Part II: The Players con't
Kaitlin Davis, 21, an AACC graduate and former women’s lacrosse team member is entering her senior year at York College playing lacrosse. She attributes part of her decision to settle there to playing on the AACC team. “I got to see different competition playing against other four-year schools while I was here,” she says. “It helped me figure out where I wanted to go.”
Even in her alumnus status, she commits herself to returning to campus and helping out the team as much as she can.
“Working with Coach Griff…it was awesome, I love it,” she says. “I still do as much as I can with him. If I could have stayed here for four years I definitely would have.”
However, her initial decision to start at AACC was much different. “My first semester I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want to be here. All my friends are away’, but I definitely had a great time. I learned so much and I had a great relationship with almost all the girls who went here and played lacrosse.”
She encourages, “If I’m talking to someone in high school and they’re not sure [where they want to go], I would definitely recommend coming here. I honestly wish I could have stayed here for four years. I would have been perfectly happy.”
Twenty-year old Ashleigh Gender transferred from Monmouth University, NJ, and joined AACC and the lacrosse team this past spring term due to a needed change academically and athletically. So she packed up her things and headed back to Maryland.
“It was so much better,” the Pasadena resident says of her transition. “I was so much happier that I moved. It was closer to home and I got to play and have fun and we had a good season. It was the first time I went undefeated and won such a great honor.” Gender integrated seamlessly with the team and also with Coach Griffiths. “His coaching was different from where I came from and it made me feel better. On a more personal level he cared about how people did and the team. It was great.”
Gender is headed to Salisbury in the fall to play lacrosse and advises graduating high school seniors to consider AACC if they’re undecided on where to go. “It’s definitely a great experience if you don’t know what you want to do right away,” she says. “Instead of making the decision based on money or a scholarship, you should come here for a year or a semester and get yourself situated and decide where you want to go. It’ll be a lot less hassle.”
The women’s lacrosse program has come a long way under the guidance of Coach Griffiths. The players, the continuous outstanding record, and the increased interest and attention have set a positive reputation in motion that will hopefully keep progressing each year.
“There’s potential for the program to be an untouchable program if we could get a couple more things put in place,” Coach Griffiths says. He addresses the need for more financial support and revamping their practice facilities. Every proposed change is first and foremost for the players.
"In the last few years, I’ve had a lot more girls come to me than me having to go beg them to play. You can already see the change. And that’s primarily because of the fact that 97 percent of our girls go on to four-year colleges. And that’s what parents want to see.” He continues, “The more success we have—and I don’t mean wins and losses, but our sophomores going on and playing at four year schools and going to career schools whether they play or not—that’s what parents of high school seniors and our girls, that’s what draws them. We want to keep drawing more and more.” kr