Orange Lutheran senior Abby Nattagh-Turner got her start in lacrosse in middle school, but she didn’t find her true passion for the sport until her junior year of high school. Nattagh-Turner made a commitment to improving her skills, and as a result, she has found a strong connection with lacrosse.
“I really found my love for lacrosse during my private lessons and seeing improvement,” says Nattagh-Turner. “I love how fast the game is. It's so unique. It's a very agile sport, and it's just so much fun.”
Nattagh-Turner made this switch this season from defender to midfielder, a position that allows her to play on both sides of the ball, and an aspect of the sport that has fostered her commitment to the game.
“I've always been a defensive player, no matter what sport I played, so I love that aspect,” says the 18-year old. “But over the summer I took a lot of private lessons to get better at attack. And I love the aspect that (as a midfielder) you have both attack and defense. It’s nice being able to play both positions because I truly love both positions.”
This year’s varsity squad is looking to earn a spot in the CIF postseason, and Nattagh-Turner feels a championship is within reach. As a captain, she is working to improve her leadership skills and challenge her teammates to always give their best, no matter the circumstances.
“I always push my teammates, and I want them to be the best that they can be and to always give the most that they can,” says the four-year varsity player. “Being team captain, you're a role model, so sometimes it can be really difficult. That's something that I've enjoyed about being a captain, pushing through and finding that self-motivation to keep going.”
Nattagh-Turner considers it a privilege to be part of a group of athletes that is helping to build OLu’s girls lacrosse program from the ground up. Now in its fifth season, the process hasn’t been without its challenges. But leaving a legacy while representing her faith have been the most positive aspects of her high school career.
“The fact that we play for Christ is the best thing here,” says Nattagh-Turner. “Playing for him in every game, just knowing that he is there with us, is the biggest thing and the best thing about playing at OLu.”
When she’s not on the field, Nattagh-Turner spends her free time knitting, crocheting and cooking. She also serves the OLu campus as an Ignite Mentor where she enjoys creating meaningful relationships with the freshman Lancers in her group.
After graduation this spring, Nattagh-Turner would like to stay in California for college and hopes to play club lacrosse while studying either marine biology or environmental sciences.
When asked about those who inspire her, Nattagh-Turner looks no further than her mother, who has been an example of how to manage life’s many challenges with poise and grace.
“She was a single mom for years and years, and seeing how she was able to push through so much adversity really inspired me,” says Nattagh-Turner. “No matter what, she supports me through anything. She's the most encouraging, and she's always been there for me. She's really the best role model I have in my life.”