Seniors and lacrosse players E’leyna Garcia and Lily Colley rank first and second in career points in the Guilford College record books. This season, the duo have led the team to a 4–0 record in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
Colley has also earned the ODAC Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. All-American, Garcia has won the award three times.
Both players agreed to join The Guilfordian for an interview about lacrosse, playing for the Quakers and what they have learned from their time at Guilford.
How did you start playing lacrosse?
Colley: It’s always been really popular in my family. My dad’s a big lacrosse guy, so basically from the time I could walk. I had a lacrosse stick under the Christmas tree when I was seven years old. So there was always that pressure to play.
Garcia: When I was in middle school, they introduced it to my private school, and I just picked it up from there and started playing ever since.
What’s your favorite thing about the game? Why do you keep playing?
C: I love that it’s a running sport — I just like being active, so that’s what attracted me to it originally.
G: I love how much it brings a team together, how much you have to rely on everyone and how much of a team sport it is.
You both had had record setting careers … (you are the) first and second of all time — so, what are some of your shining moments from your time here at Guilford?
G: I mean, honestly, for shining moments, I would say last year when we beat Roanoke and Washington and Lee. All these teams we’d never beaten before, especially coming off my first year here when we were not very good.
C: I can’t really think of a specific time in my career. I think what she brings up: those really big wins. I think we both played relatively well in those big wins individually, but also as a team.
G: Yeah — it’s cool that Lily and I have broken a bunch of records, but we don’t even know about that stuff until a week later when someone else mentions it to us.
C: Those accolades are flattering, but they are honestly superficial. Winning a ring and winning as a team would be so much more valuable because, at the end of the day, that’s the overall goal.
So, how do you each prepare for a game? I mean, I assume there are warm-ups, but is there particular music you listen to or a particular routine you have before a game?
G: Well, actually, our team has a nice little dance party in the locker room before each game. We bring speakers into the locker room and we have a little playlist … and we have a crazy, everyone gets hyped up and jumps around type of thing.
C: This is kind of nerdy, but recently I’ve been finding that if I go do homework or something, I’ve been playing better … if I write a paper or accomplish something I’m like woo-hoo! I’m off to a great start … And what E’leyna talked about, I mean, you haven’t seen my dance moves, but they’re phenomenal, and they get the team ready to play.
G: Yeah, definitely. Her dance moves are what gets me going.
What piece of advice would each of you give to an incoming lacrosse player or an incoming first-year?
C: I think the biggest thing is, it’s cheesy, but have fun. I think one of the biggest things I have been really trying to work is just stop putting so much pressure on myself. In game, sometimes, I used be like, “this is supposed to be fun, and if you’re not having fun and enjoying yourself, why are you doing it?” I think the other piece of advice would be … know what you’re getting into and be willing to work hard.
G: I would say, ask for help when you need it. The help is always there, just ask for it … I would also say for any freshman athlete that comes in, you have your friends on your lacrosse team and your support group, but get involved in other things.
C: Yeah, I think that’s perfect … There’s very unique people at this school, and I think you can learn a lot from them. So I think what she said was great — you have your teammates, which is your family, but also branch out … make that extra effort to make those friends, because they will be your rock when you need a break from everything.