Sisters EllaGrace and Mia Delmond lead new charge for women’s lacrosse program


Quinnipiac Athletics/Daniel Passapera

Freshman Mia Delmond (left) is tied for first on the team in goals scored this season (24) and sophomore EllaGrace Delmond (right) has 42 career goals in two seasons at Quinnipiac.

Zachary Carter, Staff Writer

 EllaGrace Delmond, a sophomore midfielder on the Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse team, took the MAAC conference by storm in 2022. During her first year in Hamden, she scored 25 goals in just 16 games for the Bobcats. What no one expected, however, was that just one year later, a second Delmond sister, Mia, would also surge onto the scene to make a name for herself and her family.

“It’s always been (our) parents’ dream for us to play together from high school to college,” EllaGrace said. “So we just said, ‘you know what, let’s do it, it would be awesome and just the best thing ever.”’

To the Delmonds, this comes as no surprise. It has been a lifelong dream for the two sisters to share the NCAA Division I field together. Now, both EllaGrace and Mia fit into a much larger family, a family that has worked tirelessly to redefine its image and raise its program to new heights.

Throughout their childhoods, EllaGrace and Mia would roam the soccer and lacrosse fields in their hometown of Rockville Centre, New York, pushing and challenging each other to be their best. In EllaGrace’s senior year at South Side High School, she joined three other seniors as captains of the school’s lacrosse team. The year after, Mia followed in her sister’s footsteps, stepping up as one of the team’s four captains.

This path of succession within the Delmond family has led both sisters to Quinnipiac. While EllaGrace was still a freshman, Mia made sure to ask her sister if Hamden was a place where they would both be able to thrive, but also live happy lives off the field.

“I always had to double-check with her, because if she didn’t want me here then I probably wouldn’t have come (here),” Mia said while laughing. “But she definitely encouraged (Quinnipiac) a lot.”

As for EllaGrace, she knew all along that Quinnipiac had eyes on her younger sister, but made sure not to intervene in what was already a stressful recruitment process. With the pandemic putting a strain on Mia’s ability to promote herself as a player, Quinnipiac soon became a top option.

To have her sister go through the process once before was extremely helpful for Mia, because EllaGrace was able to give her insight into how the Bobcats’ program was run. Luckily for both of them, EllaGrace had only positive things to say.

“It honestly kind of just happened … it’s a good school and we knew the coaches,” EllaGrace said. “Everything just fell into place.”

The brains behind the entire operation to bring the Delmond sisters to Quinnipiac was head coach Tanya Kotowicz, who learned about the sister duo simply by recruiting EllaGrace. When she saw the potential that they both had, Mia’s addition to the team the following year became a no-brainer decision.

“We’re trying to build a family, and you don’t let your family fail,” Kotowicz said. “If we were going to build a family with family then we were gonna do it, and getting the Delmond sisters just helped that.”

With things falling into place off the field, it allowed for success on the field to take its natural course. The Delmond sisters’ connection has been in full effect in the 2023 season, and the two have excelled between the lines in an unprecedented fashion.

While EllaGrace has scored an impressive 17 goals in the team’s first 14 games this season, it is her counterpart Mia who has shined brightest, netting 24 goals in 14 games, tying herself with senior attacker Desiree Kleberg for the highest total on the team.

“They’re a joy to play with,” Kleberg said. “We have the Long Island connection, so it’s very cool to see them play together and work together.”

The connection between the two sisters is undeniable, and they have certainly made their first season together at the collegiate level a memorable one. As members of the Bobcats, both EllaGrace and Mia are ecstatic to share the biggest stage of their collegiate careers and their lives together.

“We’ve been playing our whole lives together and we’ve been doing everything together,” EllaGrace said. “To keep that going on a bigger stage where there’s more at stake and there are more risks going on … it’s a huge deal.”

As an older sister, it is natural to wish for her younger sister to adapt quickly to the collegiate level, but to thrive at the rate that Mia has so far this spring, has blown her sister away.

“It is such a great feeling seeing her succeed and do as well as she has been doing,” EllaGrace said.

Mia’s presence has been a much-welcomed addition to the program. While EllaGrace already knew what skills her sister brought to the table, their ability to play in unison with one another has equally impressed other members of the team.

“They’re both insane,” senior goaltender Kat Henselder said. “(They’re) such hard workers and they play super well off of each other, but they also look for everyone else on the field.”

Growing up together, it is easy to understand why the two sisters are so similar. They play the same sport, they play similar positions and they even wear sequential numbers (Mia donning No. 20, and EllaGrace sporting her usual No. 21). But the two contrast in their leadership styles – ones they discovered during their own respective years serving as team captains in high school.

“Ella was more (of) the loud one when she was the captain, and I’m usually the quieter one,” Mia said. “It’s cool to see how different we were, but also the kind of impact we made for the team.

Both EllaGrace and Mia have already entertained a lot of success in their young careers. With the sisters in just their first and second years on the team, they have high hopes for what they wish to accomplish not only for the Delmond family, but for their entire Quinnipiac family as well.

“Obviously (we want to) win a championship,” EllaGrace said. “But we always talk about how we want to see more girls see Quinnipiac as not just a backup school … but the kind of school where girls say ‘I want to come to this school and be a part of this program.’”

From the backyard grass to the turf of the Quinnipiac Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium, this opportunity has been a long time coming. And as for the Delmond sisters, anything is possible.