Definition Of A Leader

Catherine Furman

By Jim Wrobel
Special to GoHolyCross.com

Holy Cross senior women's lacrosse captain Catherine Furman (Garden City, N.Y.) is the definition of a leader. She is a leader of a team that is having its best season in five years and has qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the second time in three seasons. She is leader of a defense that has been a crucial part to the team's success. And she is a leader of a team that gives back so much to the local community. Furman, who was named the 2012 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and has earned 2011 and 2012 first team All-League honors, has made a major impact on the women's lacrosse program on and off the field in her outstanding four-year career.

Furman has been a mainstay on the field as she has played in all but one game during her career. This season she has led a defense that has the second best goals against average in the Patriot League and has only allowed 7.4 goals per game with a 4-1 record in the last five games of the regular season. Furman is the first-ever Crusader to be named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and her 42 career caused turnovers are tied for fifth all-time in school history. "Furman has been a rock on our defensive end," said Holy Cross head coach Stephanie Ridolfi. "She is the defender we use to mark our opponents' top attackers. Her strength and footwork is one of the best on the team and she brings an intensity to the field when she plays."  

Furman and her teammates also show leadership by giving back to the local community. One example of this is the team's dedicated involvement in volunteering for Catholic Charities by loading a truck of food at the Worcester County Food Bank and unloading it at a Worcester area pantry.

Furman, who is a member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy, is a Sociology major.

Recently, Furman talked to GoHolyCross.com to give us a closer look at what makes her successful on the lacrosse field.

GoHolyCross: Tell us a little about your background in sports, and more specifically, lacrosse.

Catherine Furman: I started playing lacrosse when I was in third grade in a small league in my town. Lacrosse was pretty new at the time, and college lacrosse was always a dream but didn't start to become a reality until high school. I also played soccer and basketball in high school, but lacrosse was always my favorite because of its fast pace and intensity.

GoHolyCross: Why did you choose Holy Cross?

Furman: Holy Cross was my first choice because I was instantly attracted to the beautiful campus as well as the friendly student body. After my official visit I knew Holy Cross was the school I wanted to go to. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I knew immediately that I could see myself going here.

Off the Field with Furman
Favorite Musician:
   Anything country
Favorite Book:
   All the Harry Potter books
Favorite Actor:
   George Clooney
Favorite Movie:
   Grease
Favorite TV Show:
   Wipe Out
Before I Came to Holy Cross, I'd Never Heard of:
   "Wicked" being used instead of cool
Nobody Knows How Much I Like:
   Slurpees
Title of My Autobiography:
   We're going to need some more Ketchup
Dream Job:
   Professional Eater
Favorite Concert You Have Seen:
   Dave Matthews at SPAC
Favorite Place To Go On Vacation:
   Henryville
Favorite Sports Figure:
   Regina George
Favorite Sport other than lacrosse:
   Hot Dog eating contests
Favorite Professional Sports Team:
   New York Giants

GoHolyCross: What are some of your favorite things about being on the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team?

Furman: Hands down my favorite thing about being on the team are the friends I have made. I consider myself very lucky to have had four years playing the sport I love with my best friends.

GoHolyCross: Is there anything that the coaches told you that you needed to improve on earlier in your career, where you feel that you have now elevated your game?

Furman: As an underclassman I had a lot of difficulty with making game time decisions in pressure situations. There are a few games I wish I could go back to that were one or two goal games. Now as an upperclassman I would like to think that not just individually but the whole team remains composed in close games.

GoHolyCross: Do you have any pre-game routines?

Furman: Superstitions tend to get the best of me before each game and I have to listen to a playlist that I started making in high school and keep adding my favorite songs to. It doesn't matter how much of the playlist I get through, all of the old songs get me just as pumped up as the new ones do!

GoHolyCross: What are some qualities of this year's team that has led to its success?

Furman: This year our team has been determined from the very start to make the tournament and win a PLC. We have a very small team this year so we adopted the quote that we needed "quality not quantity." Every person on the team knew going into the season that every day we needed to work harder than the day before.