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Bay Shore's Dale Cosgrave excels in face of Type 1 diabetes

Bay Shore's Dale Cosgrave signs a letter of

Bay Shore's Dale Cosgrave signs a letter of intent with LIU Brooklyn for girls lacrosse. (Nov. 15, 2013) (Credit: Richard T. Slattery)

Dale Cosgrave has established herself as a key contributor on Bay Shore girls lacrosse.

The senior attacker's on-field accomplishments this season—17 goals and 16 assists—look even more impressive when considering Cosgrave has Type 1 diabetes.

While Cosgrave does not use the condition as an excuse, she does say it makes playing more difficult.

“You have the game on your mind,” Cosgrave said, but added “you have to keep your health on your mind” as well.

“I always have to worry if my blood sugar is in the right range. If it’s too low, I could easily pass out.”

It is a struggle many diabetics are familiar with, but in Cosgrave’s case, the demands of a physically taxing sport exacerbate things.

Cosgrave has to check her blood sugar multiple times before, during and after games and practices, and says she sometimes has to sit out for 10 to 30 minute intervals to make sure her blood sugar reaches the right level.

Cosgrave was diagnosed in 2010 when she was 13-years-old, and says her coaches and teammates—many of whom are still playing with her on varsity—have been “very supportive.”

Still, Cosgrave says she does not let her condition be an excuse or distraction.

“I don’t want to make it anyone else’s problem.”

“She refuses to use her diabetes as an excuse,” Bay Shore coach Allison Pfeffer said. “Rather just the opposite. She seems to want to prove that it doesn’t define her or make her different from her peers.  Dale works very hard at practice. She is simply a pleasure to coach.”

Pfeffer adds that Cosgrave’s effort and determination on the field is also evident off of it. “It doesn’t matter which area of Dale’s life you look at, whether it is academics, athletics, community service—here at school or the local hospital—or her Type 1 diabetes. Dale is simply determined to be her very best self!”

Dale, who has a twin brother (Liam) and a younger sister (Annie) who is a junior teammate on Bay Shore, will play Division I lacrosse next year at LIU-Brooklyn. She plans on majoring in nursing and, inspired by her own experiences, she says she wants to “specialize in diabetes and become a diabetes educator.”

Before then, though, there is the matter of the rest of this lacrosse season. Bay Shore is currently 7-5 and the sixth seed in Suffolk Class A.

Cosgrave is part of a talented core of offensive players for Bay Shore, which also includes Kyra Harney, Katie Kirk and Carly Cox.

Cosgrave says she values helping younger players on the team and Pfeffer adds “she is constantly encouraging her teammates.” 

On the field, Pfeffer describes Cosgrave as “a sneaky attacker [who] comes up big when her teammates are face-guarded or double-teamed. Sometimes, it seems that Dale comes from out of nowhere to put the ball in the net.”

“We want to go all the way,” Cosgrave said. “Our team just has to come together and play every game like it’s our last.”

Whatever happens for the rest of the season, Dale Cosgrave has proven her championship mettle, both on and off the field.

Tags: Dale Cosgrave , Bay Shore , girls lacrosse

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