BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—September 23, 2011, marked a very special moment for Birmingham-Southern Women's Lacrosse coach Emily Wetmore, as she and her 2005 NCAA II National Championship lacrosse teammates were inducted into the Stonehill College Athletics Hall of Fame.
"It was surreal to see everyone again," Wetmore said. "Most of us had not seen each other since the 2005 season and it was priceless to be able to relive all the fun and challenging times we went through together as a team. Each one of us agreed that it was worth every minute of what we went through to accomplish the perfect undefeated season, and it was capped off by winning the NCAA Division II National Championship. We are all very fortunate to have been a part of something much bigger than ourselves, and we all were humbled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."
After falling short of making the NCAA Championships in 2004, Wetmore, a midfielder for the Skyhawks at the time, and her teammates made a decision that it was their responsibility to get Stonehill back into the national championship hunt. Motivated from day one by their coach, Michael Daly, who is now the Head Women's Lacrosse Coach at the University of New Hampshire, the 2005 team came to realize every game they played was their national championship game and they had to make the most of each opportunity.
"Coach Daly is the reason why we won the NCAA National Championship," Wetmore continued. "Looking back now I can understand why he was so hard on us and why he pushed us to be better than we were each and every time we took the field. He had a coaching formula that made us all want to prove to him we were a great team. I can even recall after we won the Northeast 10 tournament championship, that he still was not satisfied with how we played. As an athlete you are always trying to please your coach and every day we all wondered if he would ever be satisfied with how we played. I know now it was because he never was satisfied with our play that we continued to strive to be even better. Hands down we wanted to prove to him that we were the best NCAA II team in the nation and in the end we did."
Today Wetmore is working to instill the same drive for excellence in her current BSC women's lacrosse team. Entering her second season on the Hilltop, Wetmore says if there was one thing she could share with her student-athletes about this rewarding experience it would be to take pride in the effort you bring to the field every day.
"I want our lacrosse players here at BSC to realize we have to put in the work daily in order to be a great program," Wetmore said. "If we truly believe we are the hardest working team who is willing to invest positive energy in each other, then something special can happen. I want my student-athletes to feel what I felt on that day we beat West Chester University 13-10 to win the national championship. It was a feeling of complete accomplishment with a group of people I care so dearly for."
The BSC Women's Lacrosse team is currently practicing in their non-traditional season and opens the 2012 season in February.