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11/04/2021 12:00 AM

Cody Making Many Memories with the Rams

Lily Cody, a senior captain for the Old Saybrook girls’ soccer team who also plays basketball and lacrosse, will go on to play lacrosse at Ithaca College next year.Photo courtesy of Lily Cody

Just months into her senior year at Old Saybrook High School, Lily Cody has already experienced some great moments, particularly when it comes to her athletic career. Lily and the Rams’ girls’ soccer team recently qualified for the Class S State Tournament and, with a 2-2 tie against Portland on Oct. 27, they also qualified for the Shoreline Conference Tournament.

“It’s the first time in my four years, and in a long time, that we’ve qualified for states and Shorelines, so it’s really exciting,” says Lily, who scored one of Old Saybrook’s goals versus Portland. “We have a lot of players stepping up and a brand-new feel to the team this year.”

Lily credits first-year Head Coach Steve Roslonek as one of the reasons for the new feel to the team. Lily has seen Roslonek get to know each player’s strengths and weaknesses as brings his experience and energy to the program.

“He’s been a great addition to the team,” Lily says of Roslonek. “His energy is always great, he motivates us to do our best, and he’s so passionate about the sport and having our team succeed, while emphasizing leadership, teamwork, and camaraderie.”

Lily is one of Old Saybrook’s three captains, a distinction that she says is “such an honor.” Lily enjoys leading the Rams, especially since she remembers how big of an influence the senior captains had on her when she started high school as a freshman.

“I’m so lucky that I get to know these girls on an individual basis and that we get to take the team under our wing,” says Lily, who plays right forward for Old Saybrook. “When I was younger, I looked up to my captains and seniors, so to now be in that position is unreal. I love that I’m one of the girls the younger girls can look up to.”

While Roslonek has only coached Lily for one season, he’s seen the impact that the senior striker has made for Old Saybrook throughout her four years playing varsity. Lily led the Rams in scoring with nine goals as a junior and has matched that total so far in the 2021 season, while adding six assists.

“From the first day of preseason to the last regular-season game, she has brought a consistent, positive, high-intensity work ethic to the program, leading by example, but also with her voice, and the team feeds off her energy and positive outlook,” Coach Roslonek says of Lily. “Her speed and balance with the ball is truly impressive, and her will to excel out on the field and have an impact on the game is awesome.”

Having played soccer with many of the same teammates since she was five years old, Lily found Old Saybrook’s recent Senior Night celebration to be “very emotional.” While she has earned several personal accolades, including All-Shoreline Second Team honors as a sophomore and All-Shoreline First Team accolades last year, Lily’s favorite thing about soccer is the friendships that she’s formed.

Lily and her teammates may be heading in different directions in college, but she’s excited to stay connected with them as they pursue their passions. Although she is going to miss being on the field with her longtime soccer teammates, Lily will have two more opportunities to play for Old Saybrook when she serves as a senior captain for the girls’ basketball team in the winter and then plays lacrosse next spring.

Lily has played basketball since she was a youngster, continuing with the town’s travel league and middle school team before joining the Rams as a freshman. As a junior, Lily garnered an All-Shoreline Honorable Mention nod.

In the spring, Lily moves on to lacrosse, the sport about which she’s most passionate and that she’ll continue playing at Ithaca College next year. Lily started playing lacrosse before she was even in kindergarten and, in 5th grade, decided to step up her game by joining the Nor’Easter program.

“By 6th and 7th grade, I was going to tournaments all over the country and practicing all year, so that really kickstarted my drive and passion for playing in college,” says Lily, who also competed with Team Connecticut in a national tournament. “Once I started playing with Nor’Easter, I set my heart on playing college lacrosse.”

Since then, Lily has worked to improve her lacrosse skills and began playing varsity as a freshman at Old Saybrook. Lily lost her sophomore season of lacrosse due the COVID-19 pandemic, but she came back as a junior to be make the All-Shoreline First Team and All-State First Team. She was also named the Shoreline Conference Player of the Year. While the Rams came up shy of winning the conference title, Lily felt grateful to be on the field.

“Even though we fell short of the Shoreline championship, the team was absolutely incredible,” Lily says. “That season will be one of highlights, because I looked up to seniors so much. They were such role models, and I loved coming in ready to learn something new every day.”

In addition to girls’ lacrosse coach Dick Shriver and the veteran teammates that she’s played with, Lily has been influenced by a number of other people. This includes Lily’s former soccer coach Paige Marinelli, who had coached Old Saybrook during her first three years with the team.

“She’s one person who pushed me to my absolute max and helped me so much with mental stuff on the field and understood me so well,” says Lily, who is a member of National Honor Society, the UNICEF Club, and is on the executive board for her class. “Her passion and drive for soccer was incredible. To this day, she’s a great influence on me who always checks in on me.”

Lily’s greatest supporters, though, have always been her parents, Cindy and Todd. They have not only supported Lily’s athletic endeavors, but her siblings, as well. Lily says her sister Allie was “an amazing sprinter” who competed in track and soccer at Old Saybrook and is now playing club soccer at Loyola. Lily’s brother Brayden plays soccer, basketball, and lacrosse for the Rams and helped his “incredible” soccer squad put together an undefeated regular season this fall.

“My parents have been there 100 percent all of the time. They’re so supportive and always want us to do our best,” says Lily. “They push us every day to be the best people we can be. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

With plenty of support in her corner, Lily will be heading to Ithaca College in New York to study occupational therapy next year. While she will be leaving Old Saybrook, Lily’s family won’t be far away as her grandparents and cousins live in Syracuse. Lily will be competing for the women’s lacrosse team at Ithaca.

“The process was stressful, especially with COVID making it so confusing, and we couldn’t have tournaments or tour schools. But in the end, it’s such a sense of relief being happy with my destination and the great program I’m going into,” Lily says. “Though I’ll miss high school sports, I’m excited to be getting back into it in college.”