Before coming to Sweet Briar in the late 1990s, Jessica Livingston ’00 hadn’t planned on playing lacrosse at all — much less becoming an All-American player and ending up on the cover of Lacrosse Magazine. Yet that’s exactly what happened.
Maybe, the magazine speculates in its January issue, it is because “she can’t resist a challenge.”
When Livingston moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2002, lacrosse wasn’t exactly a thriving sport there. To help get the game off the ground, Livingston took over as head coach of the Chaparral Varsity Girls Lacrosse Club that year.
“There was a need. It worked out well,” she said in an interview with the magazine.
Under her guidance, the club has won two state championships.
But Livingston’s focus didn’t remain on high school sports alone. In 2004, she founded AZ Girls Lacrosse, a league for girls in grades K-9. Since then, lacrosse in Arizona has grown dramatically.
“It had five girls when it began,” Livingston said. “I’ve had about a thousand girls go through my program now.”
She also started the state’s only post-collegiate program, Arizona Storm. While a knee injury last March stopped her from playing on the team, her coaching career is just getting started. In 2010, US Lacrosse honored Livingston with the Excellence in Growing the Game award.
To her, it’s not just an award. It’s a whole new challenge.
“Now they’re wanting the next step,” she told Lacrosse Magazine. ”We’re going out of our state because that’s one of the only ways to grow and be successful.”