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Senior Boyd Vicars is in her first season with the women’s lacrosse team. A four-year member of the Cavaliers’ field hockey team, Vicars helped Virginia to four-straight NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back final four appearances.

On Saturday, Vicars and the rest of Virginia’s women’s lacrosse senior class – Ainsley Baker, Liz Downs, Molly McClintic and Marghi Walters – will be honored prior to their final regular season contest against Northwestern. Opening draw is slated for noon at Klöckner Stadium.

Question: What made you decide to join the women’s lacrosse team?
Vicars: After field hockey ended in November, there was a period of about two weeks when I realized I really missed being part of a team and having a group of people I could see and compete with everyday. I missed working towards a goal of winning something and just the daily activities and interactions with teammates and coaches. I also loved playing lacrosse growing up and in high school, and thought it’s my last semester here, I’ve got nothing to lose, so why not? I also knew a lot of the girls on the team and felt like they were extremely supportive of me joining the team. I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Question: What has the experience been like so far?
Vicars: The experience I’ve had this spring has definitely surpassed all of my expectations and has been a blast. From my very first day at practice, everyone was so welcoming and encouraging and just a lot of fun to be around. While this team likes to have a lot of fun and joke around, we also work extremely hard and compete every single day at practice. I feel like a first year in some ways because I’m learning so much and just trying to take everything in, but overall I’m really glad I did it and am so grateful for the opportunity.

Question: Prior to this year, when was the last time you had played lacrosse?
Vicars: The last time I played was my senior year of high school. That summer after graduation, I stopped playing and field hockey became my main focus.

Question: Have you found the lacrosse team to be different than the field hockey team?
Vicars: It’s interesting because while there are definitely differences between the two teams, it’s really hard to explain or describe them. Every team is different and has things that work well for them and ultimately make them successful. It’s been really fun to get to experience both teams, though.

Question: Is there anything that you’ve found to be the same?
Vicars: Both teams work hard and have incredible talent.

Question: You mentioned before that your proudest moment was coming back from an injury. What happened?
Vicars: The summer after my first year (in June 2008), I was in a serious car accident while driving back to Charlottesville from D.C. I broke three vertebrae in my neck and was nearly paralyzed. I spent that summer in a neck brace rehabbing with doctors and trainers at UVa and was finally able to return to playing at the end of the field hockey season that November. It was a long recovery process, but going through it definitely put things into perspective for me and made me appreciate all the little things we normally take for granted. In the end, it was extremely rewarding to come back and play again. Even though I would’ve rather not been in the accident, the experience renewed my love for sports and being on a team.

Question: What did it take to get back into a condition to be able to play sports again?
Vicars: I remember right after the injury doctors telling my parents and me at the hospital that given the seriousness of my injuries, I would not be able to play field hockey or sports ever again. I was determined from that point on to come back and be stronger than ever. Although at times it was hard to stay positive, it took the support from my friends, coaches, trainers and doctors to keep me going. They really got me through everything. For me, it was having something I loved be taken away that made me that much more driven to come back and defy the odds.

Question: You’re a couple weeks away from graduation. What is your major going to be?
Vicars: If all goes well, I will get my degree in Spanish.

Question: Do you know what you want to do with it?
Vicars: I want to use my language proficiency in the healthcare industry and hopefully help Hispanic people and their families communicate with English-speaking doctors. In doing so, we will be able to offer them the best possible healthcare.

Question: What are your plans for next year?
Vicars: I am going back home to North Carolina to preparing for physician’s assistant school. I will take classes as a part-time student at UNC and NC State to complete my pre-requisites and to do my clinical work as well.

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