Livy Rosenzweig is pursuing a master’s degree in psychology at Loyola, which means she must know exactly how she makes lacrosse opponents feel.
Her propensity for putting the ball in the back of the net — or as is more her custom, facilitating teammates to do the same — has allowed the Greyhounds to race to two of the last three Patriot League titles, including a 12-3 overall record, 12-game winning streak and a third straight NCAA Tournament berth for the program this past season.
Opponents can only shake their heads at Loyola’s all-time leading scorer and her 328 career points. And here’s something else that might make them uneasy: Rosenzweig is coming back next year for a fifth season in the green and white.
“There are just certain players that have that ‘it’ factor about them,” said Loyola coach Jen Adams, who was one of those players herself at Maryland from 1998-2001. “It’s the lacrosse IQ. It’s her skill but also her ability to make those around her look better. She influences the game in so many ways, not just scoring goals and not just assisting players. She’s a huge factor on the draw for us. She gets the ball back on the ride. She’s an incredible leader and captain.”
Rosenzweig is a natural in the game, owing to her lacrosse lineage and love for the sport. She’s also had some emotional ups and downs, though you’d never know it by her level of play. Perhaps those self-doubts, ones that made her want to pursue psychology and help others, have made her an even better player, and certainly a more well-rounded person.
As for the lacrosse and Adams’ assessment, game knows game. Adams, universally acknowledged as one of lacrosse’s all-time greats, knew Rosenzweig was just the kind of attacker she wanted in her free-flowing offense the first time she saw the Katonah, N.Y., native at a summer tournament.
Adams and Loyola assistant Dana Dobbie were walking between fields during a break and saw Rosenzweig warming up.
“We were waiting for the next game to start and thought she looked awesome but were disappointed she was wearing a [Boston College] sweatshirt, so we thought she was already committed,” Adams said.
After the game, and a typically sterling performance by young Rosenzweig, the Loyola coaches asked Rosenzweig’s coach if she was still in the recruiting process. She was, and she would commit to the Greyhounds as a sophomore out of Somers High School, even before she landed on the Under Armour All-American team and was rated a top-25 recruit nationally.
“I wanted to be at a small school and academically I wanted to be somewhere my teachers would know me,” Rosenzweig said. “I wanted someplace you formed relationships with teachers and administrators, and obviously I wanted to be in a top-10, top-15 [lacrosse] program. I wanted to compete and play for league championships and in the NCAA Tournament. The coaching staff here is amazing, too. All those things made me want to come here.”
Rosenzweig was dynamite right out of the box in 2018, setting Loyola freshman records for draws, assists and points. With 55 goals and 47 assists, she became the first Greyhound — male or female — to score 100 points in a single season. She was Patriot League Rookie of the Year and one of only three freshmen nationwide to earn Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-America honors and one of just four on the Inside Lacrosse All-America squad for the 16-5 Greyhounds
It wasn’t a fluke. She had 116 points (46 goals, 70 assists) in 2019, and Loyola was again 16-5, undefeated in the Patriot League, only this time Rosenzweig starred in the postseason to lead the Greyhounds to the conference tournament crown. She earned all-tournament honors with six goals and a tournament record 10 assists in two games.
The 5-foot-7 attacker is at her best involving teammates, and she has a natural feel for the game that translates into winning plays all over the field. It might be a stretch to say Rosenzweig was born to play lacrosse, but it’s not much of a stretch. She and her sister Gabby (one year older) have competed at the highest level. Gabby played four years at Penn before wrapping up her career at Duke this spring as a graduate transfer and holds several major Quaker scoring and assist records.
Speaking of assists, credit parents Margaret and Niall in providing collegiate women’s lacrosse with two virtuoso athletes. No surprise, Niall played lacrosse and football at Ithaca College, and Margaret was a basketball player at Fordham.
“Gabby and I played together growing up all throughout elementary, middle school and high school and our dad was our youth coach,” Livy said. “It was kind of a family affair.”
Livy was still hoarse from attending Gabby’s NCAA quarterfinal game at Northwestern, where she got to unabashedly cheer for her sister again. The 2021 Patriot League champion Greyhounds had been eliminated a week earlier at No. 3 Syracuse, but not before Livy tallied four assists and a goal against the Orange. She has 184 assists in 62 collegiate contests.
“I always looked up to [Gabby] in a lot of ways,” Livy said. “We went our separate ways in college, but since we played the same [attack] position it was easy to watch her games and keep learning from her, on and off the field.”
Rosenzweig has learned well. She earned her fourth set of All-America honors this season, leading the Patriot League in points (83) and assists (50). She became Loyola’s all-time leading scorer (328 points) and the Patriot League career assist leader.
Rosenzweig said that for her and her sister, such success is rooted in a strong desire to compete.
“We want to win, and we want to be good at what we’re doing,” Rosenzweig said. “It comes with hard work and going 100 percent in practice. Just making sure you’re trying your hardest. Honestly, though, I think a lot of it comes from our teams and where we were recruited. They were perfect fits for us.”
There was a brief time back as a freshman that Rosenzweig didn’t believe she had found that “perfect fit.” All through her athletic career, back even before college, she has had bouts with anxiety. That first year at Loyola, she was homesick, and it took time to find her comfort zone.
“That became a big part of me learning to cope with my anxiety,” she said. “Being homesick really triggered it. It felt like I was far away from home even though I was just four hours away. I think mental health is becoming more talked about, and that’s a part of the reason I’m excited to become a therapist or a counselor. It’s great learning how to cope with my anxiety and the people around me have helped me so much.”
Rosenzweig hopes to work with children when her playing days are done, helping them get over the rough patches, too.
“I want to make a difference,” she said.
A “silver lining” of the pandemic for Rosenzweig was the chance to continue into Loyola’s acclaimed graduate psychology program. She’ll be in a better position — just like she so often is on the playing field — in the job market when she wraps up another degree in two years. That includes playing again next spring, which became a possibility after the NCAA granted athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
“I couldn’t imagine this season ending and being my last one,” she said. “Now we get to go back in the fall, and it will be a little more of a normal year.”
Rosenzweig will be the linchpin for another loaded Loyola squad, and Adams can’t wait.
“She plays with such an air — it’s fun to watch and fun to be in her presence,” the coach said. “That’s a great way to be an athlete when younger players want to be around you. They’re excited to be on the field with her and learn from her. She brings out the best in them, and to be honest, as a coaching staff, she brings out the best in us, too.”
And just maybe, the best is yet to come.
Photo Credit: Larry French/Loyola Athletic Communications
Originally published June 16, 2021