Co-Captain Lulu Rourke ’23 Boosts Morale through Positive Affirmations

Starting hockey at the age of five, Girls Hockey Co-Captain Lulu Rourke ’23 has committed countless hours to hockey. As one of three captains, Rourke focuses on radiating excitement and energy which makes her someone for the team to look up to on and off the ice, according to Rourke and her teammates. 

“One value that is important to me is respect and I think the root of our success is respecting each other, our coaches, and the opportunity we have to play. I motivate the team by trying my best to be optimistic and bring positive energy,” wrote Rourke in an email to The Phillipian.

Teammate Kiera Harder ’23 has known Rourke for years and has watched her improve. Rourke has continuously been a player to fear on the ice and always plays unselfishly, further benefiting the team, commented Harder.

“I’ve played against Lulu for nine years at this point, and every time I play against Lulu, I’m just  like, ‘Thank God we’re on the same team,’ because going up against Lulu is probably the most impossible task you will ever encounter. She’s so clever on and off the path, and she can just sneak by you, but she’s just one of those players who always stands out, and simultaneously, she also is so generous with the puck too. You notice her, but you also notice her generosity, which a lot of top tier players don’t always have.”

Co-Captain Olivia McManus ’23 highlighted how Rourke leads by example and showcases speed and overall energy on the ice. McManus enjoys watching and learning from Rourke’s techniques. 

McManus said, “Lulu is very energetic. On the ice, you can pick her out because she’s just flying everywhere and giving her max effort at all times. It’s just fun to watch. Then I try to take some of that from her even though sometimes it doesn’t really work because it’s crazy to watch. And it’s just so inspiring, but I think everyone just feeds off of her energy.”

Head Coach Martha Fenton echoes McManus’ sentiments. According to Fenton, Rourke is never afraid to put herself in uncomfortable positions for the team and brings everything she has to the ice each day. 

“I think anybody who has watched Lulu play sports can see that her work ethic is unmatched. She is as athletic as anyone I’ve ever coached, and she has the work ethic to go with it. She’s willing to sacrifice her body and do anything it takes,” said Coach Fenton.

Sharing similar sentiment to Coach Fenton, McManus appreciated Rourke’s way of playing and leading. McManus mentioned the benefits of Rourke’s approach in comparison to herself and fellow Co-Captain Anne Averill ’23. The various strategies greatly affect the team’s success, especially because both players are extremely talented. 

McManus said, “It’s beneficial to go as hard as you can all the time because you never know what type of bounce you’ll get or break up the play because she’s everywhere. I think if I were an underclassman looking at Anne and Lulu, you get the best of both worlds because they’re both bringing very different characteristics to the team. You learn from both of them in so many different ways. If everyone was the same, it wouldn’t be beneficial to the team, but since they’re so different in very good ways, it just helps everyone.”

Harder reiterated Rourke’s ability to motivate the team through words and actions. She is confident with Rourke in the front lines, describing her as a player at the center of motivating the team. 

Harder said, “Again I played against her for a while and I always thought ‘Oh my gosh,’ whenever we had to face off because it was always stressful, but now that we are on the same team. I can stay confident with her on the front lines, we are just fine… Obviously, with [her] captainship from soccer, she definitely brings some of that into hockey.”

Rourke is committed to play hockey at Holy Cross.