It's rare to catch Corona del Mar High senior Molly Rovzar off guard on the girls' lacrosse field.
She is a senior midfielder and team captain for the Sea Kings. Despite missing two games this year due to illness, she leads the team in most statistical categories like goals (43), draw controls (24) and ground balls (35).
When Rovzar was asked her favorite movie, though, she had to pause.
She switched between comedies. First she said, "Step Brothers." Then a moment later, she changed it to "Bridesmaids," which she correctly remembered was her choice when she was Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week for the first time last year.
"I'll keep it with that," Rovzar said with a laugh. "I panicked."
No panic was seen from Rovzar on the field last week. She has earned Athlete of the Week honors again after leading CdM to a pair of big nonleague victories.
She had four goals and three assists in CdM's 15-6 win at Newport Harbor on April 2. Rovzar followed up that Battle of the Bay effort with three more goals in the Sea Kings' 9-7 victory over Foothill two days later.
She plays the sport with a certain passion, a determination, and she's always striving to get better. It's characteristics like these that have Rovzar headed to play at the University of Colorado Boulder next year. She committed to the school, which her older brother Andy also attended, last July.
Gabby Smith, who now plays at Chapman University as a freshman, was the first member of the CdM program to play in college. Smith had 19 goals for the Panthers through Friday, fourth on the team.
But now it is Rovzar who is the first CdM player going Division 1.
It's perfect timing for her, as the Buffaloes will begin their program next year. Rovzar is a part of their first recruiting class.
"It's a huge accomplishment, not just for our program but also for Orange County lacrosse," CdM Coach Aly Vislocky said. "There's still not that many girls who are recruited out of Orange County."
Vislocky, who has coached Rovzar for several years now, understands what Colorado sees in the feisty Rovzar. Her experience has been invaluable this year for CdM (12-4), which is ranked No. 7 in Southern California by laxpower.com.
The Sea Kings have a new assistant coach, Jessica Murray, who has really focused on the strategy aspect of the game. CdM is running more plays, rather than just relying on just athleticism.
"Obviously, Aly's done a great job too, but it's cool to get a different mindset in for our plays on attacks," Rovzar said. "We're changing the way we play a little bit, so there's kind of a little bit of a learning period ... but we're definitely understanding it slowly. I think as a team unit this year, we're doing good at having each other's backs for the most part."
A four-year varsity player, Rovzar is one of three team captains for CdM, alongside senior defenders Kylie Mulvaney and Meredith Davin. In a way, she has made the transition a bit less painless. Rovzar is excited about the new level the Sea Kings are trying to attain this year, Vislocky said.
"She's got a good balance, because she tries to lead by example but she is that person who can constructively guide the other players on the field," Vislocky said. "Once the game starts, you can only do so much on the sidelines ... we trust her insight."
That trust has been well-earned for Rovzar, who shared Pacific Coast League MVP honors last year. She has "graduated" from the XTeam program but has also played for the OC Elite club team in West Coast tournaments, including Sand Storm in January in Indio. The OC Elite roster featured six members of the Sea Kings' Pacific Coast League rival, Beckman, as well as Julie Crowell from top-ranked Los Alamitos. Crowell is headed to UC Berkeley.
CdM lost to both No. 1 Los Alamitos and No. 4 Beckman this week. But the Sea Kings could easily see both teams again in the coming days. They know they'll face Beckman again, in the league finale April 24 at CdM. Prior to that game, Rovzar will be one of nine CdM seniors honored on senior day.
The playoffs will follow. Rovzar isn't counting out another big run for CdM, which was seeded No. 7 last year but advanced to the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division title match before falling to Los Alamitos, 12-6.
CdM's schedule has been more challenging this year. The Sea Kings didn't face Los Al or Foothill in the regular season in 2012.
"I think we're at a spot that we want to be," Rovzar said. "Coming off a loss to Beckman, I didn't want that at all, but we have a strategy at this point. We've tried to get out most of the kinks ... at this point it's going to come down to perfecting our plays and perfecting our communication as a team. If that's going to happen, and I honestly believe it can, then I think our second half of the season can prove where CdM was as a program last year, if not exceeding [that].
"Humbly speaking for the team, I think that beating Beckman again, especially on our home field and it's our senior game, is something that's completely reachable for us."
CdM would most likely share the league title with Beckman for the second straight year by winning that game. If the Sea Kings get it done, look for another big game from Rovzar.
It's hard to imagine there will be anyone on the field who wants the victory more.
"The thing about Molly is that she's really competitive," Vislocky said. "Nobody could ever deny how much she wants it. She will never give up on the team."
Born: Dec. 15, 1994
Hometown: Newport Beach
Coach: Aly Vislocky
Favorite food: Mom's homemade enchiladas
Favorite movie: "Bridesmaids"
Favorite athletic moment: Helping CdM advance to the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division title match last year, for the first time in program history.
Week in review: Rovzar had game-high goal totals as CdM notched two big nonleague wins. She had four goals and three assists in CdM's 15-6 win over Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay on April 2, as well as three goals in the Sea Kings' 9-7 victory over Foothill.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times