Clark that dream paled in compari- son to her reality against the Elon Phoenix on Feb. 11, 2022. Netting 6 goals from 7 shots on target, Clark started her UVA la- crosse career with a bang last season. And she never let up. Clark finished with a first-year record of 64 goals scored in 2022 and capped off an outstanding season by earning ACC Freshman of the Year honors. Clark's success did not simply materialize out of thin air. Her hard work and determi- nation track all the way back to her high school days. At Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pa., Clark strived for success every season. Her drive led her to do big things for the Pioneers. A four-year varsity starter, she set the school record for goals in her career with 238. Clark was named team captain and won Central League and Conestoga High MVP honors in 2021, but her mind was never focused on the extensive list of ac- colades she accrued before becoming a first-year at Virginia. "I just didn't think about any of that other stuff," Clark said. "I just wanted to contrib- ute to my high school team. We were fight- ing for a state championship every season so that was always my goal. Just help the team get wins." This selfless, team-first mentality served Clark and her teammates well. A district championship and multiple state tournament showings were the result of her strong presence on the team. Clark shined throughout her time as a Pioneer, build- ing a résumé that cannot be overstated. She was a member of the USA Select U17 Team in 2019, the No. 9-ranked player nationally in the class of 2021 by Inside Lacrosse, a two-time SHOT SHOT MAKER MAKER Second-Year Attacker Rachel Clark Is Always A Threat To Score During Virginia's hot (6-0) start to the 2023 season, Clark led the team in scoring with 29 points (23 goals and 6 assists). (Photo courtesy UVA) APRIL 2023 21

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