Smith brings competition and energy to final season


Photo courtesy of Jaime Livingood Photography.

Joey Draper, Staff Writer

This previously ran in our April 2022 print issue.

Senior Marybeth Smith has been a force on defense for Emmaus girls lacrosse since she stepped on the field freshman year. Smith has also been able to contribute in attack as well, netting 32 goals in her career so far. 

Her impact has been crucial to the recent success of the team. 

Smith first got into lacrosse in elementary school, and she fell in love with it right away.

“I started playing lacrosse in fourth grade and to be honest I did it because a lot of my friends were doing it,” Smith said. “I knew it was the sport for me and my love for the game began there. 

“As I started club lacrosse, I realized that I love this sport,” Smith said. “It also helped me decide I wanted to play at a high level in college.” 

Smith has been on the varsity roster since freshman year, which speaks to the quality of her game and what she can bring to the field. It is uncommon for a freshman to start unless they have exceptional talent. EHS girls lacrosse coach Roxanne Betz has believed in her since day one and Smith has lived up to the expectations. 

“I was very excited to be playing varsity as a 14-year-old; however, it was a bit nerve racking,” Smith said. “Being a tiny freshman playing defense against 16- to 18-year-olds was a little scary.” 

Smith also spoke on how her goals and expectations for herself have changed since ninth grade up until now as a senior. 

“I didn’t really set many goals for myself freshman year because I was just happy to be seeing time on the field,” Smith said. “My expectations have definitely changed since then but I just want to be playing the best lacrosse that I can and learn from my mistakes.” 

Emmaus girls lacrosse has improved since Smith’s freshman year. In 2018-19, they were just 8-10 and finished fourth in the conference. 

Her sophomore year was postponed due to the pandemic, but Emmaus hit the ground running for her junior year. Emmaus girls lacrosse had one of their best seasons ever in spring of 2021, going 16-2 and being EPC runner ups. Smith spoke on the change in expectations and how Emmaus is now a team acclimated to playing in the postseason. 

“For all four years that I’ve been a part of this team there have been so many talented players I’ve played with,” she said. “The team has changed immensely every year, and we’ve gotten better. This season we have a ton of young talent and we are taking advantage of that. Coach Betz holds us to high standards and it makes us the best possible players we can be.”

Junior teammate Hannah Schneider’s favorite part about playing alongside Marybeth is her skills as an athlete. 

“Marybeth’s competition on the field and her energy she puts out is my favorite thing about her,” Scheider said.“She’s always there as a teammate.” 

Schneider also feels Smith has been able to teach her on the field and off the field.

“Marybeth has made me a better player and she finds a way to help me and correct me with the mistakes I make” Schneider said. “Marybeth takes all the risks so she has taught me to take the risks and I look up to that.” 

Coach Betz has been Smith’s coach since freshman year, and Betz praises the senior for her hard work and determination to be better. 

“Marybeth has been dominant since the very beginning, as a freshman she started varsity,” Betz said “She’s been a pleasure to coach. She’s a perfectionist and wants to always fix her errors, that’s helped her become a dominant player.” 

Betz also praised Smith’s ability to teach her younger teammates to fix their errors and help them become better players. 

“She is good at pulling them aside and teaching them things to improve on. She’s taught them how to be positive, and shows them how it’s done. She also shows what she means on the field,” Betz said. 

Smith has also achieved a lot of recognition during her career, starting with being a varsity captain. She also has achieved EPC first team utility player in 2021. She has won varsity playmaker of the year twice (2019, 2021). For her club team she has achieved T3 all star team 2018-2021. 

Smith’s impact on the field in contributing to helping the girls win is just as important as her impact off the field in helping bond friendships with her teammates. Smith is helping build a foundation for her younger teammates to achieve great things in years to come.