Determination, passion, and grit are just a few of the characteristics embodied by great athletes — but these traits cannot do senior lacrosse star Alli Norris ’18 justice. The adversities she has endured are representative of her maturity not only as an athlete, but as an empowering leader. Reaching the end of a four-year Deerfield career, Norris has left a sure mark on the lacrosse program while achieving praise from her coaches and teammates alike.
Growing up in New Canaan, Connecticut, lacrosse had always been a part of Norris’s daily athletic life. “Every single girl that I knew was [playing lacrosse], so I just thought, ‘why not?’” Norris explained. Later Norris went on to refine her skills as a lacrosse player, and by the eighth grade, began to see a bright future ahead of her. She started attending recruiting events in the hopes of one day playing for a collegiate lacrosse program.
Coming to Deerfield, Norris made the varsity team in her first year, hoping to make an impact from the get-go. Such determination garnered plenty of praise. Teammate Christina Halloran ’20 said, “Alli can always lift everyone’s spirits when people are down and is constantly encouraging and supporting her teammates.”
Last season, coaches and teammates were stunned to see Alli sidelined with a knee injury. She underwent surgery on August 21, 2017, and began a 10-month-long recovery process. Close friend and co-captain Olivia Jones ’18 admired Norris’s resiliency during physical therapy, describing, “Every time [Alli] would come back and tell me a small little improvement she had made that day.”
Assistant girls lacrosse coach Amie Creagh also spoke about Norris’s injury, saying, “Alli navigated the emotional and physical pain with grit and resilience. She remained committed to the team collectively and to her teammates individually.”
Now entering her last season at Deerfield, Norris looks to set a tone of positivity. Girls varsity lacrosse head coach Allison DiNardo has great confidence in what Alli has to offer as captain. “Alli has been a longstanding leader within the girls varsity lacrosse program.” Ms. DiNardo said. “She is grateful for every moment on the field, and that passion serves as a contagious energy for the team.”
When looking back at her four years with Alli, Jones also added, “I have loved growing alongside her since freshman year and couldn’t imagine doing it without her.”
In addition to her successful career on the lacrosse team, Norris was also a four-time varisty letter-winner in soccer. She was voted to serve as captain her senior year, and although she was sidelined, she remained a great leader for the underclassman and the team as a whole.
As she prepares to hang up jersey #6 for Deerfield, Norris is excited for the bright future ahead of her. She will join recent Deerfield graduate Meghan Halloran ’17 on the girls lacrosse team at Williams College next spring. Norris looks to spend the offseason dedicating herself to improving her strength and fitness. As for her hard work and perseverance over these last four years, she has surely earned her right to respect and success in the future.