The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

Athlete Spotlight: Mary Costello

Athlete+Spotlight%3A+Mary+Costello
Sean Strohofer

A surging wind brushes Mary Costello as she marches onto the lacrosse field. This is a common occurrence, the submersion into a new world — that of the game. She assumes her position, one that is one of a kind, not in the middle of the field, but rather, in the goalie cage. “I feel a range of emotions,” Costello remarked, “nervous, excited, confident, and finally calm and ready to play.”

The genesis of Costello’s lacrosse career began in second grade, but her current position as a goalie came serendipitously. “Our goalie got hurt and wasn’t able to play,” Costello recalled, “and we were going to have to forfeit the game until my coach — who is also my dad — said, ‘we’ll just throw Mary in the goal.’” Oblivious to these ministrations, she was given goalie gear to put on, and promptly sent out to play. “I absolutely fell in love with the position and ended up making it [permanent],” said Costello.

 Costello’s father was her first trainer and coach, making up different ways to help orient her to the sport. But an important skill had to be learned first: do not be afraid of the ball. “He had me get in my gear, and he told me that he would just hit me with the ball….I thought he was crazy,” Costello shared. And yet, Costello’s fears of being struck by the ball progressively faded, opening up doors to a lasting athletic journey.

Now, Costello is a senior, and has moved through the many achievements in her athletic career. “I have been on three different travel teams, and I’ve gotten to travel around the country with those teams,” Costello explained. Balancing these three different teams has been tough, but it has led to remarkable rewards, such as an undefeated streak in the President’s Cup in Texas, and going to the New York State Regional Lacrosse Championships — twice. 

 Yet, her passion for the sport was not created in a vacuum. Costello has looked up to several athletes throughout her career. The videos of Emily Sterling, the goalie for the University of Maryland lacrosse team, have been analyzed countless times by Costello, giving her many tips and aiding her in developing her skills. 

Furthermore, Costello looks up to Hope Germanakos, her first goalie coach. “She is my inspiration for the kind of goalie I want to be,” Costello expressed. She furthered that, as a young player, she often attended Lynbrook lacrosse clinics, events that are at the heart of the Lynbrook athletic community. “[Hope] took me under her wing and trained me until she went off to college. She is the person who inspired me to play lacrosse in college,” Costello emphasized.

Costello’s love for her sport and understanding of the game shines through her sportsmanship. “I love playing lacrosse with Mary,” explained senior and fellow teammate Elena McDonald. “She brings such a fun presence to the field whether it’s at practice or during the game. She is always there to pick up her teammates when they may be struggling,” added McDonald. 

Furthermore, Costello’s efforts to help her fellow teammates is an indelible skill she has displayed to both coaches and teammates during her athletic career. Vincent Tetro, the girls’ varsity head coach, has been with Costello since she was but a budding athlete, and he finds her skill particularly apparent: “[Mary] plays goalie, which is one of the hardest positions in all sports. You have to have a sharp memory and be able to step up and make the next play…Her demeanor and temperament are something that the other girls on the team look up to,” he mused. 

 To younger athletes, many of whom she trains when she coaches at lacrosse camps, Costello urges compassion: “My advice would be not be too hard on yourself. You’re still learning, and if you hang onto the stuff you do wrong, then you will never be able to see what you’re doing right. I’m still learning how to do that.” Often, in the realm of competitive sports, it can be difficult to not self-criticize, Costello laments, but this very attitude can lead to the formulation of a stopper in one’s improvement. 

 And one person has stayed with her throughout her athletic career, both on the field and in the sidelines: Costello’s father. He has taken her to every game, every practice, paid for clinics and camps, and drives Costello all over the country for tournaments. “He gave me my love for lacrosse,” Costello beamed. “Without him, I don’t think I would have ever picked up a stick and gotten in a goalie cage.”

Costello’s journey into the world of lacrosse has been a long one, but is also far from over. She has committed to Georgian Court University as a Division II goalie and is hoping to continue a successful career for the Georgian Court Lions. Obviously no longer afraid of the ball, Costello teaches the very technique she used to overcome her fears to others. “Years later, when I was training a young goalie at a lacrosse camp, I used the same tactic to help her get over her fear of the ball. I got a really weird look from a parent walking by, but it helped her a lot,” Costello humorously remarked. Costello’s story presents a message that we can all remember, athlete or not: to never be afraid and to practice, practice, practice. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sean Strohofer, Managing Editor
My name is Sean, and I am a member of the Class of 2025. I have a deep desire for sports and writing, so you might see me at sports events around town!