When describing a high-level athlete, words like “aggressive” or “intense” are thrown around.
It’s not often that the adjective used is “sassy.”
However, that’s how Rowan women’s lacrosse coach Lindsay Delaney described senior attack Rachel Hofbauer. It’s also how Hofbauer described herself.
She said that she plays with a lot of heart and passion. She added that even if the team is losing, she will continue to amp them up.
Delaney thinks that the word came up for a different reason.
“It’s only because I tell her she’s sassy all the time,” Delaney said. “When players come to you with a little bit of an edge, you don’t want to take the edge away. You want to make it controllable. When she first came in, that was something she had to work on because she wanted to fight me and everybody else.”
Hofbauer was a freshman during the 2014 lacrosse season. She said that Rowan was pretty much the only school she really wanted to come to because of Lauren Callaghan. Callaghan played on the lacrosse team at Rowan from 2011-2014. She was also a high school teammate of Hofbauer.
“I kind of always looked up to her and wanted to follow in her footsteps,” Hofbauer said.
As a freshman, Hofbauer played in 14 games while starting one. She tallied 13 goals and one assist for a team that went 13-5.
Those numbers could be overlooked when her junior year, in which she scored 49 goals and registered four assists, is taken into account.
However, Hofbauer knew how crucial the first few years of her career at Rowan were.
“I definitely learned a lot from the other girls,” Hofbauer said. “I took a lot of their drive and passion and added it to my game. Definitely learning off of them and how they lead. I took that and put it into my game.”
Going into this year, Delaney said she had all sorts of lineups made up for a variety of situations, all of which included the senior. However, Hofbauer suffered an injury after the first game of the season.
As a result, she had to sit out for five weeks.
“You don’t plan for injuries and you definitely don’t plan for injuries when someone’s in their best shape they’ve ever been in,” Delaney said. “When she got taken out, it was really hard. It was really hard for her.”
During her absence, the team went 6-3 and had a four-game win streak.
Hofbauer said that the time off the field helped her see how the game was played.
“It’s like a whole new ball game,” she said. “When you sit out, you see the attack and what we’re doing right and doing wrong. When you’re out there you don’t see everyone cutting. Sitting out I got a coach’s view.”
When asked to summarize her playing career at Rowan, the player that the rest of the team lovingly calls “The Hof” had to take time to think.
Ultimately, she doesn’t regret much.
“There’s definitely a lot I wish I did freshman or sophomore year,” Hofbauer said. “There were some times I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. It’s definitely been a fun experience. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m happy I came here.”
For Delaney, it didn’t take too long to put the senior’s impact into words.
“I feel like the best part of her is that she was better every single year,” Delaney said. “She never once stayed the same, she wasn’t interested in staying the same and I think that is what people are going to see form her. She would work out before the workouts. She’s come already sweaty and ready to go. I think that will be her impact going forward, that is what we’re going to miss. She challenges me everyday. She ups the level of intensity and going forward we need that.”