Cornell's Lexi Dettbarn learns sport of lacrosse, turns into 4-year player

Published: Apr. 19, 2019 at 6:44 PM CDT
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Lacrosse isn't a sanctioned high school sport in Iowa. Some of the smaller colleges in the state do carry it, including Cornell.

Monona native Lexi Dettbarn played basketball, softball, volleyball, golf and ran track in high school. She came to Cornell not expecting to play any college sports.

Lacrosse was only in its second season at Cornell and the team was short on the amount of required players. The coaches searched the campus for any athletes willing to try out.

"Lexi and her friend, Erin Heflin, helped -- they were the last two that we needed to start the program and have enough girls," said head coach Meredith Merce.

That first practice was an eye-opener for Lexi.

"I had no idea how to work a ball like that," she said. "So when people were throwing the ball at a pretty quick speed, I was terrified. So I found myself dodging it most of the time."

But she stuck it out and became a leader for the Rams. She scored 20 goals last season, and is currently second on the team with 24 this season.

"I always considered what it would've been like to have come to Cornell and play basketball instead," said Dettbarn. "But with the team that I'm on right now and my coaches, I couldn't imagine being on another team."

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