Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 15, 1996

Lacrosse Star Becomes Team's All-Time Scoring Leader
For The Love Of The Game

Silent on success: Sure, Jenn Ward is the best women's lacrosse
player in Hopkins history. Just don't ask her about it.

Kevin Smokler
Special to The Gazette

     Lacrosse star Jenn Ward laughs when telling the "fuse box"
story.  Last summer, Hopkins' star women's lacrosse player
discovered the source of her Poltergeist-esque computer trouble
was her apartment building's main fuse box right outside her
window, which sent off electromagnetic fields of roughly 100
times the strength of normal household appliances. If she walked
the computer away from the window, the curse was lifted.  

     "It was really strange but also very interesting," the
senior from Wilton, Conn. says. "And I only needed one credit to
graduation, so I decided to check it out."

     So, while many students spend their Intersession relaxing,
Jenn Ward completed an independent study of the effects of EMFs
in the home.  

     "I got really into it and was always running from the Welsh
Library to MSE [the Milton S. Eisenhower Library] and back," she
said. "I'd say it ended up taking every waking moment of my

     The story is Jenn Ward in both metaphor and practice. Her
athletic ability can perhaps be described as an EMF--a vast
reserve of potential energy punctuated by an electric-shock
aggression on the field. Pair that with a work ethic that means
turning a passing curiosity into an academic project or training
regularly before and after practice and you have one of the most
skilled players in the program's 20-year history.  

     "She's definitely a hard-core athlete," says head coach
Janine Tucker. "Intense, very competitive and cool under
pressure. She seems to play better when something is on the

     Adds assistant coach Rick Fried, "She absolutely in the most
phenomenal shape of any athlete I've ever seen."

     According to Hopkins' Office of Sports Information, Ward is
Hopkins all-time leading scorer with 179 goals and is tied with
fellow attack Francine Brennan for most points this season with
32. On April 2 against Swarthmore, when she passed Rebecca
Savage's mark of 177, the game was stopped and an announcement

     "Jenn was a little bit irritated about that," says Coach
Tucker. "Her attitude was, 'let's just get back to the game.'"

     As her teammates and coach will attest, getting Ward to
comment on her success is like trying to get the ball away from
her during a game. Expect a lot of tail chasing.  

     "I've always just loved to play," says Ward, who was an
accomplished high school LAXer and has two younger brothers who
play collegiately. "I love to train, I love the competition and
try and do the best I can."

      Ask her to elaborate and you get a shrug. There isn't
anything else. 

     "She leads by example," says Tracey Brady, her roommate and
teammate. "When younger players see Jenn out early, running or
working on shooting, they learn from that."

     "Jenn doesn't need to embarrass or yell at anybody," says
Kate Bradbury, a freshman teammate and close friend. "Some
captains are very vocal and will get in your face. Jenn's
basically a quiet person."

     Maintaining Ward's level of ability and respect is a
full-time job. She admits she "can't even begin to count" how
many hours she spends on lacrosse each week.

     "I guess you could say she's the hardest on herself," says
Coach Fried. "She's become a much more dimensional player since
she started as a freshman."

     True to form, Ward quickly attributes her improvement to
Tucker and Fried's innovative coaching techniques.  

     "They coach this team like a men's team," she says. "In most
women's sports, there's a few players that are faster and
stronger than the rest and it's just a matter of defending
against them. The coaches divide the field in half so attacks
focus on scoring, like men's teams, instead of a lot of end-long
runs, like most women's teams."

     When away from the game, Ward spends the majority of her
time studying.  A psychology major, she is currently in her first
round of interviews at several investment banking firms.  

     "I'm not sure it's what I want to end up doing, but I have
friends in securities and it sounds right for me," she says,
laughing. "You know, intense, competitive, long hours."  

     And for fun?

     "Yes, I get out every now and then," Ward says in mock
frustration. She professes to a fondness for dancing and reading
Irving Stone's historical novels. Several freshmen smile when
recalling rides to Fells Point clubs in Ward's car and being
forced to listen to the achingly pass‚ New Edition.  

     "When Jenn and I are together, we're never bored," says
Brady. "I wouldn't call her a silly person, but she has a great
sense of humor when you get to know her."

     In the future, Ward plans to stick with lacrosse either on a
club team or in coaching. The game that now dominates her
schedule will become hobby. A pro-lacrosse career, she says, is
not why she came to college. 

     "Down the road when I look back, lacrosse is what I'll
remember," says Ward. "But that's later. We've got nine more
games to go."  

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