In her time at Fairfax High School, lacrosse junior midfielder Olivia McGrath earned three time Fairfax MVP honors and was a four time letterwinner. Not only is she a highly talented Division I athlete, she is also a highly acclaimed student.
McGrath forced 13 turnovers last spring in 12 games started. Off the field, she is a business major and two-time U.S lacrosse Academic All-American. This spring, McGrath will look to lead the Black and Gold to their first winning season.
How do you find time to be a top tier student and a full time Division I athlete?
Time management is something I’ve worked on a lot. The biggest thing is keeping track of my priorities. There is a downside which is I might have to lose out on social events but I do make sure to keep a routine everyday of going to practice and right after going to class. Our schedule is set for us since I’m an athlete so it makes it a lot easier. I make sure to be organized and on top of all my things.
Which is more stressful — student or athlete?
Depends on time, what classes and my interest in class. During the season traveling makes it hard to keep up in my classes. You must work with professors to make up work assignments, and any important notes I missed from lectures.
Does that stress ever effect you play?
Sometimes at practice, major assignments can be a distraction, but coach keeps us in the moment and focused on the task at hand. That same distraction doesn’t happen during the games, only thing on my mind during games is winning.
What career do you want to pursue after graduating?
Working in sports marketing, staying involved in sports — I actually started an internship here at VCU in sports marketing department to see what the business is like and if I really want a career in that field.
Is there anything that overlaps between academics and lacrosse?
Time management is essential in both. Work ethic is one of our team’s values. Not every drill in practice or assignment in class will be your favorite. But I know all my hard work is for a greater purpose.
Which do you get more out of academics or lacrosse?
I get different things out of each one. Lacrosse is more the work of multiple players and a staff group coming together to succeed. Academics is more of a personal benefit, and self achievement.
Do you consider yourself a leader on this team?
My freshman year was the first year VCU had D-1 lacrosse. Being this is only the third year of the program, this was the first year where the younger players look up to older players, asking for simple things like best food places for off the field. As well asking for the some tips and tricks that will work on the field.
What is the benefit of fall ball?
Bringing in new rules, getting time to adjust to those new rules, asking refs about the rules is a huge benefit because it helps get the nerves out and help bring in new players so they can adjust to the team’s style of play.
Why did you chose to play for VCU?
My first visit was in my junior year of high school, I didn’t want to play in Virginia but VCU did recruit another teammate I had in high school so I decided to visit. Once I did I fell in love with city, coach and opportunity to start program which is very unique. Also, I got to pursue the major I wanted because coach liked that I was in the honors college. Just felt meant to be.