Getting to another level


Elizabeth Harmison

Senior varsity women’s lacrosse defenseman Anya McSorley passes the ball down the field on a fast break. McSorley committed to play lacrosse at Coastal Carolina University on Oct. of 2014 in her junior year.

Senior women’s varsity lacrosse defensive midfielder Sam Carey walks up the skywalk inside the Campbell University football stadium, about to have a meeting that could possibly define the next four years of her life. “We sat and talked about my plans for my future. She was surprised I didn’t turn and say that I wanted to play lacrosse. Seconds later, right there in that moment, she offered me [a spot at Campbell].  It was nice to know that all my hard word is really paying off,” Carey said.

The payoff is sweet, but the process of getting to that point can be hard. In this, non-athletes can feel pressure from other classmates about college choices, but having your entire team decided on where they are going when you still don’t know can be excruciatingly nerve-wracking. “When they see their friends are committing to schools and they haven’t figured out what they want to do yet, makes them ‘freak out,’” women’s varsity lacrosse head coach Abbey Swift said.

Junior Abby Hormes charges forward with the ball on a fast break. The Patriots fell to McDonough, 16-10, on April 8.
Kishan Patel
Junior midfielder and High Point commit Abby Hormes charges forward with the ball on a fast break. The Patriots fell to McDonough, 16-10, on April 8.

Senior defenseman and Manhattan College commit Hailey Siemek felt the pressure setting in during her recruitment. “I got frustrated at times, but then I knew the right college would come along and I found the perfect one for me,” Siemek said.

Many athletes can commit early in high school, but no other sport has seemed to ramp up recruiting as much as women’s lacrosse. Colleges can now offer 12 full scholarships each year in Division I programs. This leads to some students going on college visits before they even know what high school they would be attending. “I made my first visit to the University of Denver back in eighth grade, and recruitment started in seventh,” freshman varsity women’s lacrosse goalie Emily Sterling said.

Swift believes that athletes should carefully choose their college and make sure you visit, focus on their academics, and their coaching staff. “I believe that athletes should take their time when looking to play in college. You change a lot from freshman to senior year and anything could happen,” Swift said.
Colleges recruit girls for lacrosse at an early age. They do this in order to plan to fill positions they will need on the team in the coming years. With loopholes in the current NCAA rule that you cannot contact a player until their junior year, college coaches now use third-party communication to go around this rule. When a women’s lacrosse player decides to wait to commit, they run the risk of losing their spot. This is due to the fact that colleges are continuing to search for players at your same position, and if someone else commits, you lose that spot.

Sterling was an early freshman commit to the University of Maryland College Park during October of this year. “It’s not that I needed to, but there were a bunch of schools that were looking at other people at my position and I knew I loved Maryland so I decided this is where I want to go,” Sterling said.
The current varsity team, holding a 6-6 record, has learned that through these recruitment periods, they all have something in common. “Because of how intense the sport is, it brings our whole team closer together,” Sterling said.

“Because of how intense the sport is, it brings our whole team closer together. We are like a family both on and off the field.””

— Freshman Emily Sterling

As a member of the varsity team junior and varsity women’s lacrosse midfielder Charlotte Haggerty committed during her sophomore year to James Madison University. Her mother, Kelly Haggerty, felt that this was a bit early for her. “She was getting pressure from colleges to commit during freshman year. The pressure on these young girls is too much. How do they know where they want to go at the age of 14?” Kelly Haggerty said.

While it’s a long and tedious process, many athletes believe it ends up to be worth finding the right school for you. “It is a lot and does get extremely overwhelming but it was definitely worth it when it all comes together and you find that perfect school for you,” Siemek said.

Grant Sharretts is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and