FLG alum, Desiree Kleberg experienced an outstanding first-year season with the Quinnipiac Bobcats this spring. Kleberg, the midfielder from Huntington Station, NY, totaled 12 points and appeared in seven games as a freshman. While in high school, Kleberg was a key player for FLG and Walt Whitman Girls Varsity. Similarly, Kleberg was a top ten scorer in Suffolk County as a senior, with 59 goals and 22 assists, and in 2017 she earned player of the Game in the FLG Showcase.
Q: How did you get into the sport of lacrosse and how long have you been playing for?
A: I started lacrosse when one of my basketball coaches suggested I try it out. Basketball was my main sport until the eighth grade.
Q: What teams and leagues have you played for in the past, and how long did you play for FLG?
A: I played PAL for South Huntington, my hometown, but other than that I’ve only played for FLG. I started the summer of my eighth grade year and I played until the summer going into my senior year.
Q: You used to play basketball, what other sports you played other than lacrosse? How did they help improve your skills and lacrosse game?
A: Other than basketball, I played volleyball and both sports definitely helped me improve my decision making skills and overall athleticism. But most importantly, all three sports helped me learn the importance of leadership skills and teamwork.
Q: What about Quinnipiac University and its lacrosse program helped you decide it was the right school for you?
A: Quinnipiac has a very welcoming environment and the coaching staff made it so easy to say “yes.” The girls on the team also made it a smooth transition into college and I definitely can’t see myself anywhere else. The distance from home is also perfect because it allows my family and friends to come watch me play.
Q: Have you always played midfield? What about this position has made you stick to it?
A: I’ve only ever played midfield because my coaches all thought that I would fit best playing both sides of the ball. I love being a midfielder because it allows me to contribute both offensively and defensively.
Q: When you’re not on the lacrosse field, what else are you likely to spend your time doing?
A: If I’m not playing lacrosse, I could usually be found dancing around or hanging out with friends. Fun fact— I was a competitive dancer up until eighth grade when I chose sports over dance.
Q: You had an outstanding first season with the Bobcats that was unfortunately left unfinished. In what ways did the coronavirus outbreak impact your 2020 spring season and first year at Quinnipiac?
A: I was just settling in when my freshman season ended, which was extremely difficult. However, the pandemic allowed me to train more than I usually would in a typical off-season. Being away from the field has pushed me to train even harder so I can pick up right where I left off. I was a three sport athlete in middle and high school, and I played sports year round, this is the longest I’ve gone without consistently playing a sport.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the next upcoming season?
A: I am mostly looking forward to just being able to get back out on the field with my teammates. We have a very talented freshman class that is definitely going to push our team even further and hopefully we’ll make a run in the MAAC championship.
Q: Are there any particular coaches or teammates that have taught you valuable lessons about the sport of lacrosse or life that you frequently keep in mind?
A: Dan Trebour, my high school basketball coach, is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. Trebour teaches skills that are useful in everyday life, not just basketball. He stressed the importance of hard work and to always be on time (which actually means being early) everywhere that you go. I’ve noticed my current coaches also stress this, which is very cool to see.
Q: How has your time playing for FLG helped you improve your game or helped you get to play on a collegiate level?
A: Playing for FLG helped my game tremendously. FLG provided opportunities that I would never had originally. Personally, my favorite part of FLG training was in the winter when we would play box lacrosse indoors. This was especially cool because a lot of other teams don’t get to do that and it gave me a different angle of the game that I love so much. I also got to meet so many amazing people and travel to so many amazing places. I wouldn’t trade my time at FLG for any other programs.