In fifth grade, sophomore Sondra Dickey decided to tryout for the middle school girls’ lacrosse team in her hometown of Paoli, Pennsylvania. She didn’t think the sport would turn into more than something she did for fun with her friends.
She was wrong.
The decision to play lacrosse at Lehigh was a no-brainer for Dickey. She said the women’s lacrosse team provided a platform with great coaches and teammates along with phenomenal athletics.
It was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
Dickey is a midfielder on the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team, but she doesn’t just play. Her presence on the field is unmatched.
This season, Dickey has started all 13 games. Despite only being in her second season, she leads the Mountain Hawks in scoring with 50 points and 36 goals. The midfielder has already been named Patriot League Midfielder of the Week three times, with her first recognition coming in the first week of the weekly honors.
Within the last few games alone, Dickey has broken the Lehigh school record in single-season draw controls with 48, tallied a career-high seven points in a game and scored a career-high five goals in a game.
She sits at second in the Patriot League in shots per game with an average of 7.62, fifth in points per game with a 3.85 average and seventh in average goals per game with 2.77.
As a young standout, Dickey decided it was her time to step up into a leadership role when three season-ending injuries plagued the team.
“We have three starting midfielders, and two of them tore their ACLs this season, so you have to step up,” Dickey said. “It wasn’t just me. Everyone had to do it.”
Dickey said she’s always been able to do her job under the radar but realizes she now has to be more of a vocal leader for her teammates.
Coach Jill Redfern said Dickey’s height of 5 feet 8 inches, athleticism and competitiveness on the field impress her, but her persona is what makes others want to follow her lead.
“Personality-wise, she’s super humble and shy,” Redfern said. “She doesn’t need a lot of credit or thrive on attention. She’s happy with doing her job and doing it well if it is contributing to the team’s success. She’s selfless in that way. In whatever she’s doing, if it helps the team win, she’s going to do it.”
In line with her modest nature, Dickey attributes her success on the field to Redfern and the rest of her mentors. Dickey said she is utilizes their knowledge and skills to enhance her own abilities.
“I attribute my success more to my coaches,” she said. “I came in and worked on my skills a lot with them. I feel like so much of my game has changed because of what I’ve done with them over the summer and during individuals. They enabled me to take on a new role that I’ve never done before.”
Even when Dickey isn’t on the field embracing the new part she plays for her team, lacrosse consumes her life.
“She’s so motivated toward lacrosse,” sophomore defender Megan Gibbons said. “It’s her life. She spends so much time and energy with lacrosse in her free time. She watches lacrosse games all the time, and she’s constantly up to date on teams and scores, which makes her a better player.”
Dickey’s passion for the game has helped mold her into the athlete, team player and leader she is today.
She said she’s grateful for the opportunity Lehigh has given her. As a sophomore, she still has more to experience.
“She’s only a sophomore, and she’s already gotten so much better from last year,” Gibbons said. “Plus, she has two more years left to keep improving. She’s going to be an amazing player by the time she graduates from here.”
Although Dickey has already been awarded several individual accolades this season, she remains focused on the goals she has for her team.
“I want to win a Patriot League Championship, because I know we are capable of it,” Dickey said. “I want to end this season on a positive note and give it our all for our seniors, even though we’ve had so much adversity. It’s hard to deal with, but we are all trying to stay in good spirits and do the best we can moving forward to get better.”