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Athlete Worth Watching: Bryce Pfundstein of St. Mary's High School

Apr 01, 2018 07:00AM

By Tom Worgo

St. Mary’s three-sport standout Bryce Pfundstein sees her future, and she’s pursuing it with great vigor. The junior has already committed to attend Johns Hopkins University, where she will major in pre-med while also playing lacrosse for the Blue Jays. Pfundstein’s ultimate goal: to be a pediatric oncologist.
 
“I have always loved medicine from the beginning,” she says. “No one in my family is really into medicine, so it was cool to find my own thing. The angle for me is that my family has a pretty
big history of different types of cancer.
 
“Breast cancer, lung cancer, so cancer has touched my family,” she adds. “But in a way, I am not scared of it. It’s something I should use to my advantage. And I want to do pediatrics because I absolutely love kids.”
 
Her caring attitude spills over to her volunteer work. She prepares dinners for residents at a homeless shelter, The Light House Shelter in Annapolis, mentors middle school students, and works to develop lacrosse players at Commodore John Rodgers Middle School in East Baltimore.
 
The 17-year-old with a 4.2 grade point average chose Johns Hopkins for lacrosse over offers from Virginia and Princeton. If college coaches talked to St. Mary’s lacrosse coach Mindy Jones, they couldn’t help but be impressed with Pfundstein’s passion and dedication to the sport. As Jones describes it, Pfundstein might as well hold the keys to the Robert A. Pascal Field, where the Saints play games and practice.

“She will call me after school and ask if she can get into the field to shoot,” Jones says. “I have to kick her off the field sometimes. We tell her to give herself a break. She would play seven days a week, 24 hours a day if she could.”
 
Pfundstein says she uses lacrosse as a release. “I play lacrosse if I am stressed out or if I have a big test,” she explains. “It’s a way to get away from things.”
 
The 5-foot-7 Pfundstein, a midfielder and three-year starter, had an impressive junior year. She led the Saints in draw controls (48) and finished second in goals (30). Pfundstein had some memorable games. She scored six goals against Chesapeake High and totaled five in wins over both Roland Park Country School and Gerstell Academy.  

“She is the kind of player you dream of,” Jones says. “She is very fast, physical, and a great two-way player.” 
 
Pfundstein also shines in basketball and soccer, and she actually considered competing in field hockey in the fall and swimming in the winter. “I wanted to try something new,” she says. “For field hockey, I was pretty close to going to work out.”
 
Jones adds, “She really could play any sport. She wanted to do something different. She is the type of athlete that could pull that off.”
 
St. Mary’s soccer coach Sarah Molina is certainly glad Pfundstein stuck with soccer. After playing on the junior varsity team for two seasons, Pfundstein left her mark on the varsity team this past fall. She often guarded the other team’s best offensive player.
 
“She didn’t have the training in soccer that she did in lacrosse,” Molina says. “But she brings everything else to the table she can, which makes her a successful player. She always ends up winning the ball from other players. She is also very coachable. She asks a lot of questions.”
 
For the St. Mary’s basketball team, Pfundstein excels as a tenacious defender from the power forward position. She’s led the Saints in rebounding for the past two seasons and was named the team’s unsung hero last year. Pfundstein collected double digits in rebounds against
Mercy (13), Severn (11), and Mount Carmel (11) last season.

“She will give you everything she has,” St. Mary’s basketball coach Chuck Miller (formerly of Severn) says. “She does all the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. I love her determination and grit. She is our leading rebounder and she is only 5-foot-7. If I could put her on my football team, I would find a place for her. She is that good an athlete.”
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