By Amari D. Pollard
To the lacrosse world she’s known as Erica Geremia, one of the top lacrosse players in the country. She’s the star player who was named the IWLCA [Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coach Association] Attacker of the Year and the ECAC [Eastern College Athletic Conference] Division II Women’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Year last spring. But even with all the accolades, and all the recognition, she’s still just Er to everyone who knows her.
When Erica was about six-years-old, her parents introduced her to lacrosse as a way to keep her busy. They thought signing her up for travel teams and camps would help her build character and teach her how to be a team player. Gradually, lacrosse started to take over, and instead of shying away from the responsibility and intensity that comes with playing, Erica embraced it wholeheartedly.
The Camillus native grew up in a town famous for breeding impressive lacrosse players — The West Genesee Women’s Lacrosse team won seven Class A State Championships. Being constantly surrounded by that type of winning culture was what inspired Erica to become the best. It was as if playing lacrosse wasn’t really a choice, but inevitable.
“I came from Genny [West Genesee] so it was just in me to keep playing and keep getting better and better,” said Geremia. “It’s a fact that Genny is good at lacrosse, and I always wanted to be a part of that!”
There’s an almost uncanny ease to Erica’s game when she’s on the field. Whether she’s dodging an opponent or assisting a teammate, there’s a placid look on her face that says, “I can do this all day, everyday.” Maybe it’s because the field is home, a place where for those hours she’s out there the outside world doesn’t exist. All that’s left is her, her team and the field.
“I love being challenged, I love the competition love everything about this sport! Especially the community of lacrosse players,” said Erica.
During high school Erica was recruited to play at SUNY Cortland under the leadership of Kathy Taylor, one of the best coaches in the game. She spent two years as a Red Dragon, helping lead her team to two Division III Final Fours. But when Taylor announced she was leaving Cortland after six years to become the Head Coach at Le Moyne College, Erica couldn’t imagine playing without her for the last half of her college career.
In a 2014 interview with Lacrosse Magazine Erica said, ““My gut and my heart said to stick with Kathy because she has done so much for me and I cannot thank her enough for that. She put a lot of good pressure on me to perform well at Cortland and I was able to succeed. I wouldn’t have done that without her.”
Fast forward to the spring of 2015: Erica’s playing just as well, if not better, as a Le Moyne Dolphin. Although she had to transition into a new school, with new people and a new culture, Erica found her place…and having a group of 30 girls to guide her along the way didn’t hurt. She often credits her teammates, along with her coaches and parents, for teaching her how to get better from her mistakes and how to keep grounded in a world that has eyes on her at all times.
Many people have a flawed idea of what it means to be a college athlete — one composed of fame, parties and unfair privileges — but what they fail to realize is, it’s hard. Erica has to get up almost every other day at five in the morning to train and play for three hours before going to class; she has to perform every time she takes the field and has no room to slack on her schoolwork.
Playing and going to school can be rather overwhelming at times, but Erica says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
This is Erica’s last year as a Dolphin, and after Le Moyne she hopes to go on to graduate school where she can work towards becoming a teacher while also coaching. But before she looks too far ahead into the future, she’s set on ending her time at Le Moyne with a championship trophy in hand.
Last season Erica and her team made it to the Division II NCAA Semifinals, and she doesn’t expect anything less from this upcoming spring.
“The energy on this team, and dedication in this programming is outstanding. I love just being a part of this team,” said Erica. “I expect that our team is the best everyday and trying our absolute hardest.”