In an athlete’s playing career, completing certain milestones can spark self-pride and confidence and can be viewed as a tremendous accomplishment. Rock lacrosse seniors Erin Wilcox and Kaytlin Callaghan recently completed impressive career milestones themselves, becoming the eighth and ninth players in SRU history to score 100 goals in their Rock lacrosse playing careers. As unique as their accomplishment is, it may be even more unique that each player scored their 100th goal in the very same game.
The senior duo made their marks on school history on March 15 against Edinboro University, with Callaghan needing just one more goal to reach 100 and Wilcox needing three. Callaghan decided not to waste time with her goal, finding the back of the Fighting Scots’ net in less than four minutes. Wilcox was able to get the ball across the goal line twice before scoring her 100th, finally getting that third goal with 11:08 minutes remaining in the game.
“We’ve both talked about it a lot since that game, and we both have agreed that this feels like it was just meant to be,” Wilcox said. “We’ve been best friends and roommates for all four years we’ve been here and it was just an awesome experience.”
The two players met their freshman year as roommates and certainly traveled different paths before deciding to play lacrosse for Slippery Rock.
Callaghan, an early childhood and special education major, of Wayne, N.J., initially did not see herself winding up at SRU early in her recruitment process. In fact, it was her father who convinced her to at least give The Rock a look by taking an official visit.
“I had never heard of Slippery Rock when they first contacted me, and at first I was like no way I can’t go there, it’s six hours away and it has a weird name,” Callaghan joked. “Then I decided to watch a video and the campus looked really nice so I came for the official visit and I ended up loving it.”
Wilcox, a psychology major, also confessed to being unaware of SRU when entering her recruitment process, but being from Hamburg, N.Y., just outside Buffalo, she liked that the school was only about a two-hour drive from home.
“I thought I’d just give (SRU) a shot when looking at schools,” Wilcox said. “I was keeping my options open but this place seemed like the best decision. The program was in a building process at the time so I knew that I would be able to help the team right away rather just being a background player before my junior and senior year.”
Outside of their goal-scoring abilities, both players love the team aspect of lacrosse, saying that the sport goes beyond individual talent and relies on teamwork. Entering the 2016 season, Callaghan also ranked fifth in SRU history in assists.
“If you hated each other out on the field, us as a team wouldn’t ever have the ball,” Callaghan said. “When someone gets a ground ball or causes a turnover, it shows how everyone is involved and can help the team win.”
As seniors, Callaghan and Wilcox are ready to leave behind their legacy at SRU and turn the program over to their underclassman teammates. Both seniors stress the importance of wanting teammates to have fun, because four years can go by quicker than you think. According Wilcox, you enter a season with 30 teammates, but you walk away with 30 friends.
“I know that every single game we go out there and get emotional,” Wilcox said. “We want to get out there and win that conference championship and get those rings like we’ve always talked about. It’s great to get that individual accomplishment, but it would be awesome to get that recognition as well.”