By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It's very rare to see a transfer player come in and make an immediate impact. They have to pick up a new system, develop new chemistry, and understand what exactly it is that the players around them want to do.
It is especially challenging in a sport like lacrosse, where you have to be on the same page with your teammates on the field throughout the entire 60-minute game.
But for junior-transfer Jess Loizeaux, the transition has been no problem.
As a matter of fact, she has made the transition look easy and she has done it very smoothly, and with her own style.
The attacker is coming off an injury that caused her to miss her sophomore season at Virginia, and so far she has thrived in her new offense with her new team.
"I like it more," she said. "It's really hard to be out for a full season with an injury, mentally. It definitely messes with your mind. In the fall, it kind of gave me that period to get back to playing full swing and in competition in the fall ball games.
"Playing games is so much more fun for me. Just being able to compete and go to practice everyday and compete is just so much fun. "
Through the Nittany Lions' 14 games this season, Loizeaux's consistent play has proven to be invaluable, as she has become one of offensive leaders on this team. Currently, she boasts a 12-game point streak and is sixth on the team in points.
In her freshman season as a Cavalier, she scored eight times and assisted on three goals. As a Nittany Lion, her production has nearly tripled as she has 18 goals and 12 assists on the season.
Part of what has made her so effective in this offense is how well she has gelled with the other girls in blue and white, and how her playing style is very similar to the one head coach Missy Doherty has installed over her four years at the helm.
When the Mullica Hill, N.J., native has the ball in her stick, the aggression and tenacity she displays is tremendous, but her intelligence also stands out. She is always looking to get the ball to goal and beat the opposing goaltender. But at the same time, Loizeaux is very selective with her shots and will always pass up something forced for a better play.
Her style is similar to that of her teammates and the connection was instant from the first moment they stepped on the field together.
"I really, really enjoy playing with Maggie [McCormick] and Mackenzie [Cyr], especially on attack," Loizeaux said. "I think we all kind of play similar. Everyone on the team is unselfish. No one is a ball-hog or anything like that. It works really well with how I play.
"I like to get feeds inside and that kind of stuff. I think that our team all plays very similar and we are all equally good and we are not selfish, so I think I fit in pretty easily. But it was hard to get back into remembering how to play the game and that sort of thing."
Getting back on your feet and making an immediate impact is no easy task, as Loizeaux will attest to, but so far so good for the New Nittany Lion.
Loizeaux and the Nittany Lions return to action when they welcome ALC rival Johns Hopkins on Friday night for a pivotal game. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Loizeaux Making Her Comeback Complete
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