Senior midfielder Maddy Molinari has been a mainstay on the Bison women’s lacrosse team for the last four years. She was a First Team All-Patriot League selection in 2017, after earning three PL Midfielder of the Week Awards. Maddy is Bucknell’s leading goal-scorer with 36, and she also has six assists for 42 points on the season. Defensively, she has 24 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers to rank among the team leaders, and perhaps her biggest impact has come in the draw circle, where she ranks second in the league with 80 draw controls.
A Manhasset, New York native, Maddy is also an outstanding student majoring in psychology. As a two-year co-captain, she has led the Bison to the Patriot League Tournament in each of the last two seasons.
Bucknell women’s soccer student-athlete Cora Climo recently sat down with Maddy to talk about her time in Lewisburg.
CC: What is your major and how did you choose this major?
MM: I am currently a senior pursuing a degree in psychology along with a concentration in management. I am interested in applying the aspect of consumer behavior and social psychology to pursue opportunities in the marketing and advertising world come graduation.
CC: So how do you balance this tough academic schedule and lacrosse?
MM: Many of the skills I have developed have come from my experiences in athletics. I take pride in being a Division I varsity athlete at Bucknell, where I am a leader among my peers. I was elected as a junior to be a captain. Since then, I have fully embraced this role. I enjoy working as a member of a team towards one common goal, where the results and achievements are not only far greater than one can achieve individually, but mutually beneficial for all. I believe my experiences as an athlete have a direct correlation to my academic endeavors. Through my experiences as a member of a Division I athletic program, I have learned to persevere through the challenges that come my way in life. The ability to work through these difficulties has prepared me to deal with whatever obstacles that may come my way in school, life, and the work environment. Athletics have allowed me to develop my leadership abilities, time management skills, work ethic, as well as recognize the importance of setting individual and team goals. Time management is integral to thrive as a student athlete anywhere, especially a Division I program. This has trained me to prioritize and finish tasks in a timely manner. I believe this foundation has helped me become the lacrosse player that I have continually aspired to be.
CC: What brought you to Bucknell?
MM: Having played sports my entire life, giving them up was not really an option for me. In fact, I pursued playing field hockey in college as well after falling in love with it in the Netherlands with my high school team during the summer of my freshman year of high school. From that point on I didn’t want to pick and choose which I loved more because they each (lacrosse and field hockey) held a different meaning to me. Lacrosse was something that I had been working at my entire life and it had been my foundation and I could never see myself giving it up. Field hockey, on the other hand, was something new, unique, and challenging. That being said, I was recruited to play lacrosse at Bucknell and had the opportunity to play field hockey dependent upon my try out. After trying out and being told that there would be a spot for me on the field hockey team I knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime that I couldn’t give up. I chose Bucknell because it enabled me to continue playing the two sports that I loved and was not ready to give up.
CC: When did you start playing lacrosse and what really drew you to the sport?
MM: I am from a quaint town on the north shore of Long Island, known as Manhasset. Lacrosse has been a distinguishing characteristic of my town due to its history with the sport, and people often joke that kids from Manhasset are born with a lacrosse stick. Naturally, being the youngest of six kids who all played Division I lacrosse in college the thought of not playing in college never crossed my mind. (Siblings Morgan (Notre Dame), Shane (UMass), Cullen (Georgetown), Terrence (Duke) and Jeff (Harvard) all played lacrosse in college). Neither of my parents played lacrosse, and it was never forced upon us to play. It seemed as if each one of us picked it up because the other was playing it and we didn’t want to miss out. It was something that brought us together in the backyard and something that we each worked on without even acknowledging it. I grew up walking around with a lacrosse stick in my hand and my brothers constantly threw me in the goal so they could practice shooting, which inherently made me want to get better then them. It was something that my siblings and myself all had a mutual love for — although we never recognized that and just played to have fun — lacrosse was bigger than just being a sport, it was our life. It was something we each set our minds to and continually worked at. Playing lacrosse with my best friends from first grade to senior year while wearing “Manhasset” on our jerseys is something I cherish and hold close to my heart – that experience was unbelievable
CC: You’ve always been a multi-dimensional player – offense, defense, and midfield. You’ve had to take on a new role this year as a draw specialist. How have adjusted to this new role?
MM: Throughout high school and on my travel team, I was always placed on the draw. My coaches believed I excelled between the 30s, and taking the draw or being a circle player allowed me to do that. It was challenging to adjust the past three years at Bucknell because I have been placed all over the field – from midfield my freshman year to attack my sophomore and junior year and then back to midfield my senior year. Although my position on the field continued to change throughout my early career I continued to work on the draw. Fortunately, my senior year I was given the role to be the draw controller and I have fully embraced this position – having been working for this role my entire career it has been truly rewarding.
CC: So do you have any future plans lined up for after graduation?
MM: The thought of this being my final season of lacrosse is surreal. Ending this chapter of my life is going to be very difficult because it is my life and has been my life for the past twenty years. I will always have a spot for lacrosse in my life, whether that be coaching other Manhasset kids and giving back to my community or playing with my niece in the backyard. I hope to share and spread my love for the game to those who aspire to play. I am currently pursing jobs in the marketing and advertising world in the New York City area, close to home.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory from your lacrosse experience here over the past four years?
A: I believe my grade has played an immense role in changing the Bucknell women’s lacrosse program. We started our freshman year having only won one Patriot League game, and just last year we entered the Patriot League tournament for the first time in seven years. Last season our team broke records, met goals, and ultimately made it to the Patriot League Tournament. I am very fortunate to call my teammates my family. My favorite memory is upsetting Villanova this year for the first time in my career.