A junior low defender, Hark was a starter on Agnes Irwin’s PAISAA girls lacrosse state finalists as a freshman, and is currently the quarterback of the Owls’ defense. Her stellar defense has been a key to Agnes Irwin’s strong start this spring. Agnes Irwin lacrosse head coach Lauren Wray said, “Samantha’s vision and ability to read the play and communicate to her teammates makes her an indispensable member of our team.” Off the lacrosse field at Agnes Irwin, Hark is a member of the school’s Athletic Association, PALs, Tour Guides, Walk Her Home Club and Produce Project Club.
Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding reading plays?
A: I have learned to anticipate players’ next moves early, which has helped me read players very easily and defend attackers more efficiently. It is a simple idea but an important task. If you expect what is about to happen and take the chance to intercept a pass or slide/crash early, it can cause a turnover for your team and open opportunities to win.
Q: Tell us a little about your lacrosse training during this past COVID pandemic year, the biggest challenges you faced as a lacrosse player, and how you dealt with those challenges.
A: The hardest challenges were getting the motivation to work out and keep up with my skills and activity. Not having my teammates by my side to push or encourage me to do more was hard to find on my own. I overcame this feeling by doing little things each day. I would go on walks or runs with my sister, have a pass with her in the yard, or read a few chapters in Mind Gym to help motivate me. It took time, but I started getting back into the groove of things after a few weeks and began working out and playing lacrosse almost every day on my own.
Q: What is your favorite memory of the 2019 lacrosse season, when Agnes Irwin went to the PAISAA girls lacrosse finals?
A: Our spring break trip to Virginia. We had tons of fun on the bus rides there and back playing karaoke, two truths and a lie, card games, and singing. We went white water rafting and I don’t think I have ever laughed so much! Even though everyone was drenched and yelling at each other to paddle, it was an amazing bonding experience and brought us all closer.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in lacrosse. Have you always been a defender? Who have been your biggest lacrosse mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about lacrosse?
A: I have always been a defender even though my sister Alexandra (a junior at Boston University) is an attacker. She is by far my biggest mentor and helped me immensely when I was younger. We passed in our backyard when I first started playing, and she made sure my hands were positioned properly on my stick, that my shoulders were up, that I was following through my passes, and getting low on my ground balls; she was basically my first coach. Another Agnes Irwin mentor is defender Emma Macaione. When I was in middle school I would watch my sister’s games and I could always hear Emma on the defensive end wherever I was on the field. Watching Emma taught me to be loud, big and assertive with my team. Lastly, my Ultimate club coach, Molly Wolf. Every time I saw her at summer practices she had a smile and was pumped to coach. This pushed me to always bring energy and intensity to every practice like it was our last. I carry all these qualities with me today and expect to continue them in my college career.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: I usually eat a bacon, egg and cheese bagel from up-RYES Bagel & Deli in Bryn Mawr and drink a lot of water. On my way to the game, I blast my music in the car and jam out to get me pumped to play and raise my energy.
Q: What’s your favorite subject in school? What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite subject would either be chemistry or biology. I would love to attend medical school and become a doctor. I am the only one in my family that wants to pursue a career in medicine. My parents are lawyers and my siblings are both business majors, so I am on my own for this one! I did watch Grey’s Anatomy when I was younger, which I’m sure sparked my interest in this career as well.
Fun facts – Samantha Hark
Favorite TV show: Friends.
Favorite movie: Interstellar.
Favorite athlete: Tiger Woods.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: No Hands.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles. “And my Agnes Irwin lacrosse team, of course.”
Favorite place to visit: Key Largo, Fla.
Favorite pre-game meal: Bacon, egg and cheese from up-RYES Bagel & Deli in Bryn Mawr.
Person I most admire, and why: “My grandfather. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was younger and even in the hardest times he always had a smile on his face when I saw him and gave me the biggest hugs! I try to carry his outlook on life with me every day and see the good in everything.”
Family members: parents Richard and Pam, siblings Alexandra and Mitchell, dog Quincy.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)