Edison girls lacrosse senior standout Ali Bryant announced on Instagram that she has committed to study and play Division 2 lacrosse at Colorado Mesa University.
“The biggest reason I committed to Colorado Mesa was that it was the perfect fit academically and athletically. I visited a lot of other schools over the last several months and they were always missing that ‘It factor’ that made me fall in love with CMU,” Bryant said.
Bryant also loved the coaching philosophy of coach Shannon McHale and how she runs her program.
“We agree on a lot of things. She understands the importance of the mental aspects of playing at a high level on how important it is to keep your head balanced,” Bryant said “When I met with the girls on the team, I could tell already how being apart of this team meant I was joining something bigger than myself.”
Last year, Bryant finished with 10 goals and five assists before the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the lacrosse season. Edison coach Olivia Smart said that Bryant leads by example and she sets the bar for her teammates.
“Ali is always growing as a lacrosse player. She is constantly working to improve. She is so self motivated that honestly it’s inspiring. Ali did not get to where she is by just coming to practice; she pushes herself outside of practice as well. Ali has continuously grown in so many ways since the first day I met her. She is constantly thinking about how she can improve her skills and how she can gain knowledge,” Smart said.
Bryant credited Smart, assistant coach Jeff Newman and former Edison coach Rob Hendrix, who helped her play out of her comfort zone. Bryant’s biggest thank you went to her mother, who helped her immensely.
“The minute I told her I wanted to play lacrosse in college she did everything possible to help me get there. Sometimes I would go downstairs at midnight on a school night and she would be researching schools or editing film. She is amazing,” Bryant said about her mother.
Bryant is the third Edison girls lacrosse player who has committed to play college lacrosse, joining Blakely Malpass, who has committed to Davenport University and Melanie Wieland, who committed to Georgetown of Kentucky.
“Edison has come so far. I am beyond proud of all of my players for their growth in the short amount of time that Edison has been a program. It was only three years ago that they all held a stick for the first time, and now we are a top 10 program with 3 players going to play in college,” Smart said. “It’s amazing to see their desire to want to continue to play. It just shows how much they love to play lacrosse.”
In addition to playing lacrosse, Bryant played field hockey at Edison as well, leading her team to a third place finish in the Tournament of the Champions.
“Field hockey definitely translated to the lacrosse field for me. Especially because field hockey is during the lacrosse off season I’m always in shape all year long. In field hockey, the transition down the field is so important in order to maintain possession of the ball as in lacrosse. As a midfielder, its so important to have a smooth transition from defense to attack,” Bryant said.
Last year, Colorado Mesa finished 2-2 before the pandemic ended the Mavericks’ season.