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.@LehighWLacrosse senior Voiro (Moorestown) enjoys life on the defensive side

Wednesday, 21st March 2018

Categories College, Girl's/Women's  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/22/18
Courtney of Justin Lafleur, Lehigh Sports Communications

Early in her career at Lehigh, Kierstyn Voiro selflessly changed positions for the good of the team, moving from attack to defense.

Kierstyn Voiro (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports Information)

Playing attack comes with more glamour, scoring goals and dishing assists. You hear your name more often. On defense, there are fewer individual statistics; you can have a tremendous game, but not hear your name called.

“The transition was hard at first,” said Voiro. “I had to completely change my mindset and the role that I had been playing my whole life.”

Practically Voiro’s whole life has included the game of lacrosse. She began playing the sport in elementary school.

“In my town (Moorestown, New Jersey), everyone started really young,” said Voiro. “I played basketball and soccer too, but the history of Moorestown was that players usually go play lacrosse in college. It was put into my head that I would be working towards playing lacrosse in college.”

When it came time for her college search, Voiro sought a strong academic institution to continue her lacrosse, and academic, careers.

Lehigh was the perfect fit.

“I always worked hard in school, but it has escalated since being at Lehigh,” she said. “I really wanted to do well at school and I wanted to be able to graduate with a job.

“What drew me to Lehigh was the team, the campus and the focus on academics that you don’t always get at other schools. Lehigh gives a great balance between helping their student-athletes, on and off the field.”

Voiro has thrived in Lehigh’s environment, turning into one of the best scholar-athletes on the team… and all of Lehigh Athletics.

Success came from the get-go. Voiro started all 17 games as a freshman, posting 21 points behind 11 goals and 10 assists.

“I was strictly playing low attack, which is what I had played since third grade,” said Voiro.

Voiro was tasting success in her low attack role, but the coaching staff saw an opportunity for her to move into a more defensive role.

“We moved V to line defense because she was suited for it in all ways,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “She has a great first step and can match the speed of any attacker in our league.”

With a new challenge in front of her, Voiro’s focus changed.

“During my sophomore year, I started to really get defensive techniques down,” she said. “At first, it was a struggle to grasp the concept that I wouldn’t be on the attacking side as much and wouldn’t be contributing in ways I was used to.”

It admittedly took time for Voiro to fully adjust, but she was playing well along the way. As a sophomore, Voiro started all 18 games and posted 32 groundballs and 13 caused turnovers. As a junior, she did even better – recording 32 groundballs and 27 caused turnovers, second on the Mountain Hawks. Voiro was named first team All-Patriot League and second team All-ECAC.

“Junior year is when I started to feel more confident and come into my own,” said Voiro. “Now as a senior, I’ve learned to love defense more than I ever loved attack. I wish I started playing defense earlier because I really love it. It’s a better fit for me too, just as a player and as a person.”

A co-captain this season, Voiro has grown to embrace the collective unity needed for success on the defensive end.

“Defense is very much a cohesive unit,” she said. “It’s not individual whatsoever. I love defense so much because you’re always working together. It’s never one person out there by themselves.

“Regardless of my own statistics, making a defensive stop is way more exciting than scoring a goal.”

Despite primarily playing defense, Voiro has still used her offensive skills in spurts for the Mountain Hawks, highlighted by scoring the game-winning goal in triple overtime at Mount St. Mary’s. Just two days later, she scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in a one-goal win at Fairfield.

Even though Voiro scored those goals, she is not focused on individual accolades. Throughout her career, she has shown a selflessness that has become part of the Mountain Hawks’ culture. The culture stresses that every single person, no matter one’s position or how many games one plays, is important to the team’s success.

“The more you know your role and the more you know others’ roles, the more we can all be on the same page with the same mindset,” said Voiro. “Everyone knowing where they need to be, and where their teammates need to be, is just going to help us even more. Little things really do add up.”

Several little things have added up to Voiro reaching her long-time goal of playing lacrosse in college. And remember her goal of graduating Lehigh with a job?

She has accomplished that goal as well.

The finance major interned at J.P. Morgan this past summer, leading to a full-time job offer which Voiro has accepted.

“I had never worked a job in the finance field or even Corporate America, so the internship was a challenge,” said Voiro. “It was different for me, but a really good experience. The internship taught me many lessons, including lessons I can bring onto the lacrosse field.

“My role was mostly in the corporate finance sector,” she continued. “I was on the same team the whole summer. Rotational programs are good, but staying with the same team and really getting to understand what they do for 10 weeks was really helpful.”

The internship led to tangible skills that are already paying dividends in the short term, while setting her up for long-term success with the ever-important post-graduate job offer.

“Networking, talking to people and communicating were really stressed, which I’ve struggled with at times in the past,” said Voiro. “Talking to people I didn’t know, talking to people about the job that I wasn’t very familiar with, and giving presentations to the executives really helped my communication skills and being able to speak to different people.”

A full-time position is a fitting ending for Voiro, a competitive individual who paired her life-long goal of playing lacrosse in college with a prestigious education. Combine Voiro’s competitiveness with top-notch academics and athletics, and you get someone with a 3.51 cumulative grade point average who is also an All-League performer on the field.

“To be successful in one area leads to success in others,” said Voiro. “If you’re doing poorly academically, that could carry over into how you’re playing on the field… and vice versa. You definitely have to find a balance to find what makes you most successful in both areas.”

“Kierstyn is an example of where hard work combined with a flexible mindset can take you,” said Redfern. “We are thrilled she loves the defensive side of the field now. We are also confident that her many contributions to Lehigh and our lacrosse program will not be forgotten.”

Voiro’s legacy goes far beyond herself; her selfless transition from attack to defense as a sophomore epitomizes the type of culture the Lehigh women’s lacrosse program is fostering.

“I believe my position change really ties into what this team is about,” said Voiro. “It may not be something you want to do at first, but if it’s going to help the team’s succeed, then it’s important to be 100 percent into your role.

“In my case, I grew to love the role.”

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