GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With their University of Florida careers winding down with Saturday’s Senior Day celebration and showdown against Northwestern, we asked the members of the first Gators lacrosse graduating class for a thought or lasting memory they will take with them.
Thank you, ladies, for providing the below items.
And the memories.
>>> Ashley Bruns (Attacker, Ellicott City, Md. -- right): “My favorite memory of being a Gator was the day we decided to tell strength conditioning Coach Karin (Werth) it was National Hair Net Day before conditioning. It all began when we somehow managed to find an entire box of hair nets, normally used during massages to keep the head piece sanitary. Everyone put on a hair net, turned off the lights, and started a huge dance party! Right in the middle of this ridiculous dance party, the career development and life skills specialist at the time walked in the locker room. And, yes, he too put a hair net on. ... I have learned so many things by being a Gator that this answer could be endless. I have learned dedication and what it takes to achieve my goals. Most of all, I am so lucky to have been surrounded by my teammates through this entire experience. They have molded me into the person that I am today and for that I am forever grateful.”
>>> Caroline Chesterman (Attacker, South Nyack, N.Y.): “My favorite memory was sophomore year when we beat Northwestern for the first time. It was the first time for us that we realized that we could play with the best teams in the country. It was a truly awesome feeling.”
>>> Kitty Cullen (Attacker, Rockville, Md. -- right): “I have made so many great memories over the past four years, it is impossible to just pick one. I think the most special part of all of them is that I have had the opportunity to compete on one of the best lacrosse teams in the country while doing it beside all my best friends. The relationships I have made with my teammates are ones I will carry forever. Every single one of my teammates has affected me in her own special way and each of them mean more to me than they will ever know.”
>>> Brittany Dashiell (Midfielder, Bel Air, Md.): “My favorite memory as a Gator would have to be the first time we beat Northwestern my sophomore year. At that time we were still a young team, but this game changed the way everyone saw Gator lacrosse. We were no longer the underdog, but a strong competitor. I will never forget that day. I don't think anyone on this senior class will.
>>> Emily Dohony (Defender, Parkton, Md.): “Over the last four years there are many things I have learned from being a Gator. If there is one thing I had to pick out it would be that hard work does pay off and your only limitation is yourself. We wouldn't have achieved the accomplishments we have attained if we hadn’t stuck together.”
>>> Sam Farrell (Defender, Millersville, Md.): “One of my favorite memories as a Gator is the first time we beat Northwestern. We stepped on that field as the underdog and pulled a 13-11 win over one of the top teams in the nation. That is definitely a moment I will never forget.”
>>> Erin Graziano (Attacker, Mendham, N.J. -- right): “After being a part of a program of this caliber, I believe that I will walk away with a relentless work ethic. I have learned how to work very hard every day for something on a much larger scale than I’ve ever done before. I’ve learned to take care of business and by pushing my teammates and myself to improve each day to go for a title that this program has not yet attained -- national champions. It has been quite the journey and one that I will never forget.”
>>> Hayley Katzenberger (Attacker, Damascus, Md.): “My favorite memory as a Gator would be making it to the Final Four last year. Everyone was beyond excited and ready to compete once we stepped on the field. Although it wasn't the outcome the team hoped for, it only made us stronger and more determined to be there the next year. Another one of my favorite memories was meeting my teammates for the first time. Even though I was definitely nervous, I was excited to meet the people who I was going to make history with on the lacrosse field, and be with for the next four years of my college career.”
>>> Mikey Meagher (Goalkeeper, Liverpool, N.Y. - right): “Being a Gator has taught me many valuable life lessons that I will take with me when this is all over. Being a part of this team and program has taught me the value of friendship and it's unbreakable bond to get through the toughest times of your life together. And that is exactly what my experience has been for me. I will forever value my opportunity here and the best friends I have made along the way. It is something that can never be taken away from me or this team.”
>>> Jamie Reeg (Defender, Atlantis, Fla.): “My favorite memory as a Gator has been all of the great friendships I've made. This team is my family and I know that we will all stay really close and continue to make great memories, starting with Emily Dohony’s wedding! I have learned that once you're a Gator, you're always a Gator. No matter where we've traveled, the Gator Nation was always there saying "Go Gators." So, now that I am leaving I will be sure to continue that tradition.”
>>> Colby Rhea (Midfielder, Abingdon, Md.): “One of my favorite memories as a Gator is beating Syracuse this year in Miami. After the game in the locker room, Mikey started the, “It's Great To Be A Florida Gator" cheer and we all joined and chanted it over and over again and danced around the room. This is a memory of this team that I will cherish forever.”
>>> Kayla Stolins (Defender, Glen Arm, Md. -- right): “My favorite memory as a Gator is a hard question. I think that the whole adventure of starting a program and meeting all my now best friends is the best memory. We have come so far in the last four years and have made so many different memories that choosing one specific thing as my favorite would be very difficult. What I have learned in my time here at Florida is the determination and commitment it takes to accomplish tasks. Starting from nothing and wanting to be a top competitor is a hard goal to accomplish. The determination and commitment that my team, coaches, trainers, and all the other people who have helped and pushed us toward our goal is something that I will definitely take with me into my career and down the road.”
>>> Gabi Wiegand (Attacker, Bay Shore, N.Y., transfer from University of Richmond): “In my time as a Gator I have learned that no goals are unattainable when you put all of your heart and determination into them.”