November 28, 2011
Elise Van Arsdale is a three-sport athlete at St. Anne's-Belfield, helping guide the field hockey team to their most successful season in recent history.
"We got more wins in the first half of the season than the past two years combined," said Elise of her final season at STAB. "Our hard work was starting to show off and it really meant a lot to all of us."
The Saints finished the season with a 12-4 record and LIS Division II crown. The eighth-seeded squad advanced to the VISAA State Quarterfinals before falling to No. 1 seed Norfolk Academy.
For head coach Brian Bartholomew, Elise's play in the midfield was key to their success and one that won't be forgotten.
"One of the great things about her is that the way she's raised the level of play of those around her is gonna make it easier to deal with not having her there. She's practiced hard, everyone has practiced with her has benefited from having her here. She's leaving the program much healthier than when she arrived."
"I'm really glad to hear that," Elise said of the mark she's left on the program. "Because for all the young girls that have put a lot of work in while I've been here...for it to keep bettering the program, is really important to them and to me."
Academically, Elise's track record is even more impressive. In addition to her normal workload at STAB, she also passed three AP classes and exams as a junior and is in the midst of two more in her final semester. Elise is also enrolled in a math class at the University of Virginia.
"Definitely taking the more challenging courses is more interesting and I feel like when I'm being challenged I work a lot harder. When there's a time constraint with practice, I'm more likely to get something done then when I have all the time to do it."
Coach Bartholomew, who is also a math teacher at STAB, says her work ethic transfers seamlessly from the field to the classroom.
"I think she's really pushed herself academically and at the same time she's done that on the athletic field and in the gym, said Bartholomew. "I taught her as a tenth-grader in the honors pre-calculus class, which is mostly eleventh graders. She got an A in the course and was really an outstanding student."
Elise also competes on the STAB girls' basketball and lacrosse teams. She has plans to major in pre-law but is still undecided on a school.