A self-professed ‘late bloomer,’ Harvard attacker Julia Glynn has surpassed the field. Though born in the United States, her family moved to London at the age of 2 for her father’s job. There, she enjoyed ballet and horseback riding.
But when she returned to lacrosse-minded Manhasset, N.Y., in the third grade, a whole new world was opened, and it didn’t take long for her to latch on.
A three-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American at Manhasset High School, her abilities to lead and adapt have allowed her to excel to the point where now, as a senior in college, she stands as the most proficient goal scorer in Division 1, leading the nation with a 4.57 goals-per-game average heading into her final game for the Crimson, who at 5-9 (1-5 Ivy League) will not qualify for a postseason tournament.
“This year, I have been a strict attacker,” Glynn said, “which speaks to the numbers in the stat book. I moved to attack this year looking to feed some great shooters, then ultimately dodging when the cuts weren’t there. Having a senior leader on the attacking side was ultimately best for the team, and I’ve loved forming into that role.”
“She’s a huge part of our team and an absolute competitor all over the field,” senior captain Eliza Guild said. “She always brings her best every single day at practice and for every single game.”
Glynn entered her college career as a two-way midfielder whom Newsday described as “an offensive facilitator.”
She proved her worth immediately, scoring 27 goals to go along with 18 assists and 28 groundballs in her freshman season.
Able to push up on the attack or fall back on defense, where she tended to get the most enjoyment in the game by shutting down her opponents, Glynn thrived in the Crimson midfield through her sophomore and junior campaigns.
With the departure of a strong senior class that consisted of three of the team’s top five scorers, it was determined that she would move up to attack this season. Though she has decimated opponents with her penchant for finding the back of the net, she still is able to find those defensive moments to charge her drive.
“If you asked me that question each year of my college career, I’d probably say I liked defense more when I was playing midfield,” Glynn said. “I had a knack for it and got a thrill when I was shutting someone down.
That usually is what sparked me on the offensive side. “Now, watching from the offensive side, it’s a little bit different. You still get that backcheck and I’ve been put on the draw circle, so that competitive drive to stop someone, that’s where I’ve funneled that energy.”
Despite the fact that she has fired home 64 goals through 14 games this season, the second highest single-season goal total in program history, Glynn believes her midfield mindset suits her best when she’s assisting her teammates, something she has done on 26 Crimson goals, fifth most in program history.
Ultimately, she credits her adaptability as the reason that she has been able to mesh the two mindsets.
“With this more of a midfield mindset, I think my first thought is I love to feed. I love to see a great pass going to the stick of one of my teammates and them to score,” she explained. “When I was playing behind cage, I think I realized that in order for this team to succeed, everyone’s going to have to dodge (and) everyone’s going to have to feed.
“Once we got into that groove when the time’s there, I take the lanes when I have them. I love for those passes when my teammates are wide open, and they’ve made the job easy for me.”
In late April, only two players in Division 1 — Nicole Beatson of Winthrop and Sam Apuzzo of Boston College — had scored more goals, though both had played more games.
“It definitely doesn’t surprise me,” Guild said of her fellow captain’s ability to score this season. “She’s always been a great attacker. It was a little bit of a transition, but one she was willing and ready to take on. We lost a really good senior class last year, so coming into our senior year she knew that she needed to play a big role in our offense. She prepared herself well for it and has been doing a really great job for us.”
Glynn will close out her stellar career near the top of the charts in goals and assists, both in Div. 1 this season and all-time at Harvard. More than any numbers, though, acclimating to anything thrown her way should be her endearing legacy to the program.
“She’s a great player and is definitely a great leader,” Guild said. “She has been a starting player on our team and one of our key players since her freshman year. She’s great on the field and equally as amazing off the field. She’s a person that people turn to in any type of situation.”
“You take pride in wearing a Harvard jersey,” Glynn said. “Every time I put that jersey on, I want to be the best version of myself. When you take that off, you have to be the best version of yourself across the river, in the classroom. I always hold myself to a higher standard on the lacrosse field, in the classroom and also walking around Boston. That’s something I’ll take with me going into the real world.”