John Jay’s Ashley Schafer knew from the moment she stepped on the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island, that it was where she wanted to continue her education and lacrosse career. Everything felt right.
“I chose Brown for its stellar academics and athletics, along with the team culture on the women’s lacrosse team,” Schafer said. “I made my visit in September of last year (2019) and, from the moment I stepped on campus, I fell in love with Brown and the city of Providence.”
She continued, “After sitting in on a few classes with a player from the lacrosse team, I knew it was the place that I wanted to continue my academic career. Most importantly, the Brown University women’s lacrosse team has the skill, the motivation and the culture that I always sought after during my recruitment.”
Brown University plays in the Ivy League and is coached by Keely McDonald.
“The coaching staff is interested in developing not only strong players, but strong people,” Schafer said. “I admire and respect my future coaches so much and I am so excited to be able to spend the next four years learning from them.”
She continued, “Although it wasn’t complete during my official visit, Brown recently finished a new facility for women’s lacrosse which really shows the investment the school and its donors are putting into the team.”
Schafer was also recruited by the University of Michigan, as well as Northwestern, Georgetown and Bucknell universities.
Schafer began playing lacrosse in the second grade.
“What I love about the game is the ability to be creative and constantly finding ways to up your game,” she said. “From a young age, my parents encouraged me to focus equally on both the basics of the game and the unique skills.”
Schafer continued, “Lacrosse is a sport with so many elements and skills, and it is nearly impossible to perfect an area of your game. If you want to be a high-level player, you can never be content with where your skills are because the game is constantly evolving in its rules and style of play.”
She added, “Even in the past four years, the game has changed tremendously, and this is why I love the game so much.”
Schafer first made the Jay as a freshman defender. In addition to the Wolves, she also plays travel lacrosse for the Prime Time program.
“As a player, my strengths are my hustle and fight to win every play,” Schafer said. “A weakness is that I have not yet developed the level of offensive prowess that I hope to achieve. Although I am a defender, I hope to be able to be a threat on offense if needed.”
Schafer first began to entertain the idea of being a Division 1 college player after making the Jay varsity as a ninth grader.
“Making a team with so many talented players at the time gave me the confidence that I needed in order to make an impact both on my school team and my club team,” she said. “However, when we won the section finals and then went on to states, I knew for sure that with hard work and commitment, I could play at the D-1 level because I was already competing against and with high-level college commits.”
Of all her individual and team accomplishments at John Jay, winning the sectional title as a freshman stands out.
“Having it be my first experience on a high-level team is something that I am forever grateful for, and to be a part of a team that helped make history at John Jay is really special,” Schafer said. “We were the underdogs going into the playoffs and to make the sectional finals and beat a highly-skilled Yorktown team was an amazing feeling.”
She added, “Having experiences like that are the reason why I play sports, and having a supportive team and community to celebrate it with — makes it even more special.”
As she prepares for her final season this spring, Schafer hopes she made an impact at Jay.
“I want to be remembered at John Jay as a player with unrelenting fight and hustle, and as a great teammate,” she said. “If I have learned anything over my high school career, it is that you can be the most skilled player on the field, but if you don’t have the hunger to compete in every play, you won’t be successful.”
Schafer added, “I hope that my teammates remember me as a positive role model who brought energy to every practice and game and as a vocal leader on and off the field.”