With spring upon the KSC campus, senior lacrosse players look to conquer their last season as KSC athletes and as students.
With each team being a few games into their seasons, the reality of time and what they have left in their college careers is hitting some seniors a little hard.
Senior women’s lacrosse player Tara Kilderry said she can’t believe it’s her last season. “I feel as if me and the three other seniors just finished our first game ever as freshmen, and now we just recently finished our first game of our last season,” Kilderry said.
The road to becoming a senior has included many challenges and rewards, one of the biggest upsides being her team, Kilderry said. “I cannot stress, or thank, my teammates enough for the best four years of my life. My current teammates, and previous teammates, have always played major roles in my life,” Kilderry said.
She added, “Being on the lacrosse team has given me something more than teammates, but close friends,” Kilderry added.
Being a student-athlete has its challenges, but Kilderry is taking each challenge one by one and learning important lessons from her craft.
Kilderry has even set personal goals for herself, one being to be more open to different ideas and different people. “Different people see different things, which has really opened my eyes to alternative ways to go about lacrosse, as well as everyday life,” the senior said.
On top of that, Kilderry hopes to be more consistent throughout this season and to leave everything on the field. “I want to walk off the field on my last game knowing that I have put everything out there with my teammates, and know I allowed myself to have the best time as possible while doing it.”
Lacrosse has always been fulfilling, Kilderry said. The sport never failed to push her limits. “Lacrosse has always challenged me to be a better person by teaching me not give up when I am failing, and to collaborate and work with others better,” Kilderry said. Now as she faces her last season as a KSC Owl, Kilderry said that is important not to take anything for granted, because it goes by in what feels like a blink of an eye.
“Never hate or walk through the motions even during cold practices, the endless amount of sprints, the 8:00 a.m. practices, everything that seems to be the bad parts of being an athlete, because time truly does fly by.”
Senior and member of the men’s lacrosse team Greg Shawinsky is facing his last season after a unique lacrosse career.
Shawinsky started his lacrosse career out at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut, where he was a starting faceoff specialist in a program where half of the players were still learning how to catch and throw.
“I enjoyed my time there and got a ton of experience there but, seeking something bigger, I came to Keene State,” Shawinsky said. After coming from Connecticut with a personal record of 55 percent of wins out of 341 faceoffs, Shawinsky didn’t make the cut at KSC, but returned the next year to try out again, and this time made the cut.
“Since then, personnel have changed. I’ve been added to and removed from lineups, put into and taken out of games. Playing college lacrosse has been unpredictable to say the least,” Shawinksy said.
However, the senior said he’s found the true reason he plays is to be a contributing part to something that is bigger than himself. “If I’ve learned one thing in four years, the reason why you do something is more important than what you do.”
The rest of the seniors from the women’s and men’s lacrosse teams did not respond.
Facing the last season as an athlete and student can be challenging, but offers a lot of lessons and a four-year story to remember.
Caroline Perry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org