CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay girls lacrosse had been inching closer to claiming a state title.

In 2018, the Indians fell in the state semifinals. A year later, their season ended with a loss in the state championships game.

The six graduating seniors will never get a chance to clear that final hurdle and bring home the state’s top prize. Spring 2020 will always be remembered as the season that never was.

Sign Up for Katonah/Lewisboro Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

But their coaches’ admiration is no consolation prize.

“Henry Cloud once said, ‘Leave a place better than you found it,’ and that is what the seniors of the John Jay girls lacrosse team have done,” the team’s coaches said in a unified message.

The six seniors—Charlotte Wilmoth, Kelly Nolan, Sydney Phillips, Melina O’Connor, Brianna Garofolo and Julianna Duva—set a new standard of “what it means to be a John Jay girls lacrosse player,” they said.

“Through their hard work, dedication, and sacrifices they made history,” the coaches said. “They were part of the first team to win a section title, the first team to win a state semifinal, and the first team to make an appearance in a state championship.”

Off the field, the coaches said, is where their impact was felt most.

“Their commitment and sacrifices inspired us,” the coaches said. “Their passion motivated us. Their desire to improve humbled us. Although they were not able to write their ending this year, their leadership never faltered. They showed us how to be resilient and reminded us to never take a moment for granted. Their attributes will forever be weaved into the program and their legacy will live on through the girls that come after them.”

Julianna Duva
Defense, No. 1

  • Future Plans: Lehigh University
  • Favorite Pre-Game Ritual: Braiding hair and blasting music in the parking lot
  • Favorite JJ Lax Memory: Beating Yorktown in the section final my sophomore year
  • Advice for Younger Players: Give it all you got every practice and game, because the end comes way faster than you think!

Charlotte Wilmoth
Midfield, No. 25

  • Future Plans: Playing lacrosse at The Ohio State University
  • Favorite Pre-Game Ritual: Dancing in the parking lot before games, wearing a bun with a white headband and doing my eye-black.
  • Favorite JJ Lax Memory: Playing the state tournament last year and making history for the program by going to the state finals
  • Advice for Younger Players: Enjoy every moment, from practice to games. Walk off the field knowing you have no regrets. Leave every practice and game knowing you put your heart into every drill and play. “Best players make those around them great.” To me, this means no matter if you’re having the worst game of your life, you keep your head up and keep pushing your teammates to be the best players they can be. Try every day in practice and games to make those around you better people and players, an you will see how much better the team will be! Go Jay!

Kelly Nolan
Midfield, No. 23

  • Future Plans: Playing lacrosse at Sacred Heart University
  • Favorite Pre-Game Ritual: Listening to music with my friends
  • Favorite JJ Lax Memory: Winning the state semifinal game last year
  • Advice for Younger Players: My advice for younger players is cliché, but cherish every moment.

Melina O’Connor
Attack, No. 19

  • Future Plans: University of Delaware
  • Favorite Pre-Game Ritual: Getting a peanut-butter bagel from Empire
  • Favorite JJ Lax Memory: Winning the section championship vs. Yorktown my sophomore year
  • Advice for Younger Players: Practice a little every day and just continue to love your sport no matter what.

Sydney Phillips
Attack, No. 9

  • Future Plans: Playing lacrosse at Ithaca College
  • Favorite Pre-Game Ritual: Blasting music and throwing around in the parking lot before big games. It eased the stress and we always had a fun time.
  • Favorite JJ Lax Memory: Beating Yorktown in the section final game my sophomore year. It was so incredible.
  • Advice for Younger Players: I’m sure they’ve heard this before, but enjoy every second of it. It gave me some memories that I will never forget and some friendships that will last forever. This program is one like no other. Keep fighting and keep pushing past your limits, because when we did that, we accomplished some incredible things.

Brianna Garofolo
Goalie, No. 20

  • Future Plans: UC Santa Barbara
  • Favorite Pre-Game Ritual: Juggling with the other goalie(s)
  • Favorite JJ Lax Memory: Beating Rye in the section final last year
  • Advice for Younger Players: Your team will always be there for you and they love you more than you know. Show them equal love and spend as much time with them as you can. They are you family, just as much as they are your friends.

Follow us on Twitter (@Halston_Sports).

To our Beloved Community: During this crisis, we can’t continue to operate entirely as we have been doing when we are only earning a fraction of our previous advertising revenue and still have to pay 100 percent of our payroll. Without that payroll, we would be unable to serve the community with the news and important information you have come to expect. If you feel that we’ve made a positive difference in your town, we ask that you send us a contribution to keep your community newspaper alive and strong by pressing on our PayPal button HERE.