It was the most difficult time in her life, but Annie Paquette, senior and captain of the Quinnipiac Women’s Lacrosse Team, had three incredibly successful seasons.
She was honored as the Northeast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week her freshman year and was named to the second All-NEC team. She holds Quinnipiac’s all-time record of 47 assists and plans to help lead the team to the NEC Tournament in 2004.
In her Quinnipiac sweats, curly blonde hair pulled into a ponytail, sporty sunglasses on and lacrosse stick by her side, Paquette explained the intense job of being the only senior left on the team and the responsibility to play the role of a mentor.
“I want to be a leader to these girls but it’s hard sometimes because there is pressure to always make the right decision,” Paquette said.
In the spring of last year, Paquette’s father suddenly died. She was used to her teammates coming to her with their problems, but this time Paquette had to depend on them.
“I was shocked when the entire team showed up at my father’s wake,” Paquette said. “My father passing away made me lean on my team for support, [and] open myself up to them; and lacrosse suddenly became my outlet away from my problems,” she said.
Although lacrosse became a support system for Paquette, she faced some troublesome times on the team as well.
“Lacrosse became difficult when all of my best friends either quit or graduated by my junior year,” Paquette said. “If they hadn’t, however, I would not have become extremely close with my teammates that I am with now,” she added.
Since Paquette has been on the team, she has been through four different coaches in four years.
“It was hard going through so many coaches in such a short period of time because there was no stability in our program,” Paquette said.
When the team was not getting along with their coach, Michael Spinner, in 2001, Paquette’s teammates were discouraged but she managed to stay positive for them.
“Most of us disagreed with the way he coached us, we came together as a team and worked with Jack McDonald, director of Quinnipiac Athletics, and President John Lahey, to solve the problem,” Paquette said.
Paquette credits the building of the team to the coaching of Becca Kohli, Joe Baglio, and their coach of two years Stephy Samaras.
“Stephy has made our program more intense and now we feel like a real division I team,” she said. “And we couldn’t have been ready for a coach like Stephy if it was not for Becca.”