From softball catcher to lacrosse goalie, freshman Rachel Livak defends her rankings


Courtesy of Rachel Livak

Freshman and goalie Rachel Livak reaches out to save the ball from going in the net and prevents a point for Ladue. Livak made the varsity team and has led the St. Louis area in saves with 213. “The most memorable part of my season was when they were telling us what teams were going to be on, I honestly kind of knew when I was told to go talk to Lovercheck and Herpel, but it was still an amazing feeling to know that I did it,” Livak said.

In her first year ever playing lacrosse, freshman Rachel Livak is leading the St. Louis area in goalie saves with 213.

“I was convinced to play lacrosse by my parents, because I love to play sports and I wanted to play sports year round for high school,” Livak said. “My dad came up with the idea to try out goalie, because I am a catcher for softball and he thought that it might translate well. So I then went to a few lessons to try it out and see if I liked it about a month before tryouts.”

Livak’s main sport is not lacrosse: she played softball in the fall and made the varsity team.

“I’ve been playing softball since I was six and I continued to play this year for high school,” Livak said. “I’ve also played basketball since about fifth grade, but I opted out of playing for high school this year, to pursue playing my passion,” Livak said.

After playing softball together in the fall, Livak, junior Allie Judd and senior Megan Leahy are now teammates again on the lacrosse field.

“The longer Rachel and I have been playing together, the more we got to know each other as people as well as teammates and it made our chemistry and performance better,” Judd said. “No matter if we’re playing softball or lacrosse, we are always laughing around each other and having a good time. She is an amazing person and an amazing athlete all in one.” 

Although softball and lacrosse are two different sports, Livak found several similarities between them that have helped her transition into lacrosse.

“As a goalie you are waiting for someone to try and attempt to score, whereas as a catcher you work hard the entire time,” Livak said. “Also as a catcher you’re not the one in control of whether or not the other team scores, but as goalie you are the last line of defense.”

Livak attributes her success to her coach Emily Lovercheck and Tom Herpel, who she feels cheered her on and taught her new things along the way.

“My [lacrosse] coaches have been the most supportive in the way that they had confidence in my potential and ability as a goalie and they just made everything very fun and enjoyable,” Livak said. “I will say out of all my past coaches in softball and basketball, my coaches right now are by far the best I’ve had. All of my teammates have also been very supportive of my experience and advancement in lacrosse and they have made everything even more amazing.”