Blogs and Commentary

posted 03.26.2013 at 12.27 p.m. by Kelly McNelis

McNelis: West Coast Trip, UNC Game, Honored with McGowan Award

(From left to right): Welles' mother Alison Crowther, Boston College senior Claire Blohm, Welles' father Jefferson Crowther, B.C. senior Kelly McNelis, Stacey's daughter Casey McGowan and Stacey's daughter Ryan McGowan. (Boston College athletics)

"Champions keep playing until they get it right." –Billie Jean King

The Boston College women's lacrosse Team has had a very busy and fun past couple of weeks! On Monday, March 3rd, we packed our bags and traveled to the West Coast for our spring break trip! We have never been to the West Coast before, and it was such an exciting time. We were able to explore Hollywood, go to Hermosa Beach, and attend a Lakers game at the Staples Center. I had never been to a pro-basketball game before, and I am so happy I was able to do so with my teammates.

Besides all of the fun activities we were able to do, the purpose of being in California was to play lacrosse against two opponents we have never seen before: the University of Southern California and San Diego State University. USC and SDSU both gave us challenging games, but we returned to the East Coast with two victories.

Upon returning to Boston, we had a week to prepare for Canisius. They gave us a great game last year, and we knew they would come out just as strong again this year. We traveled to Buffalo, N.Y. and it was the longest bus trip I have ever been on (roughly nine hours)! However, time passed quickly thanks to "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "The Town," "Shawshank Redemption," and "Wedding Crashers." As expected, Canisius gave us a very hard-fought game, but we pulled through at the end to win 10-7.

After Canisius, we had another week to prepare for our third ACC matchup against UNC. After two tough losses against them last year, we were out for the win. This past week we focused on the little things we needed to do in order to improve our game as well as mentally prepare to face the defending national champions.

This game was also dedicated to Welles Remy Crowther and Stacey Sennas McGowan, who both played lacrosse at BC and lost their lives during the September 11th attacks. After graduating from BC, Welles was an equities trader in the South Tower of the World Trade Center and is known for sacrificing his life to save others during the attacks. Stacey was a member of the BC women's lacrosse team. She served as captain her senior year and graduated in 1985. Stacey worked as Managing Director for the firm of Sandler O'Neill & Partners located on the 104th floor WTC Tower. Stacey left a legacy of leadership, dedication, enthusiasm and her love for her teammates and the game.

This year, two players were honored who demonstrate the actions and characteristics of Welles and Stacey. Senior Claire Blohm was honored at the beginning of the game in memory of Welles and was presented with the No. 19 jersey, which was Welles' number in college. I am honored to say I was the proud recipient of the first "Sennas McGowan Award."

It was truly an honor to be recognized for the qualities and characteristics that Stacey held. She was an amazing person who loved the game and selflessly cared about her teammates. I will always hold her legacy very close to my heart.

Saturday's game was a true battle, both teams fighting goal for goal. We came out on top in draw controls, ground balls, and shots taken. Unfortunately, we fell short when UNC scored on a free-position with 28 seconds left and we were unable to put one away after the final draw.

Next up for the Eagles is a cross-town rivalry game at Harvard this Wednesday. We then head to College Park to face No. 2 Maryland on Saturday, March 29th. I am so excited to play in my home state with my teammates. If anyone is in the area on Wednesday or Saturday, come and watch the Eagles play!


"You will never win if you never begin." – Robert H. Schuller

For the whole story on Welles, check out ESPN's "Man In The Red Bandana." For the full story on Stacey, click here.

The Boston College women's team in Hermosa Beach, Calif. (Emily Zlevor)