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Martel hopes to help ‘grow the game’ with Tigers

Clemson defender Mallory Martel (20) is a graduate transfer from Arizona State, where she spent the previous four seasons playing college lacrosse.
Megan Kinner // Provided

Clemson defender Mallory Martel (20) is a graduate transfer from Arizona State, where she spent the previous four seasons playing college lacrosse.

The commencement of Clemson lacrosse’s inaugural season is quickly approaching, and with the Wofford Terriers on her mind, graduate defender Mallory Martel is ready for the matchup on Saturday.

As a current captain for Clemson’s 2023 season, Martel spoke to The Tiger about her past experiences and how she values her time at Clemson.

The 5-foot-6 competitor is studying to receive a master’s in human resource development with a concentration in athletic leadership. The opportunity for extra schooling, along with lacrosse at Clemson, made the decision easy for Martel.

This lacrosse veteran values effort, progress and selflessness — characteristics that Martel seems to possess with head coach Allison Kwolek naming her a captain. 

“Being a captain isn’t just about lacrosse. It’s about taking care of your girls,” Martel said. “I think the expectation for my younger self was being the best. But as I have gotten older, it’s about being your best. There’s a difference. Being your best is the most important thing you can do. It’s about progress, not perfection.” 

Now looking forward to the start of the season, Martel is excited to be one of the founders of the new Clemson lacrosse culture and wants to create and leave something special behind when she eventually departs.

“Being a part of a start-up program is so special,” she said. “The memories I make here will last a lifetime. My personal goal for this season is to grow the game.” 

With years of experience under her belt, Martel hopes to take care of her teammates both on and off the field and wants to pass on the lessons she has learned to the younger girls on the team. 

Before Clemson, Martel played for Arizona State University, where she earned her undergraduate degree. 

“They are both so different,” the Severna Park, Maryland, native said of the two schools. “Clemson is on the lake, and Arizona is in the desert.” 

As far as future career aspirations, Martel is not planning to leave the sports world any time soon. 

“I hope to still be a woman working in sports,” she said. “Sports have been a huge part of my life and always will be. I am very interested in working in athletic departments at the collegiate level.” 

Martel is currently interning with Jordy Kirr, the assistant athletic director for personnel engagement and development at Clemson, and added that she sees herself wanting to pursue a similar career. 

Martel and the rest of the new Clemson lacrosse program will play at Historic Riggs Field on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. EST.

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Anne Marie Lessig
Anne Marie Lessig, Multimedia Personality
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