There was no chance for a “three-peat” for the John Jay girls lacrosse program this spring.
However, that fact does not diminish what the team –- and its six seniors –- had accomplished over the past two years.
“Henry Cloud once said, ‘Leave a place better than you found it,’ and that is what the seniors of the John Jay girls’ lacrosse team have done,” head coach Jess McDonough and staff wrote to the team earlier this spring. “These six seniors — Brianna, Charlotte, Julianna, Kelly, Melina and Sydney — created a standard of what it means to be a John Jay girls’ lacrosse player.”
The group of seniors — Julianna Duva, Brianna Garofolo, Charlotte Wilmoth, Kelly Nolan, Melina O’Connor and Sydney Phillips — all were members of the two sectional championship teams.
“Through their hard work, dedication and sacrifices they made history,” the coaches said. “They were part of the first team to win a Section I title, the first team to win a state semifinal, and the first team to make an appearance in a state championship, but it is what they did off the field that will have a lasting impact on our program. Their commitment and sacrifices inspired us. Their passion motivated us. Their desire to improve humbled us.”
The continued, “Although they were not able to write their ending this year, their leadership never faltered. They showed us how to be resilient and reminded us to never take a moment for granted. Their attributes will forever be weaved into the program and their legacy will live on through the girls that come after them.”
Duva, a defender, will be attending Lehigh University and recalled her favorite lacrosse moment as “beating Yorktown in the section final my sophomore year.”
“Give it all you got every practice and game because the end comes way faster than you think,” she offered as advice to younger players.
Garofolo, the goalie, is planning on attending UC Santa Barbara.
“My favorite ritual was juggling with the other goalies (before games),” she said. “My favorite memory is beating Rye in the section final last year.”
Wilmoth will be continuing her lacrosse career at The Ohio State University.
“Enjoy every moment from practice to games,” she said, advising young players. “Walk off the field knowing you have no regrets. Leave every practice and game knowing you put your heart into every drill and play.”
Wilmoth continued, ‘“Best players make those around them great,’ to me this means no matter if you’re having the worst game of your life, you keep your head up and keep pushing your teammates to be the best players they can be.”
Nolan will also be playing D-1 lacrosse spring, at Sacred Heart University.
“My favorite ritual before games was listening to music with my friends,” she said.
Meanwhile, O’Connor, who will attend the University of Delaware, said her favorite pre-game ritual was “getting a peanut butter bagel from Empire.”
Phillips, who will play lacrosse next season at Ithaca College, also pointed to the win over Yorktown in the sectional final in sophomore year as a top memory.
“My favorite pre-game ritual was blasting music and throwing around in the parking lot before the big games,” Phillips said. “It eased the stress and we always had a fun time.”