With the 2012 spring semester coming to a close, departing senior athletes take one last glance at their colorful times spent competing on the SUNY New Paltz fields.
One senior in particular reluctantly draws the blinds around her involvement on the Women’s Lacrosse team, laying her crosse down to rest.
“I started playing lacrosse when I was in fourth grade,” fourth-year Captain Samantha DelGaudio said. “I came in my freshman year of college when the team was just being reinstated. It’s like my legacy.”
Having grown up in Northport, Long Island, DelGaudio said she played Div. III all throughout high school, while the majority of the girls were Div. I. Lacrosse, she said, is a popular sport in her hometown and nearly everyone is involved on some level or another.
While she admitted her high school coach had a tendency to make her cry on more than one occasion, SUNY New Paltz offered a unique experience in playing her favorite sport that kept her going. It’s something she said she will never take for granted.
At the start of her freshman year on the team, DelGaudio said the team’s core goal was to find players to “field a team,” whereas dominating other schools was not the main priority. The coach at the time, Heather Semelmacher, was less intense than current Coach Liz Student. However, she provided a foundation upon which the girls strived to grow, DelGaudio said.
As far as her personal goals, the only thoughts on DelGaudio’s mind the past four years were to triumph in SUNYAC games, instill a winning program and come out on top, she said.
Having a “hard-ass” like Student, DelGaudio said, has really helped the team to find their potential and strive for it.
“The seniors on this team really had to start from the bottom up,” DelGaudio said. “Our goal was to create a legacy. I think getting those two wins this season started the true legacy, and now it’s time for the team to finish it after we [the seniors] leave.”
The Women’s Lacrosse team finished their season with two SUNYAC wins under their belt: April 17 they brought down SUNY Oswego with a 21-20 win and April 24 marked the triumph against SUNY Potsdam, 18-14.
Lacrosse, DelGaudio said, is a team game — it’s not about the individual. All the team needed was a SUNYAC win, and they didn’t stop until they got it.
DelGaudio said growing up alongside the team has turned her into a leader in all aspects of her life. Along with the time management skills she has developed between her studies, playing basketball and lacrosse, she said the time spent nursing something she loves from its birth has been an irreplaceable experience.
DelGaudio plans to attend Long Island University in Brooklyn for graduate school, where she will continue her studies in speech-language pathology.
“If I could give one piece of advice to the team and the incoming freshmen, it would be to always strive for greatness and never be satisfied with anything,” DelGaudio said. “Enjoy every game like it’s your last because believe me, the time flies.”