SPORTS SPOTLIGHT | Madison McGriff talks lacrosse, life as a student athlete

Residing in Lakewood, Colorado, redshirt senior Madison McGriff has made a significant impact on UCCS’ lacrosse program since the start of her career.

During her 2023 season, McGriff received several accolades, including earning a spot in the CSC Academic All-America Women’s At-Large Third Team and the All-RMAC first team. She was also crowned RMAC Goalkeeper of the Year.

McGriff hopes to continue her athletic success in the 2024 season while also having fun.

“I have been very fortunate to make an impact on our program over the last four years, so my main goal is to just enjoy my last season and not put too much pressure on myself. As a captain this year, I would also like to help build a lasting team culture for everyone now and in the future,” McGriff said.

McGriff has set herself some personal goals for this last season.

“Something I would like to accomplish is to reach a new milestone for total career saves. I started the season at around 450 and it would be awesome to reach at least 500,” McGriff said.

McGriff said that the team has also set some collective goals for this season.

“We have a lot of talent on the team so we want to make sure we are controlling what we can control and executing when we have the opportunity. Doing well in the RMAC tournament is also a consistent goal for the team that we always try to improve on,” McGriff said.

However, McGriff is also aware of the difficult opposition that they will face throughout the season.

“We have a challenging schedule this year … I think that Maryville might be one of our bigger challenges. They are a team we haven’t played before who is starting the season strong and ranked in the top 15. They also have a good number of returners with good connections that we have to watch out for,” McGriff said.

Despite the threat of opposition, McGriff remains confident in the program’s ability to do well this season.

“This year is made up of mostly freshman and sophomores, which has brought lots of energy and competition. Winning our second game against Dominican was a huge team win for us and will hopefully propel us into a challenging set of games throughout the season,” McGriff said.

Outside of lacrosse, McGriff is a dedicated student who graduated last May with a degree in Inclusive Elementary Education. She is currently getting her master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

McGriff said that she has been able to manage the balance between athletics and academics so far this season.

“After completing student teaching last year, which was practically teaching full time whilst taking classes and playing lacrosse, this year has seemed much more manageable. I think that because I grew up doing lots of different sports and activities outside of school, it has helped with the routine of balancing academics and athletics,” said McGriff said.

McGriff said that her favorite thing about being a student athlete is the bond everyone on the team has. “You spend so much time with your teammates and make so many lasting memories that you wouldn’t get anywhere else,” McGriff said.

However, McGriff acknowledges that these high expectations can be the most difficult thing about being a student athlete.

“I think that the most difficult thing about being a student athlete is the pressure that comes with it. I mostly put high expectations on myself but can sometimes feel it from others about competing and performing,” McGriff said.

McGriff has a few favorite activities to escape this pressure and unwind, “I also enjoy anything outdoors like hiking, hammocking and paddleboarding.”

Mountain Lions lacrosse will begin their RMAC schedule beginning on March 24 against Regis University at Mountain Lion Stadium, continuing a seven-game home stand into conference play.

UCCS women’s lacrosse goalie, Madison McGriff. Photo by Lexi Petri.