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Athlete Spotlights

LacrosseU: Mya Wang 

Mya Wang has faced her share of adversity, but it was rediscovering her love for lacrosse that drew her back into the sport. 

Wang, a rising senior at the University of California, made her international debut at the age of 16 playing for Team Hong Kong, China at the 2019 Women’s U-19 Championship in Peterborough, Ontario. At the tournament she recorded 29 goals and 63 draw controls, leading her team to 12th place in their first tournament appearance.  

Two years later, heading into her freshman year of college, Wang was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. 

“My freshman year – all of it – was spent recovering and healing from that, both physically and mentally,” Wang said. “When I went through adversity, I definitely questioned my love for lacrosse and how much it really fit into my life. There were times when I definitely doubted my love for it and questioned if I should step away from it.” 

However, she returned to the field in the summer of 2022 to represent Team Hong Kong, China at the Women’s Championship in Towson, Md. 

“I went and was just excited to be able to play lacrosse again,” Wang said. “After my treatment and recovery and all the healing I did, that was such an amazing experience.” 

Wang has found a second home with her time on Team Hong Kong, China in her two international experiences. 

“Both experiences have been among the best of my life, by far,” Wang said. “They were amazing players, amazing people to play with and be around, and honestly, a lot of them are like older sisters to me. I even text some of them throughout the year, asking for advice whether it’s with lacrosse, college life in general, work life et cetera, they all have great advice to give me, because I see them as my older sisters and I can’t wait to see them again soon.” 

Following the World Championship, she made her collegiate debut at Cal in 2023. Over the last two seasons, she’s scored 48 goals and dished out 16 assists. The team culture of lacrosse continues to drive her. 

“I think what drew me into lacrosse, coming from a background in an individual sport like tennis, I love the team culture and the connections and friendships you make. I love that aspect of being on a team sport, and that has really stuck with me and resonated with me, all the wonderful, lasting friendships I’ve made from it.” 

Given all that she has gone through, she is better able to appreciate what the sport has given her.   

“I’m able to reflect on all the wonderful memories lacrosse has given me, all the wonderful friendships and connections that allowed me to persevere through adversity and push through and see all the goals I still had for myself before my diagnosis,” Wang said. 

She also has advice for younger athletes dealing with adversity. 

 “Zone in on your love for the sport and how much it has given you.” 

She shares that being able to zone in on her love for the sport and focus on what it had given her through such tough and dark times, she was able to realize how many shoulders she had to lean on because of lacrosse. 

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