Offensive sparkplug leads lacrosse team

March was such a good month for Patty Glavin, she almost let it pass her by. The junior attacker earned national player of the week honors for her role in the lacrosse team’s two comeback

March was such a good month for Patty Glavin, she almost let it pass her by.

The junior attacker earned national player of the week honors for her role in the lacrosse team’s two comeback wins in late March. In those wins, Glavin scored seven goals and an assist, and helped the Owls to their first national ranking in three years.

But on the day she was recognized for her impressive offensive spurt, Glavin didn’t even know she had won. Someone else had to break the news.

“It was kind of crazy because I didn’t know anything about it,” Glavin said. “I went into the training room and someone says to me, ‘Congratulations.’ I was like, ‘What?’ I had no idea I had won. Then later that day we found out that we were in the top 20, so it definitely was a big day for us.”

Notice the use of the word “us,” meaning the No. 16 Owls. On a day when she was being awarded an individual honor, Glavin was more concerned with her teammates than herself.

Glavin’s coach, Jennifer Ulehla, said she has taken notice of the sparkplug’s selfless attitude. When Glavin had the ball on the field, Ulehla said, she will search out a teammate before looking to the net.

“She sees the game develop very well, and she always plays looking for someone else to score before she goes to goal,” Ulehla said. “She may not know it, but I see her leading the other girls by example.”

Glavin is a big part of the Owls’ success this season. They rolled into the national rankings at No. 19 with impressive wins over then-No. 2 Penn State and Old Dominion. Against the Nittany Lions on March 22, Glavin scored the game-winner. Four days later, she notched two goals in the final 90 seconds of regulation, eventually beating the Monarchs in overtime.

Things haven’t always been rosy for Glavin, however.

Before the start of the 2004 season, Glavin suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, sidelining her for the entire season. The injury was a huge blow to Glavin, who had figured greatly into the Owls’ plans after starting all 19 games in 2003, ranking third on the team and sixth in the Atlantic Ten Conference with 39 goals.

Glavin said there are times this season when she wakes up in pain the morning after a game. She has also bowed out of strenuous lifting routines so as to keep from doing further damage to her knee.

All in all, Glavin remains positive. She never complains, according to Ulehla, even when she is suffering.

“She never wants help from anyone, or for us to feel sorry for her. She never wants special treatment,” Ulehla said. “In fact, we don’t ever talk to her. When she isn’t playing well or practicing well, I let her play it out.”

Glavin agreed that talking about her on-field woes would only exacerbate the situation.

“I get frustrated when I can’t do something or if I’m not playing well,” Glavin said. “It actually helps a lot more when people don’t come up to me.”

In addition to her knee injury, Glavin also watched as her younger sister, Allison, entered and left Temple before playing a single game. Allison participated in fall practices last year and opted not to play last season. She transferred to Division III Widener, where she leads the Pioneers in goals. Allison’s move was especially tough for Patty because the two had played together at Ridley High. But Patty said Allison’s departure hasn’t affected her play.

“[Allison] being gone hasn’t stopped me from doing what I do on the field, but I do miss her,” she said.

With both her sister’s transfer and the knee injury well in the past, Glavin said she is looking to move on by moving the Owls (5-4) into the top 10.

“There’s no doubt that we can get there this year,” she said. “And we will.”

Christopher A. Vito can be reached at

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