It's rare to catch Corona del Mar High senior Molly Rovzar off guard on the girls' lacrosse field.
She is a senior midfielder and team captain for the Sea Kings. Despite missing two games this year due to illness, she leads the team in most statistical categories like goals (43), draw controls (24) and ground balls (35).
When Rovzar was asked her favorite movie, though, she had to pause.
She switched between comedies. First she said, "Step Brothers." Then a moment later, she changed it to "Bridesmaids," which she correctly remembered was her choice when she was Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week for the first time last year.
"I'll keep it with that," Rovzar said with a laugh. "I panicked."
No panic was seen from Rovzar on the field last week. She has earned Athlete of the Week honors again after leading CdM to a pair of big nonleague victories.
She had four goals and three assists in CdM's 15-6 win at Newport Harbor on April 2. Rovzar followed up that Battle of the Bay effort with three more goals in the Sea Kings' 9-7 victory over Foothill two days later.
She plays the sport with a certain passion, a determination, and she's always striving to get better. It's characteristics like these that have Rovzar headed to play at the University of Colorado Boulder next year. She committed to the school, which her older brother Andy also attended, last July.
Gabby Smith, who now plays at Chapman University as a freshman, was the first member of the CdM program to play in college. Smith had 19 goals for the Panthers through Friday, fourth on the team.
But now it is Rovzar who is the first CdM player going Division 1.
It's perfect timing for her, as the Buffaloes will begin their program next year. Rovzar is a part of their first recruiting class.
"It's a huge accomplishment, not just for our program but also for Orange County lacrosse," CdM Coach Aly Vislocky said. "There's still not that many girls who are recruited out of Orange County."
Vislocky, who has coached Rovzar for several years now, understands what Colorado sees in the feisty Rovzar. Her experience has been invaluable this year for CdM (12-4), which is ranked No. 7 in Southern California by laxpower.com.
The Sea Kings have a new assistant coach, Jessica Murray, who has really focused on the strategy aspect of the game. CdM is running more plays, rather than just relying on just athleticism.
"Obviously, Aly's done a great job too, but it's cool to get a different mindset in for our plays on attacks," Rovzar said. "We're changing the way we play a little bit, so there's kind of a little bit of a learning period ... but we're definitely understanding it slowly. I think as a team unit this year, we're doing good at having each other's backs for the most part."
A four-year varsity player, Rovzar is one of three team captains for CdM, alongside senior defenders Kylie Mulvaney and Meredith Davin. In a way, she has made the transition a bit less painless. Rovzar is excited about the new level the Sea Kings are trying to attain this year, Vislocky said.
"She's got a good balance, because she tries to lead by example but she is that person who can constructively guide the other players on the field," Vislocky said. "Once the game starts, you can only do so much on the sidelines ... we trust her insight."
That trust has been well-earned for Rovzar, who shared Pacific Coast League MVP honors last year. She has "graduated" from the XTeam program but has also played for the OC Elite club team in West Coast tournaments, including Sand Storm in January in Indio. The OC Elite roster featured six members of the Sea Kings' Pacific Coast League rival, Beckman, as well as Julie Crowell from top-ranked Los Alamitos. Crowell is headed to UC Berkeley.
CdM lost to both No. 1 Los Alamitos and No. 4 Beckman this week. But the Sea Kings could easily see both teams again in the coming days. They know they'll face Beckman again, in the league finale April 24 at CdM. Prior to that game, Rovzar will be one of nine CdM seniors honored on senior day.
The playoffs will follow. Rovzar isn't counting out another big run for CdM, which was seeded No. 7 last year but advanced to the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division title match before falling to Los Alamitos, 12-6.