Hard work paying off for Rovzar

Three weekends in a row last November, Molly Rovzar traveled to the East Coast.

Rovzar racked up the frequent flier miles with her XTeam club girls' lacrosse team. First there was a tournament in Maryland, then another tournament in Maryland, then a tournament in Florida.

The grind did not wear on Rovzar. In fact, the Corona del Mar High junior didn't consider it a grind at all.

"It was crazy, but it was the best lacrosse I've ever played," she said. "It was so much fun, and so intense. It was definitely worth it."

Rovzar eats this stuff up. She definitely wants to play lacrosse in college. She loves the sport so much, striving to be better and better.

Name a big game this season for the Sea Kings, and the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week has stepped up. Rovzar, typically a midfielder for CdM, helped out on defense in her team's huge Pacific Coast League victory over defending-champion Beckman last month. And, oh yeah, she still managed to lead the team with five goals.

The latest big game was the Battle of the Bay. Rovzar again came out strong, scoring a team-high six goals and dishing out two assists in CdM's 24-6 romp over Newport Harbor. She helped ensure CDM would win the rivalry match for the third straight year.

The next day, there she was at Mission Viejo High, competing for a spot on the prestigious Women's Divisional National Tournament team. Rovzar made the squad for the second straight year and will compete with the team in a tournament over Memorial Day weekend at Stony Brook University in New York.

"I think the game on Saturday kind of pumped me up to go out to the tryout," Rovzar said. "I was a little sore, not going to lie, but I think just having that excitement on Saturday definitely built up my confidence for Sunday."

On the lacrosse field, Rovzar usually makes CdM's opponents feel the pain. She leads CdM (9-1) in many statistical categories, such as goals (42), ground balls (27) and faceoffs won (36). She is the complete player for Coach Aly Vislocky's Sea Kings. Vislocky has seen the junior captain put in the work.

"A ton of work," Vislocky said. "I'll often use her as an example of how much you can improve during the offseason. That's where you really pass other players and other teams, during the offseason, because everybody practices during the season ... She brings a fun personality to the team, but maintains a sense of competitiveness."

It's all quite impressive for someone who has been playing the sport for just about three years. Growing up, Rovzar was a soccer player. She said that changed after she broke her left leg in seventh grade.

"It was kind of a realization that I wasn't ever going to be that good in soccer," Rovzar said. "That was the moment where I was like, 'OK, I love sports, and I need to figure out what sport is going to fit me.' "

Rovzar was friends with Kylie Mulvaney, now a junior defender for CdM. Kylie's mom, Lauren, was just starting up the Newport Wedge youth lacrosse program.

It did not take long for Rovzar to fall in love with the sport. Soon, she was even setting ambitious goals for herself.

"I was trying to get good for high school," she said. "I wanted to make varsity as a freshman, and I did. I didn't play a ton, but I got in some."

Her sophomore year, Rovzar blossomed into a first-team All-Pacific Coast League player. She was second on CdM in goals scored, and she was fully committed to lacrosse.

Last spring, she tried out for the Women's Divisional National Team as a sophomore, and Rovzar said she surprised herself by making the team. In the summer she joined XTeam and traveled to the East Coast for tournaments. In the fall, she was promoted from XTeam's "Blue" team to the higher-level "Black" team.

On her club team, Rovzar plays with talented girls from around the country. But she also has local friends on XTeam, players such as Julie Crowell of Los Alamitos and Regan Anderson of St. Margaret's. Both are also on the WDNT squad.

High school lacrosse can be a pretty close-knit community; Rovzar also has plenty of friends on Beckman.

"We always were targeting them," she said. "I think beating them this year just showed how far we've come ... I think our unity as a team has never been so strong. As a team, everyone was in it for each other, not themselves. We've really worked hard and we've pulled our way up to the top through hard work and determination. We played as a unit against Beckman, as a team.

"As a team, we're strong. We want it for each other. As much as I want to win, I want it for all the seniors too. I know [senior captains] Gabby [Smith] and Torrey [Attyah], and Cassidy [Napolitano], they want it so bad. I want to win for them, because it's their last year. They deserve it, because they've put in so much work."

The passion and determination come out when talking to Rovzar. She said she has a great support system in her family. Her father, Bob, is the CdM Lacrosse boosters president. Her mother, Betsy, has also been extremely supportive. Betsy is a kindergarten teacher at Andersen Elementary, which is where Molly went to school.

Then there are her older brother, Andy, and sister, Brittany, who are always happy to hear of Molly's successes. Andy Rovzar, now a senior at University of Colorado-Boulder, played basketball and baseball at CdM.

"My brother was kind of my role model," Molly Rovzar said. "He's such a sports fanatic. It's kind of always been hard for me, because he hasn't really been able to see me play lacrosse because he's in college. It's weird, because he's one of my biggest fans, but he's yet to see me. I love calling him when something exciting happens with sports, because he's always super supportive about it and super helpful. He just says the right things."

There are at least two phone calls Molly wants to make in the upcoming weeks. The Sea Kings, ranked No. 3 in Southern California by laxpower.com, play host to No. 2 Foothill on Friday.

The Sea Kings are in spring break next week. They have a break from practicing until Thursday, the day before the match.

"It's kind of a little scary," Rovzar said. "Foothill's in school. They have a game next week, they're practicing, they're in 'go' mode. But it's good we're getting a break from lacrosse; everyone needs time to chill."

CdM then plays at No. 4-ranked Beckman again in the league finale April 25. And, as much fun as beating the Patriots was the first time, Rovzar knows the stakes will only be raised in the second meeting.

"As we're working hard right now, so are they," she said. "Right now, it could go anywhere. For us, just beating them once is not enough. We need to show them that we can beat Beckman twice in one year. I think we can do it."

Rovzar's words carry meaning. All of the travel is worth it now.

They come from a now-elite player, helping build a now-elite team.

Molly Rovzar

Born: Dec. 15, 1994

Hometown: Newport Beach

Height: 5 feet 6

Sport: Lacrosse

Coach: Aly Vislocky

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite movie: "Bridesmaids"

Favorite athletic moment: Helping CdM beat perennial powerhouse Beckman this year.

Week in review: Rovzar had a game-high six goals and two assists as CdM won the Battle of the Bay game over rival Newport Harbor, 24-6, on March 31.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World