Hagerman Takes Advantage of Extended Opportunities
Whitaker Hagerman is a fifth-year senior on this season’s lacrosse team. Hagerman scored her first goal of the season in Virginia’s win over No. 13 Penn State on Sunday. This weekend, Hagerman and the Cavaliers return home to host No. 3 North Carolina in an ACC contest. The game is slated to begin at 1 p.m. and will mark Virginia’s first contest at Klöckner Stadium this season.
By Cat Snider, UVa Media Relations
With the excitement and the rush of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Whitaker Hagerman was an excited fan.
Last time around, in Torino, Italy, Hagerman had a vested interest. Her older sister Jaime was competing for a place on the podium as a member of the Team USA Women’s Ice Hockey Team.
“My entire family went out to Italy, but I stayed here and it was so much fun to watch,” Hagerman said.
Hagerman watched as her sister represented her country – winning a bronze medal in the process. And though Jaime didn’t compete this year due to knee trouble, Hagerman admits she still loves to watch the games.
“It’s cool to watch it now and think that my sister did that,” Hagerman said.
Though she’s left without the same opportunity at Olympic pride – as lacrosse is not currently an Olympic sport, Hagerman knows what it takes to be an elite athlete.
“It would be such an honor to be able to put on the USA jersey,” Hagerman said.
For now though, she is sticking to some goals closer to home. With a new lacrosse season beginning, there is plenty of excitement and opportunity here at Virginia.
Following a freshman season that saw her tally 23 points for the Cavaliers, Hagerman was sidelined her sophomore year due to a stress fracture. She returned to the attack her junior year to contribute 10 points and then notched 29 last season. A team captain this year, Hagerman is sure to use her experience to help the program in whatever way she can.
“I’ve seen all aspects of the game now,” Hagerman said. “From being injured and being forced to be on the sideline, the only thing I could contribute was my voice as I cheered for my team. Being able to watch everything though, I really learned a lot.”
The educational experience helped mold Hagerman into the dynamic and smart player she is. Looking back, it also helps motivate her, as she remembers what it’s like to not have the privilege to play.
“I always had that feeling, ‘Oh, I wish I was out there on the field’,” Hagerman said. “Now that I am, I make sure to take full advantage of it.”
This season is different, though. Not only is Hagerman taking advantage of her ability to play, she’s taking advantage of extended opportunities in the classroom.
As a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences last spring, Hagerman is competing this season as a redshirt senior. Enrolled in a graduate program at Virginia’s Curry School of Education, she is in the process of getting her master’s in Social Foundations.
“I’ve really enjoyed being able to have this extra year,” Hagerman said. “I’ve been able to develop other relationships with my teammates and I get to enjoy the university for another year.”
This extra year is yet another opportunity, one Hagerman plans to use as much as she can.
“I just think that everything happens for a reason,” Hagerman said. “It happens to be that I am here for another year, so I am trying to make the best of the situation. I have been given an extra opportunity that not many other people get, so I’m trying to do my best all the time.”