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Dual-Sport Athlete Exemplifies One Team Attitude

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By Jackson Thibodeau, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- As a member of both the Penn State field hockey and women's lacrosse teams, junior Lauren Purvis enjoys being in-season all year long.


"It is just great to always have a game to look forward to," said Purvis.

Purvis, referred to by her teammates as "LP", wears the No. 10 jersey for both squads. Her jersey number, however, isn't the only consistency that she displays on both fields.

"What allows Lauren to be so successful in both sports is that she is really such a strong athlete and has great endurance," said head field hockey coach Charlene Morett.

"Both lacrosse and field hockey are running games, and Lauren's amazing fitness level is an asset to both teams."

Purvis has been an integral contributor to both teams in her two seasons with lacrosse and what is now her third season with field hockey.

She has registered 13 career goals and six career assists as a starting forward/midfielder on the field hockey field, and five career goals coming off the bench as a midfielder on the lacrosse team.

As for balancing academic and personal life with two Division I sports, Purvis claims that her busy and structured lifestyle assists her in staying focused and being productive.

A typical day in her shoes consists of classes from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., followed by practice, dinner, homework and then eventually--sleep.

Although each sport only competes during one season--field hockey in the fall and lacrosse in the spring, athletes are involved with their sport year-round.

For Purvis, this involvement is a bit more challenging.

"Field hockey is the sport I focus on during the fall, that's it," said Purvis. "The day after field hockey is lacrosse season."

Come November, Purvis undergoes a physical and mental transition from one sport right into the next.

Physically, the transition isn't too drastic. She is in shape from months of field hockey competition, and the move from one sport to the other simply means picking up her things and crossing the hallway in the East Area Locker Room Building from the field hockey locker room into the lacrosse locker room.

Purvis takes advantage of holiday breaks from academics to switch gears from a field hockey shape and mentality into that of lacrosse.

"I'm always a little bit rusty after field hockey season, but I have been playing since I was so young that the concepts and feel for the game are always there," she said.

"It comes down to refining concrete things like my stick skills."

As for her involvement with one team while she is in-season with another team, it all comes down to circumstance.

Given her commitment to both squads, she will be in attendance for postseason team functions and meetings for field hockey as long as they don't conflict with anything lacrosse-related.

"Lauren has tremendous leadership qualities and she contributes so much to this team on and off the field," said Morett. "We wish we could see more of her in the spring."

Purvis, a talented athlete and proud Penn Stater, comes from a long line of Nittany Lion athletes.

Her mother, Sue Purvis, was a member of the field hockey team from 1977-79 and was teammates with Coach Morett when Morett was a student-athlete. Lauren's aunt was also a member of the field hockey team from 1971-73, while her grandfather ran track and cross country for the Nittany Lions from 1949-51.

Lauren also had the opportunity to play on the same squad as her sister, Jenny Purvis, who was a standout on the field hockey team from 2007-10.

"I've had a close relationship with the family and I recruited Lauren and Jenny ever since they were toddlers," said Morett. "Like their mother, they are both such great competitors and I always wanted both of them on my team."

For Purvis, she might be a member of two different squads in the fall and the spring, but she is truly just a member of one team, and that team is Penn State.

"Both teams work extremely hard and have so much heart and hustle," said Purvis. "It's nice to have such hard working teams and great coaches."

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