By Garrett Cote
Throughout the school’s history, there have been a fair share of exquisitely gifted athletes to wear The Jersey for the Springfield College Pride, with some having played more than one sport. Considering the increasing rarity of present-day dual-sport athletes, what Grace Levansavich is doing for the Pride’s women’s lacrosse and field hockey team is nothing short of spectacular.
Levansavich is not only a diligent and tireless worker who is committed to improving her craft on the lacrosse and field hockey fields, but she is also a standout in the classroom. The studious sophomore is double majoring in Physical and Health Education with a strong grade point average of 3.8.
Two sports, two majors, and still, Levansavich says there is more room on the plate she has served herself.
“It really doesn’t feel too overwhelming, surprisingly,” she began. “I’m just so used to doing sports, and I’ve done field hockey and lacrosse throughout my whole life. I was able to manage sports and school work during high school, so it prepared me to do the same at Springfield.”
In her first year on Alden Street, Levansavich regretted not playing lacrosse, as she was unsure if the burden of two sports would be too heavy. Now that she is in full swing participating with the lacrosse team this year, she has certainly made the correct choice to become the scarce dual-sport athlete.
“I was so close to playing freshman year, but I didn’t know if it was going to be too much with field hockey. Looking back, I regretted not playing, so I had to take the opportunity I had this year. The girls on the team have been so awesome and welcoming, they have made it a really easy and fun process for me,” Levansavich offered.
Not only has Levansavich’s decision been a positive one for her, but Pride women’s lacrosse head coach Kristen Mullady said the addition of Levansavich has also been splendid.
“Grace is a pure, raw athlete that has really grown rather quickly,” Mullady declared. “She is extremely coachable and has the urge to always get better, and her work ethic and coachability have helped her develop into a great player. She does a great job challenging our top players in practice as a defender, and things like that really stick out.”
The task of juggling two sports is impressive on its own, however, the fact that Levansavich is accomplishing all of this while navigating through the unfortunate circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic displays her resilience to perfection. Mullady highlighted that exact point, lauding at Levansavich’s grit and determination.
“I reached out to her over the summer to see if she was still interested in playing, and she said yes. I think this just describes her because she wanted to do both sports in the fall in the middle of a pandemic. On top of that she is a very high academic individual so that just speaks to who she is as a person,” Mullady praised of the sophomore.
Pride field hockey head coach Melissa Sharpe emulated Mullady’s point about Levansavich’s coachability, stating it has been a blast working with her during their two shortened years together.
“During every interaction, I’ve had with Grace I’ve learned that she’s a really polite kid, and extremely friendly,” Sharpe said. “Not only that, but Grace has a terrific work ethic, she’s a great athlete, and she’s very determined and eager to learn and get feedback. All of these attributes are important and I think really allow her to be successful.”
Dual-sport athletes are particularly uncommon. Sharpe listed the advantages that they have compared to athletes who do just one sport, and she shed light on several solid points.
“Personally, I love the dual-sport athletes, and I wish more of my players would consider it. The Div. III off-season is so short, which allows for more time to pick up something else. It allows kids to stay in shape, learn from a different coach’s perspective, learn different skill sets, and a lot of times those things carry over [to other sports] in positive ways,” Sharpe articulated.
Clearly, Levansavich has had a tremendous impact on both the lacrosse and field hockey teams, and it is safe to say she is taking advantage of every opportunity that crosses her path. For the dual-sport double major sophomore, no task is too daunting.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics