Claire Van Eenenaam got what could be described as a later start in playing lacrosse. But following in her older sister’s footsteps, the senior has taken her short time in the sport to make a big impact on a talented Mater Dei team.
“I started playing [lacrosse] my sophomore year of high school,” says Van Eenenaam. “I really liked it because my older sister played throughout her high school experience. I watched her games, and I’d practice with her sometimes. I just fell in love with the sport.”
Van Eenenaam plays attack for the Monarchs, and enjoys the running and shooting that is integral to the position, as well as the excitement the sport of lacrosse provides.
Being a part of a team where each member is highly skilled can sometimes create competitive situations. But Van Eenenaam has used those opportunities to grow as a player.
“I’ve realized that everyone has their own specific talent they can contribute to the team,” says Van Eenenaam. “And that’s just helped me overcome the competitiveness. I’ve kind of come into my own and realized that my talents can contribute to the team as well.”
In her final year representing Mater Dei, the 18-year-old is grateful for her high school community and has been focused on making her last year her best.
“As a senior, I just want to be a teammate who can be there for my team and be supportive,” says Van Eenenaam. “I think I’m going to miss most just how bonded my team is. I love playing for Mater Dei.”
With a loss last year to Beckman High School in the county playoff semi-finals, Van Eenenaam and her teammates came into this season highly motivated, using last year’s disappointment to help push them to a stronger finish.
The Monarchs did just what they set out to do, and did it in dominating fashion, wrapping up their season undefeated (21-0) to claim both the U.S. Lacrosse Girls Orange County championship and Southern Section championship.
Off the field, Van Eenenaam serves her church community as a lector and an altar server at her parish, St. Edward the Confessor in Dana Point. She also is Managing Editor of The Scarlet Scroll, Mater Dei’s student news site, where she enjoys writing about different aspects of campus life.
As she looks ahead to college in the fall, Van Eenenaam would love to continue to play lacrosse as well as study communications and journalism, a choice influenced by her time with The Scarlet Scroll.
She credits her older sister, Olivia, for her start in the sport, as well as her parents for their unwavering support.
“My parents work really hard, and they’re always very supportive,” says Van Eenenaam. “They’ve sacrificed a lot for me and my sisters to go to Mater Dei, and I’m so grateful for them.”