Women’s stories reshape sports

The Lacrosse team huddles at a match in the Watson and Tressel Training Site. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

By Teziah Howard
Jambar Contributor

March is Women’s History Month, which honors the contributions of women throughout history. At Youngstown State University, female athletes have left their mark on a historically male-dominated industry.

Alexandra Garrett, sophomore attacker on the women’s lacrosse team, said being a woman in sports holds much significance.

“It has impacted me a lot,” Garrett said. “It definitely makes me want to work harder in practice and prove all the stereotypes out there wrong.”

Garrett said she holds herself to high expectations as a female student-athlete, as the athletics industry has been challenging for women throughout history.

“One thing we can all learn and understand is that women in history have come a long way, especially in athletics with all the stereotypes and expectations,” Garrett said.

Many women in sports have bonded through the struggle to assert women as equals in athletics. Mady Aulbach, fifth-year senior guard on the women’s basketball team, said she has found family in her female peers at Youngstown State.

“Being a woman in sports has meant finding a community of girls that are like-minded like me. A lot of driven, motivated, really intelligent women,” Aulbach said.

According to Aulbach, many young athletes look up to her and her teammates. Aulbach said the best part about being a woman in sports is having influence on the youth.

“Being able to be a part of something that little girls can look up to. After games we have a lot of little girls come up to us and ask us to sign things or take pictures,” Aulbach said. “The community of young girls we can affect and inspire is really cool.”

Taylor Blandine is an Athletic Academic Coordinator for football, men’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field. Blandine said she loves to see the community of women in sports at YSU.

“It’s really empowering to see these women in a male-dominated field,” Blandine said. “If I’m supporting that and am cheering them on. It’s so exciting. I honestly enjoy being in that community.”

Blandine has been working with Athletics for three years. She said it’s important to have self-confidence in the industry.

“I had to remember to be true to who I am and remember I worked to get here. I’m good at what I do, and I got to stay true to that,” Blandine said.

For Blandine, recognizing strengths is key to success for women in sports.

“If you keep remembering who you are and what you put into your sport and career goals, then you can be just as powerful as anyone,” Blandine said. “Just stay strong and stay true to who you are.”