Blogs and Commentary

posted 10.30.2013 at 10.19 a.m. by Kelly McNelis

Boston College's Wilford Movement

Kelly McNelis

"Part of your success is that you have to believe in the possibility that something can happen. We all have dreams and you have to make it a reality." – Keith Wilford, The Wilford Movement

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I have blogged, so I would love to give you an update about my summer. As I mentioned earlier, I was able to study abroad for a month over the summer in Ireland with two of my teammates. It was an experience of a lifetime and I highly recommend everyone to take advantage of this opportunity if it is offered at your school.

The fall ball season has come and gone for the last time in my career. The BC Women's Lacrosse team worked the hardest we have ever worked this fall, and it showed on the field. With the addition of eight new freshmen faces, our fall ball season was a resounding success. The team has meshed very well and we have set the groundwork to build on so we can accomplish our off-season goals that will carry into a successful season.

Over the course of the fall, we competed in three tournaments including the Harvard Melting Pot, the Naval Academy tournament and our very own BC tournament. We also scrimmaged Dartmouth at Westwood High School. I have had the privilege of scrimmaging Dartmouth for the past four years, and it is one of the events in the fall that I enjoy the most. It is a nice preview of BC Lacrosse and also allows our freshman to experience what it is like to play a full 60 minutes of lacrosse at a faster pace versus the running clock that is usually played during most fall ball tournaments.

The highlight of BC's fall tournament schedule this year was having the opportunity to travel to Annapolis, Md., and participate in the Naval Academy's fall tournament. Maryland is my home state along with several of my teammates, including head coach Acacia Walker, who grew up in Annapolis. I went to high school in Annapolis and being able to play at a place so close to home was a great experience to share with my team. It is always fun to travel back home and see your friends and family.

Our schedule at the Navy Tournament included games against Hofstra, Colorado, Northwestern and Stanford. We have never played against Colorado or Stanford before, and it was a great experience to compete against new opponents. After being club and high school teammates for close to seven years, I was able to compete against my best friend and fellow blogger, Stanford goalie Lyndsey Munoz. Being able to play against her for the first time ever was something we had hoped for since our college careers began. We had a great showing at the Naval Academy and ended the tournament with an unofficial 3-1 record.

My team had two weeks to prepare for our final fall ball event of the season. We had an intense two weeks of practice, but we excelled and worked hard knowing that we wanted to end the fall season with a bang on our home turf.

Our last fall practice proved to be a learning experience. Thanks to the coaches, we had a very special guest watch our practice and talk to us afterwards. Keith Wilford, better known for his involvement in The Wilford Movement, took the time to interact and motivate us as we prepared for the last tournament of the season.


Keith had an amazing athletic career at the colligate level and at the professional level. Unfortunately, he suffered a massive heart attack during the cross-fit games. Luckily, Keith survived but is now unable to work out at the same capacity as he did in the past. Keith experienced greatest success and the worst struggles. Something I felt Keith conveyed and is a good lesson for all athletes: we live each day not knowing what the outcome could be. Accolades can only take a team so far; it is the heart and love for your teammates and the sport that will make you successful at the end of the day. Keith is a very powerful, motivational and inspirational man and drove home the true meaning of success and what it means to be an athlete at Boston College.

Boston College hosted our final tournament this past weekend. We played against Stony Brook, UConn, UMass and cross-town rival BU. We were excited and confident heading to Newton field Saturday morning after our experience with The Wilford Movement. Overall, we had a successful day. In the morning, we played Stony Brook for the first time and it was exciting to have new competition once again. Both teams played a hard-fought and aggressive game. We then had a victory against UConn and battled UMass. Despite a few lapses during the course of the day, everything we worked on during the fall came together during our last game against BU. All aspects of this game were great, and we finished our fall confident and excited for what is yet to come.

We have a very strong and deep team this year, and I am excited to see what we will accomplish during the off-season and pre-season. Fortunately for our team, Brooke Blue will be returning to finish her eligibility as a grad student after missing the majority of last season due to injury. Her leadership, experience and skill on and off the field will be a great advantage for BC this season.

While we were warming up before the first game, I looked at the excitement on my freshmen teammates' faces and could not believe how quickly time has gone by. I hope all the new faces on each team remember to enjoy the ride. We all play the game because we love to compete and we enjoy being a part of a team.


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