The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams played their final home games of the season on April 22 and celebrated the decorated careers of each of their respective seniors, who were playing their final games of their career at the Armfield Athletic Center.
The women’s lacrosse team hosted Old Dominion Athletic Conference leader and second ranked team in the nation Washington and Lee University. Despite falling to the Generals 15-4, the late afternoon match kicked off with a lot of momentum for the Quakers in a poetic Senior Day moment.
After a few fouls and turnovers from both teams in an aggressive start, senior attacker Megan Gaeth netted the first goal of the game to give the Quakers an early lead. Gaeth, who typically has not started for the Quakers, got her Senior Day start Saturday, taking full advantage.
“She’s put in a lot of hard work her last four years,” said head coach Sarah Lamphier. “It was one of my most memorable moments. I started her for senior day. She’s been working her butt off and deserved that time to start.”
The Quakers met their match as the game progressed, however, giving up five unanswered goals to the Generals. Guilford’s leading scorer sophomore attacker Amanda Dionne gave the Quakers two goals to bring the score back within two, including an assist from senior defender Summer Fowler, who had to overcome severe injury in her career at the College.
Fowler missed the 2015 campaign due to an ACL injury and only played part of last season. Maintaining a year of eligibility, she is in her fifth year at Guilford for her senior season and she’s had one of the top individual seasons in the conference.
Lamphier paid homage to her other three seniors as well: goalkeeper Sammi Milbourn, midfielder Demming Carlow and defender Abby Horn.
Milbourn started in 58 of her 60 appearances for the Quakers in her career, and Lamphier has been extremely satisfied with her growth.
“Anyone who hangs out in athletics sees that kid,” said Lamphier. “She’s in the gym or playing wall ball by herself or getting extra shots on, not just from her teammates, but from some of the guys and even (head men’s lacrosse coach Thomas Carmean). She’s just a hard, hard worker.”
Along with Milbourn on the defensive side is Horn, who, unlike Fowler, took a season off for reasons outside of injury. However, like Fowler, Lamphier was impressed by Horn’s ability to bounce back, not losing a step in her game after missing a season.
“There were some things she needed to get sorted out, but I feel like it hasn’t shown,” said Lamphier. “She’s still a fantastic defensive leader. I haven’t seen her leave hinder her performance.”
On the other side of the field, Carlow has been a strong part of the team’s attack. She is second on the team with 16 assists this season and has started every game as a Quaker.
“She has learned to really fine tune her level of passion and intensity into a productive manner,” Lamphier.
The team will conclude the regular season at Shenandoah University on April 29, and can clinch a spot in the ODAC Tournament with a win.
“Shenandoah is a must win,” said Lamphier.
For the men’s lacrosse team, they hosted 17th ranked team in the nation Lynchburg College. The Hornets left with a 17-6 victory, but Guilford still had senior day moments to cherish.
One includes a late goal in the fourth quarter from senior attack John Padden, his first goal in his Guilford career, which caused the sideline and crowd to erupt. The senior class according to head coach Carmean, has been an epitome of hard work and dedication that has paid off in success.
But not just on the field.
What impressed Carmean the most about his senior class is their ability to be leaders when both on and off the turf.
“(The seniors) not only have improved on the field, but each one of them have done well academically,” said Carmean “They’ve done great internships here (and) they’ve done a lot of great work outside of the (College). They’ve gotten the full experience at Guilford and so when we look at them as a group, that’s what stands out the most: how much they’ve accomplished while they’ve been here.”
Last fall, senior defender Jake Hymowitz along with teammate Tom Driscoll contributed to the Guilford economics team’s second place finish in the Regional Federal Reserve Challenge held at Elon University. The competition featured colleges such as Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lenoir-Rhyne University.
“I think (lacrosse) has given them a platform to do a lot of things,” said Carmean. “I think that’s one of the things about sports here. You form lots of relationships because of the nature of a team sport.”
On the field, Carmean believes this senior class has exemplified tremendous leadership.
“We had a lot of young guys this year and its sort of been a rebuilding year for us,” said Carmean. “But (the seniors) held a lot of the team’s emotions together when (the season) wasn’t going as well as the last couple of years.
“The chemistry they created is great. This is one of the stronger teams as far as team bonding has gone that we’ve had since I’ve been here and that’s a real testament to (the seniors’) approach and their attitude. They’ve really embraced the younger guys.”
The growth of seniors is something the coaches have noticed and admired as well.
“These guys have stepped up,” said assistant coach Mark Crisco. “They’ve done certain things their way and they wanted to do things differently. They wanted to be mentors to the younger guys and they’ve really emphasized the team dynamic and the family dynamic. They are perfect examples of what we’ve been looking for in student athletes on campus. I’m pretty proud of these guys.”
Although eliminated from ODAC tournament contention, the team looks to finish the season strong on April 29 where they travel to take on Randolph.
“They certainly don’t want to go out after this last game we just had (against Lynchburg),” said Carmean. “I think they want to make a statement and want to get the record up to .500. There’s not an ounce of quit in these guys.
“They were one or two goals away in a lot of games from where we wanted to be, and I think part of that is because we were a young team, but it certainly didn’t have to do with the leadership of the seniors. Their leadership was outstanding.”