Some people — some sports fans at least — might consider the spring of 2020 a lost season.
No games. No sports. No lifetime memories.
In the case of the Greens Farms Academy girls lacrosse team, though, it might not have played any games but the memories—made by them and of them—with last forever in GFA’s athletics annals.
Senior tri-captains Kaitlin Reed, Meg Nesi and Stephanie Wistreich not only found the silver lining in a dark, virus-riddled cloud this spring, but they struck gold in the hearts of their coaches and teammates.
“The captains were the heartbeat of our team,” GFA coach Ciara Thurlow said. “This season, more than ever, we needed them. These women chose to lead and persevere during a time when they could have responded differently.”
From putting together team-building videos reminding the world: “We are all in this together,” to mentoring a group of young lacrosse players based in the Bronx, to taking part in a virtual 5K road race to benefit the One Love Foundation, these Dragons found a way to stay together and shine.
Goalie Kaitlin Reed waited three seasons for her chance to become a starter and instead of getting lost in the disappointment of all that COVID-19 dished out, she found a way to stay positive.
“Kaitlin patiently waited for the net for three years and handled the disappointment with grace and composure,” Thurlow said. "Throughout the season she put everyone else first. She was always willing to help and offer support to her teammates.”
Nesi has been playing two varsity sports since she was an eighth grader and was another player looking to step up and shine with the spotlight on the Class of 2020. Like Reed, she did so, just in different ways.
“Meg Nesi would have been a scoring machine for us playing at the crease, instead she was a source of positive energy,” Thurlow said. “Meg inspired our team by always seeing the good in our experiences and adding a perspective we all needed.”
Wistreich has always been a player who found ways to step up when the pressure was at its highest. She was able to do that away from the field, as well.
“Stephanie has always been the player you turn to in clutch situations and ask to step up,” Thurlow said. “She also rose to the occasion this season with her kindness and leadership. She was always there to listen and lend support to her teammates.”
Reed (Hamilton) and Wistreich (Williams) are both slated to play in college while Nesi is attending Brown University. Together, these three seniors led a team that never made it to the field for a single game, but gave every single Dragon a season to remember.
“Our captains are strong and brave women who showed us their strength when we needed it most,” Thurlow said. “We are so grateful for our senior captains.”
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Here is a video that was played for the seniors during their virtual Senior Day.