In the Locker Room: Madeleine O’Meara, Ilyssa Meyer and Christina Perez-Tineo

This week the Review sat down with women’s lacrosse seniors Madeleine O’Meara, Ilyssa Meyer and Christina Perez-Tineo to discuss team chemistry, pre-game rituals and Disneyland.

Maxwell Sugarman, Sports Editor

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How is the season going so far? What is your record?

Ilyssa Meyer: Right now our record is 1–8, but that doesn’t reflect the hard work and dedication that we have been putting into the season so far. Also, the scoreboard has not been reflecting the heart on the field, which is really important to note and should be known publicly. I think that this season we are playing a lot harder teams than this program has ever faced before. If you look at the stats, we’re ranked 135th in the nation, and we are playing teams that are ranked between 50th and 70th in the nation. We’re playing teams that are significantly better than us, and as a team our measuring stick has not been wins and losses. We are going into every game looking to play our hardest against hard teams.

Madeleine O’Meara: Last year our record was better, and we had a winning season. Obviously it feels good to win, but I think it has also felt really good to play more challenging teams this year.

Do you think that the team can get it together and make a playoff run?

Christina Perez-Tineo: Yeah.

IM: Definitely. We have two of our hardest conference games behind us, so I think that the next four or five games will go well.

MO: Two teams got added to our conference so we have six more conference games, and I think that we’re all fully confident that we can make it to the playoffs.

Do you guys have any pre- or post-game rituals that you can discuss?

MO: That we can discuss?

CP: Ilyssa and I like to rap to Lil Wayne in particular, and the team as a whole likes to do this pump up to DMX.

IM: We can’t really say what song.

CP: But it’s pretty intense.

IM: We get sweaty before we leave the locker room.

CP: Yeah, I threw my back out because I was going so hard. [Laughs.] We also use cork for eye-black before our games, which almost everyone does. It’s pretty fun to put on game-day mask together.

MO: Before our first home conference game we also do something with glitter.

IM: And that’s all we can say about that.

What was the high point of your spring break trip to California?

IM: One of my high points was laughing in the van at ugly pictures that we took. Just being together in this really intense way was an overall high.

CP: Outrigger paddling was awesome, but I think that we just make everything fun.

IM: It really doesn’t matter what we are doing if we’re doing it together. A constant ab workout from laughing.

CP: We like to make fun of each other and ourselves. We’re all very close.

What happened when you went to Disneyland?

MO: So we’re on our way to Disneyland, and we were stopped at a toll, and our coach looks in her bag and realizes that she forgot the tickets at the hotel. That was kind of funny because we had to sweet talk our way into Disneyland.

This is your last season playing lacrosse at Oberlin. What is your favorite memory from the last four years?

MO: My favorite memory as far as games is 100 percent winning our Allegheny game last year 10–8. It was the first conference game we’ve won since we’ve been here, and Allegheny is a team that, the year before, beat us 22–4. So to come back and beat them by two points in a game where everyone played a part as a cohesive unit — I’ve never felt the way I did after that game ever.

How do you see the program progressing in the future?

MO: I’m really excited to graduate because we haven’t historically had very large graduating senior classes, and there are only four seniors on the team this year, but I know that we are going to stay in touch with the people on the team. They are going to continue the tight-knit community that we have helped foster while we have been here. That is something that we as seniors are leaving for the team. I’m excited to be a part of that community now, and I am excited to be a part of that community when we graduate.

IM: I am excited to see how the program is growing. The places that it has the potential to go now are phenomenal. We just got new uniforms, and everyone looks swagged out. Next year we’re getting a beautiful turf field, and we’re going to come back and kick ass at alumni events. It’s really exciting that we know that 10, 20, 40 years from now this will still be our program. We have this big blanket with an “O” on it, and we are going to start a tradition where the seniors leave the blanket to the next senior class with an imprint on it. It’ll be cool to come back in five or ten years and see it filled up with memories.

CP: You guys have said it for the most part. The program is headed in the right direction. Coach is bringing in people who really want to play the game, and hopefully we can get better and better.

Any last words?

IM: Come to our senior game. 4/20. Come as you please.

MO: I just want to say that I have received a lot of validation and affirmation from the Athletics department over the course of my time here at Oberlin, and that’s been a really awesome experience in that way. Not only the Athletics department but also my teammates, and I feel so lucky that I have been able to have that. I almost feel like our senior day game is more important to me than graduation. It’s a culmination of how hard we have all worked over the past four years.

CP: I would agree with that. I am five feet, and I never feel as short as I am. I feel like this game makes me big and being on this team makes me big, and I think that every female should do something that makes them feel good about themselves and who they are. That sounds so cheesy, but it’s done wonders for me.

IM: I love it. There’s also a quote that an [alumna] said that we try to live every day: “Every day we indulge in the opportunity to play the sport we love with a fiercely loyal set of sisters under the wide Ohio sky.”

MO: There are so few places that you can go in the world where you know that 15 other people have your back 100 percent of the time.

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