Thursday, April 18, 2013

Players' Perspective on Stetson's First Win

(L - R): Maylis Broderick, Caili Guilday, Kristina Cicchetti

One of the most memorable moments of our first season has to be the night of our first win. Not only was it senior night, which is exciting in and of itself, but it was also one of the most exciting games I have ever played in. We have been working so hard coming up to this win, and that night we knew we had it in us. Not even a four hour weather delay could deter our goal because it was in everyone’s mind that this win was going to happen. Even before the game, our locker room door had a sign stating: We Will Win!

What made this win so memorable for me was the team bonding, togetherness, and excitement that happened throughout the game. Every time there was a lightning warning our team would go straight up to the locker room and kept our energy going with music and constant cheering. Our team began bonding more than we have all season. This showed when we stepped out on the field after our last weather delay with all of our great connections and teamwork. It was such an amazing feeling to play together so well, and to see everyone come together to take this win. However, the best moment of the night for me was when our only senior, Kristina, scored off a drive to goal towards the end of the game! This was icing on the cake for not only an awesome senior night, but for a perfect way to seal our first win!

Maylis Broderick
Freshman - Midfielder
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Success is not something that is handed to you. It takes hard work and determination to achieve success. On April 14, 2013 our team finally found the light at the end of the tunnel that led us to victory against Kennesaw State. Although it did take six hours to get the win, I believe this is a huge milestone for our team. Being that it was the program's very first senior day, the team was amped up and ready to finally show our fans (and ourselves) what we were capable of. Even before the first whistle, you could see the fire in our eyes. We made connections with each other, attacked in twos and threes, had strong communication, and most importantly had confidence not only in ourselves, but in each other.

This game showed what hard work and team work can achieve. Throughout every lighting delay, the team was in the locker room with an energy I have never seen before. Nothing was going to stop us from getting that win. The team camaraderie was better than ever and made playing the game we all love that much more fun. With continued hard work and determination, Stetson Lacrosse is bound to do great things and tally many more wins. I'm proud to say that I am on that journey to find much more success with my teammates and coaches.

Caili Guilday
Freshman - Goalkeeper
Wallingford, Pa.

This past Sunday marked a huge milestone for Stetson Lacrosse as it was our first win ever! This game also happened to be my senior day, and my last home game ever. From the moment I walked into the locker room, I knew that this game was going to be different from all the previous games this season, and any other game I played in my career. There was a great energy in the locker room and during the warm up before the game. The first half went well, with good transitions and several beautiful goals and assists. But then the storm clouds rolled in, and we experienced one of the longest rain delays I've been a part of, at four hours. So in those four hours, we had an epic dance party and kept our energy up, but more importantly, we seriously assessed what we needed to do to win this game in the second half. We realized, collectively as a team, where we needed to adjust our playing strategies and we came back out onto the field focused and ready to go. As soon as the second half started, we played hard in all areas of the field; defense, transitions, redefending, and attacking. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of pride I felt watching our team be successful in all the areas we had previously struggled with earlier in the season. It was clear within a few minutes of the half that we had the momentum, energy, and tenacity to take control of the game, which allowed us to get way ahead of KSU.

I can’t talk about this game without talking about the final goal. I haven’t played in many games this season, and had actually never scored a goal in a game, even when I played on Stetson’s Club team. So to not only win this game, but to help contribute to that win has been an incredible experience. The feeling when I scored the last goal in the game was absolutely amazing. It felt so great because even though I was the one to put the ball in the net, it was absolutely a team goal. Earlier in the locker room, Noelle Morabito told me she had her mind set on seeing me get a goal. When I got back on the field, Danielle Horgan let me know she was going to set me up to score. The timing and positions were right and it happened. It was great to score a goal, but the thing that I will never forget is seeing the team’s reaction afterword. The collective celebration of every teammate on the sidelines and on the field was absolutely unreal. I have never experienced so much excitement and joy with so many people at once. That celebration was the definition of being a team. Although I’m sad to be graduating and leaving Stetson, I am so very excited to see how much this team will continue to grow and succeed. This historic win has, in my opinion, sparked an excitement and hunger in this team that will drive us to continue to work hard and do great things.

Kristina Cicchetti
Senior - Attack
Palm Coast, Fla.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Whitney Meyers on the Exhibition at Disney

Monday morning I was awoken by a phone call from my mom, who was energetically shouting “five more days till Disney!!! Are you excited?”

Well mom, excitement couldn’t even begin to describe my feelings about the upcoming game. Anyone close to me knows that it has been my dream, literally, since I was eight years old to play at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. It started back when I was playing 10U travel softball and the winner of a tournament my team was at would get to go to the World Series held at World Wide of Sports. Our team sadly didn’t win though, and I was devastated. I told myself on that day that no matter what sport it is, I will someday play a game at Disney’s sports complex.

And sure enough that day is here! When Coach Moore first told us about the game I honestly acted like a little child on Christmas morning. It was a dream come true and I was finally going to play where I’ve always wanted to. Now that the dream is even closer, just days away, I can hardly contain my excitement.

In addition to being excited about the venue, I am also thrilled to experience my childhood dream with my teammates. I couldn’t have chosen a better group of girls to play lacrosse with. I am so eager to see what Stetson Lacrosse will bring to the field on Saturday. Being a new and young team we have always tried to focus on growth more so than winning. However, after a long and successful fall season, I am quite confident that Stetson Lacrosse can achieve both growth and a win at Disney. I began to feel this way just the other evening at practice while we were scrimmaging. As I watched my teammates from the goal on the opposite end of the field, I couldn’t help but get excited. It was amazing to see how well our team was working together and how far we had come in just four months. Everything was finally coming together and I couldn’t wait to see the team’s talent in a real game.

As the countdown to what I feel like should be the most exciting game of life shortens, I increasingly get more excited. The pre-game nerves, which I have been expecting to get, are nowhere to be found. In fact, I feel very confident in my skills, as well as my teammates and coaches. Also, I am just so grateful for this opportunity that I want to enjoy every second of it, and not cloud my memories with nerves or pressure. I want to have a blast this weekend at the place I’ve been waiting to play at for 10 years, and I know with my Stetson Lacrosse family I will!

Whitney Meyers
Freshman - Goalkeeper
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Samantha Akl on Transferring to Stetson

When Coach Moore first gave me a tour of Stetson in late May, I knew that Stetson was a special place. The excitement of her starting a new lacrosse program, and her enthusiasm, was something I really wanted to be a part of. After being too far from home for a year, I also needed somewhere closer to home and somewhere I could make my home. The atmosphere on campus was so warm and welcoming that I felt a certain level of comfort right away.

In the first year of college you have new experiences; you must adjust to the curriculum and find your place making friends with new people. It’s a huge change trying to make college your home for the next four years. So with not finding the right fit the first time around, I decided to take the risk and transfer to Stetson. With that I had to face freshman year: round two.

Fortunately, I was able to do this with ease with a little help from my team. I didn’t have to worry about not having any friends because I instantly had twenty-three new ones. And we’ve all quickly become a family. Getting to know each other seemed effortless because we spend so much time together. We live in the dorms together, share classes, have study hall groups, and of course, we have lacrosse as our biggest common interest!

What’s really exciting is that our bonds are beginning to show on the field. We just completed our first fall ball season EVER and succeeded in our most important goal; growth as a team. Now that fall ball is over we have about one month of pushing each other in conditioning and in the weight room before winter break. And we have jumped in full force. We have some great goals for the spring and I am confident that our team has the motivation, discipline, and spirit to achieve them. We also have amazing support from our coaching staff, university, and parents to help along the way.

After leaving my old college, I thought a lot about just attending a large university and erase my memories, invested time, and love for lacrosse. Taking that route meant that I would probably never play lacrosse again. Looking back, that’s a really sad thought. It’s also a crazy thought because now I couldn’t imagine not stepping out on the field every single day.

I can’t believe how fast this semester has gone by and that we only have about two months before our season starts. Our schedule is jam packed with home games and even a trip to California! I think I can speak for everyone when I say that excited doesn’t even come close to explaining how we feel!

I’ll finish with some real insider information from our team. Every Thursday we have a team meeting before practice. Coach has nicknamed it “Thankful Thursday.” One week we wrote a letter to someone who has helped us get here. One week we all wrote cards to a little boy suffering from cancer to let him know that he has his own fan group here at Stetson. In another meeting we just sat around and shared things about ourselves, from pictures to stories, about why we LOVE what we do.

I have a lot to be thankful for every single Thursday. This program, this opportunity, my many personal support groups, and my TEAM make every minute of training, practicing, and studying worth it. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and confident in this program and this team.


Samantha Akl
Sophomore - Attack
Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Melanie Fredericks on the South Carolina Trip

In traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this past weekend, our team brought three things back to Deland: a closer bond and sense of unity, a new, sharp perspective of what is to come in the spring season, and finally, a more focused outlook on what the stepping stones to success in the spring truly are.

In the eight-hour bus rides to and from South Carolina, there were plenty of opportunities to bond, and we soaked up every moment of it. Even off the bus, teammates came together to grow on and off the field; in this, not only did we propagate growth on an individual level, but we grew closer as a collective as well. The energy level at our morning practice Saturday was remarkable - not only did it kick the weekend off to a good start, but it rejuvenated the spirit of our program as well. Spending time off the field with teammates allowed us to connect with each other; in learning what makes each other tick, our motivations, and our stories and experiences from back home, the prospect of having been strangers to each other two months ago seemed to melt away. The chemistry of this team is, and should be, a point of pride for Stetson.  On and off the field, individuals are willing to be dedicated to sacrifice personal agendas and comforts for this program. And in this, even though we may be new and somewhat of an underdog in our conference, we will find success in the spring. Doing the little things right will make for success in the long term. Team unity is one of those little things that we, no matter how small we may be, are able to accomplish.

Moving from this point, through playing outside competition this weekend, we became much more aware of the level that our team will be expected to perform at this spring in the competitive season. Scrimmaging the other programs on Sunday, we were able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of not only ourselves and each other on an individual basis, but as a team as well. Playing for the second time as a team together, feeling the vibe of my teammates and gaining comfort on the field with each other was incredible. With everything new comes a certain level of awkwardness, and I cannot ignore the fact that growing pains were an issue on Sunday. However, in spite of this fact, the point remains that with every outside program we play collectively, cohesiveness within our team will increase with experience. And in this, a vision for our program is established as far as working toward the spring season.

We arrived back at Stetson with not only more experience as a team but also a comprehensive new set of goals for both the rest of fall ball and for the preparation period for the competitive spring season. All in all, I would call it a successful journey - not only were we able to grow as a team on and off the field, but we captured the opportunity to assess and evaluate what the next step in our evolving program needs to be. With a new team, there are many challenges, and there are many new experiences - last weekend we took it all in, and are ready to take this team to the next level.

Melanie Fredericks
Freshman - Attack
South Lyon, Mich.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Amanda Parker on Being a Long Way From Home

Welcome to the Hatter Lax Nation Blog, where we hope you enjoy some of the stories and insights from within the brand new Stetson Women's Lacrosse program.  Our third entry comes from Amanda Parker.


I am currently located 986 miles directly south of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, my hometown. I could also say that I’m a 16 hour and 36 minute drive from home including traffic, or even a 2 hour and 22 minute non-stop flight back to my family. Early morning, my alarm goes off and I sometimes ask myself, how did I ever end up in Florida, so far away? I don’t have any family down here, I’m not familiar with the area (except Disney of course), and I came to Stetson only having met a few of my teammates in the spring. 

Then I step outside Chaudoin, my dorm, and my new home for nine months and it is ninety degrees out. There are these crazy palm trees that look like they’re straight from a Dr. Seuss book, and both boys and girls on their longboards dodging people going about their busy days. There are lizards that I watch race around on the sidewalk, and when I finally look up a friendly but unfamiliar face greets me with a “hello, how are you today.” There’s the most beautiful green grass — the color that I only thought existed in my crayon box - and I can’t help but smile at all of these little things.

Every single morning I am humbled and reminded of how lucky I am to be able to play a sport that I love, continue my education, and walk around in summer clothes when my friends and family back home are in jeans, boots, sweatshirts and scarves right now.

There is nothing I love more than getting phone calls, text messages, emails, and care packages from my loved ones back home. It is nice to know that they want to know how I am doing. The question that I get the most is, “how homesick are you?” Honestly, I find myself telling everyone that I’m not as homesick as I thought I’d be. 

I am truly happy with all aspects of my college life right now. My professors are engaging and they really do care about me. There are an incredible amount of resources offered to help me succeed academically at Stetson. My coaches are incredible role models. They have so much to teach to us, lessons on not only how to be a great lacrosse player on the field, but how to be a great person off the field. My roommate and I are practically sisters and I am best friends with the rest of my lacrosse teammates. 

I came into Stetson with an identity: a lacrosse player. Despite me and my teammates' differences, we all have one greater thing in common — playing a sport that we are passionate about. That’s the beauty about sports. At the end of the day, your teammates will have your back no matter what. And knowing that I inherited a team of 23 other girls who are going to be there to support me, just as I am going to support them, has made my transition that much easier. 

I am so excited for what the next four years holds for me in my new home 986 miles away from home. I can’t wait to grow as an individual both on and off the lacrosse field in DeLand, Florida.

Amanda Parker
Freshman - Midfielder
Perkasie, Pa.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kate Moreland on the First Season Excitement

Welcome to the Hatter Lax Nation Blog, where we hope you enjoy some of the stories and insights from within the brand new Stetson Women's Lacrosse program.  Our second entry comes from Kate Moreland.


One week in.

We just finished our first week of classes, and let me tell you, I have never read so much for only a few classes. People always said there is a lot of reading, but I never knew it would be this much.

Practice starts next week and we are all looking so forward to actually playing with each other. It was nice to have time to settle into a new setting, but now it seems like everyone is super ready to lax. Personally, I am really excited.

This week was crammed full of physicals and information sessions. It was almost overwhelming with everything we needed to keep track of and where we needed to be. Luckily that part is done and now we can just play!

I am so happy that I get to spend so much time with these girls because they are so much fun to be with. It seems like we all get along really well. I’m so excited to see our chemistry on the field because off the field we act like we have know each other for years.

Bring on the lax.

- Kate Moreland

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whitney Meyers on the Start of a New Program

Welcome to the Hatter Lax Nation Blog.  We're still working on the name, but for the time being, we hope you enjoy some of the stories and insights from within the brand new Stetson Women's Lacrosse program courtesy of this blog.  Our first entry comes from goalkeeper Whitney Meyers of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.


Friday night was when it hit me – I am really leaving for college tomorrow. As sad as I was to leave my family, I found some comfort in knowing I had 18+ soon to be best friends waiting for me. Even more comforting was the fact that all these girls (my teammates) were in the same situation as me…starting at a new school and playing for a new team.

Being a team composed primarily of freshmen and new students is a unique, and in my eyes, special situation that I was able to see over this last week of orientation. Since the team was all new to Stetson, we all had to go through orientation together. This was a good thing considering every meeting/event we went to there was always a teammate to meet and spend time with. At one such orientation meeting early in the week I kept hearing one of Stetson’s signature sayings, “Be Daring.” As I heard this it dawned on me that the rest of my new teammates and I dared to join a new women’s Division I lacrosse team. We dared to become a part of something completely unknown and unheard of for Stetson; a team with no traditions or prior accomplishments. We dared to join so we could start the traditions and make a reputation for ourselves – something both exciting and nerve racking. However, we had each other to go through it with, helping to bond us immediately. It felt as if I’d known these girls my entire life. Within a day we all were already laughing at inside jokes and using nicknames. Personally, I’ve never bonded so fast and so well with a team than I have with this group of girls.

One of the best parts of orientation was finally getting to see the new athletic complex. When Coach Moore first showed me the facilities I was so motivated and encouraged to get out on the field and play to the best of my ability. The fact that the school and athletics department built such an amazing facility for us and football (both first year sports) is unheard of, and just goes to show the support and commitment Stetson has to growing and encouraging athletics. I loved walking through the field house for that first time and seeing our locker room, weight room, meeting rooms, training room and even where our laundry is done for us, because it truly made me feel like a Division I athlete…well that and all the compliance forms we had to sign.

Whitney Meyers
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.