A day after the five year anniversary of the deadliest high school shooting ever to occur in U.S. history, Elon sophomore and lacrosse midfielder Sammy Fisher, a graduate of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, tied her career high in goals scored and Elon’s all-time draw wins in a single game. Fisher said to accomplish what she did and win 13-9 against Queens University of Charlotte in a hard fought lacrosse game on a day as significant as this was a dream come true.
“It feels great,” Fisher said. “Just being a sophomore and tying it is amazing.”
In the Parkland shooting, one of Fisher’s closest friends, Joaquin Oliver, better known as Guac to Fisher and other close friends, was killed. The Phoenix collectively played for Guac, as all members wore avocado green hair ribbons to honor his memory. Fisher said that head coach Josh Hexter had approached her weeks prior to the game to propose a way to honor him.
“The green ribbon was really just to bring the team together,” Fisher said.
However, Fisher said the matching ribbons was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to team unity.
“They just really wrap their arms around me and they are all here for me,” Fisher said. “I know I have their support. It’s really amazing.”
Fisher, who netted four goals and controlled 12 draws in the win over Queens, said Oliver has been a big motivation to her since the tragedy.
“He motivates me in everything I do, not just lacrosse. It really comes from that actual day, five years ago, five years ago, he came up to me and told me he’s proud of me,” Fisher said. “There is no better feeling than knowing that he is watching over me.”
Hexter said he could see that Fisher was mentally locked in prior to the game and allowed her emotions to carry her play.
“She really just used this as an escape to just let it all out,” Hexter said. “She played hard, loose and she did really great. I could not be happier for her.”
The Phoenix went on to win 13-9, however, a late rally by the Royals caused for anxious moments in the final quarter of action. Despite the late game struggles, Fisher said the team is much happier with the way it hit Rudd Field today as opposed to its last time out, which resulted in a 12-11 loss against Old Dominion on Feb. 11.
“We don’t like looking at the score, if we play well and if we have fun it's a win in our books,” Fisher said. “We just want to come out here and have fun.”
Hexter echoed Fisher, and said the key to winning more games like tonight is to understand what allowed the team to play effortlessly in the first 30 minutes.
“We definitely remembered to have more fun today,” Hexter said. “Towards the end we started to get a little tight and tentative, but overall I was really proud of them.”
Fisher was one of five Phoenix to score in the contest, but her four goals lead the scoring efforts on both sides of the statsheet. At the end of the game, she was met with open arms by the entire team.
“I just broke down in tears,” Fisher said. “Happy tears.”