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Wading River Athlete To Compete For Spot On Women's National Team

Rutgers lacrosse champ receives high honor; urges other young hopefuls to pursue their dreams.

A Wading River athlete has a chance to pursue national recognition -- she has been selected by US Lacrosse to compete with 37 others for a spot on the 2012-2013 U.S. women's national team.

According to scarletknights.com, Stephanie Anderson, a 2009 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River High Schoolwho attend Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and is a women's lacrosse junior midfielder, was chosen from an initial group of 143 players during open tryouts at US Lacrosse National Tournament, which were held in late May in Stony Brook.

"I'm very excited," Anderson, 21, said Friday night during a phone interview. "It's a real honor to be selected through the first tryout. I'm amazed I made it this far and I'm hoping for the best for the next one."

Anderson, who has been playing lacrosse since she was in kindergarten, said her whole family, including her parents, Paul and Phoebe Anderson, and her sister Kristin, have been supportive. Her sister, she said, also plays lacrosse and graduated from Rutgers last year; both her parents have coached and traveled with their girls' teams.

Double majoring in sociology and public health education, Anderson hopes to be a physical education teacher one day and said her lacrosse experience has taught invaluable life lessons. "I've learned so much from sports -- to work as a team, to set goals and work towards achieving them."

This year's glory came after an injury last year when she "blew out her knee" and was unable to finish the season. "Coming back from an injury and being able to achieve this was awesome," Anderson said.

Phoebe Anderson, Stephanie's mom, said is "incredibly proud" of her daughter. "It was an amazing feat," she said. Due to her injury, Anderson said the family's expectations weren't that high initially this season. "But somehow, she got around it and was able to pursue what she wanted to do," she said. "I've never doubted that my kids would excel at athletics, or whatever they pursued. It's incredibly inspirational, watching them."

Anderson has a message for other young athletic hopefuls: "Always believe in yourself and if you work hard toward your goal, and focus on school and athletics, you can achieve anything," she said.

The second and final round of tryouts are slated to be held July 27 to July 29 at the University of Maryland.

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