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One Calvert County resident wants to experience something new.

Sure, St. Mary’s Ryken Knights senior Julia Rowse loves her home county of Calvert, but heading into college, she wants to experience a change of scenery and a faster-paced lifestyle.

Enter, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“I really wanted to do the opposite of how I grew up in a small, rural town,” Rowse explained. “So I really wanted to go to a big city and just experience that urban and diverse life.”

The senior lacrosse player will get her chance to be and live in a bigger city after recently signing her letter of intent to play lacrosse for the NCAA Division-I affiliated school and to her, that was the perfect place to be.

“I am so excited and it has been my dream since I was a little girl to play [college sports at the highest level],” Rowse stated. “I was born in [Washington] D.C., so I knew about Georgetown University, so that was always my top, top dream. And then, once I visited Duquesne and talked to that coach, it was exactly like Georgetown and, in my opinion, in a bigger, better city. I fell in love.”

Rowse, however, entered the lacrosse scene late, after playing basketball and soccer, among other sports, throughout her younger years. But in the eighth grade, Rowse finally decided to make lacrosse the sport that she now is admittedly in love with.

“At the beginning of high school, I really fell in love with the speed of the game and being outside and I got to play midfield,” Rowse said. “When I played soccer, I played defense but I loved running all over the place and getting to score and being an impact on the team.”

Her love of the game eventually turned into her talent, which then garnered interest from colleges, including Duquesne, and the process of signing there began to take shape during the summer of her junior year after playing with Maryland United, an Annapolis-based travel lacrosse team.

“Recruiting starts early and I was kind of on the late end,” Rowse said. “It is so nice that now in my senior year; I can just relax and know that everything is handled. I just have to stay on my study path and get good grades.”

On losing her summer, however, Rowse added, “It’s just a relief that I worked so hard over the last summer and I had no life. But, I gave that up to be where I am now.”

And where she is now, Rowse is receiving a partial scholarship to play for the Dukes of Duquesne as the sport that she fell in love with late has opened doors for her throughout her life.

Now, for Rowse, the changeover from high school lacrosse to college lacrosse will soon become her focus.

“I think college is going to be a huge transition,” Rowse said. “I mean obviously, all the other things will be [different], you know, being away from my family and on my own. Obviously, though, the speed of the game is a lot faster. … Of course I am nervous, but I am so excited.”

From Calvert County to Pittsburgh, from high school lacrosse to college lacrosse, Rowse is ready for a change.

jmccray@somdnews.com