The Simmers Sisters of Women’s Lacrosse

“Before every game, Emma is the one to braid my hair and the one who dances in the locker room with me! We do have matching ‘game-day’ headbands as well! Emma also makes me a bracelet before each season for me to wear,” said Nora Simmers, a forensic science major and the younger sister of Emma Simmers, an education major.

Imagine what it would be like to grow up all of your life with a sibling who attends the same school as you, plays the same sport as you, has the same interests as you, and views life the same way you do. How amazing but also challenging this might be.

A perfect example lies right here at Seton Hill University (SHU), with two sisters who if you have never seen before, can be easily found strapping up their helmets or cleats and getting ready to play on the lacrosse field.

For the Simmers sisters, they have been best friends since they can remember, but what got them even closer was the game of lacrosse (lax). Lax entered their lives at a young age when their older sister Sarah introduced them to the sport. From Pittsburgh, PA; both Emma and Nora graduated from Seton LaSalle high school and currently start for the Griffins women’s lacrosse team competing in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

“Growing up, Nora and I have had some trouble playing on each other’s team. We were lucky enough to play one year together in high school and now our second year in college,” said Emma.

#15 for the Griffins women’s lacrosse team is Emma Simmers, redshirt senior midfielder and also a captain of the team. Her sister, #36 Nora Simmers, on the other hand is a sophomore defender. So while Emma is out there on the field dodging defenders and looking to score, Nora is looking to do the opposite and stop those players on opposing teams that are like her sister. Different positions with different objectives, but at the end of the day the two mesh well together and look to do all they can to help support their team to victory.

“It is great to see two sisters play on the same team together and work to make not only each other better but all those around her as well. These two are competitive by nature, so to put them against each other, it is great to see because it shows how they challenge each other to get better,” said Courtney Grove, who is entering her sixth season as the head coach for the Griffins women’s Lax team.

Last year for the Griffins, the women’s lax team finished the season 13-5 after losing to West Chester University in the PSAC playoffs by a score of 8-9. In that season, Emma was the leading scorer for the Griffins with 81 total points (61 goals / 20 assists) and was selected as a second team IWLCA All American and was named to the ECAC Division II Women’s Lacrosse All Star team as a first team selection.

“It was an honor to finish the season as the leading point scorer for my team.  I was able to achieve that accomplishment because my teammates were always there pushing me to be better. The most important thing to me was that I was able to help the team have the best season in school history to date,” said Emma.

As for Nora, her season was more of a roller coaster ride as she was just previously coming off surgery on her achilles tendon and therefore had to sit out her whole freshman fall ball season.

“It took me until the first game of the season to get my feet wet. I worked hard and ended up starting from week five of the season until the end. It took a while to get there but the reward of working hard paid off,” said Nora.

Growing up for the Simmers sisters has definitely been a wild ride to say the least. For an older sister you are setting the path for the younger generation to follow, and as for a younger sister you are looking up to the ones who are setting those paths as role models and a guideline.

“Growing up I have always looked up to Emma for her athletic skills above all. It has put pressure on me knowing that when Emma is on a team, Emma is always the best player on that team,” said Nora.

“Being the older sister, I have felt some pressure. I try to set good examples for Nora to follow on and off the field. I feel that I am always looking out for Nora, but her presence on the field drives me to play my best every day,” said Emma.

It seems to be that both athletes help each other in different ways with positive feedback coming from each other.

With the 2015 season around the corner, the Griffins women’s lax are ready to “Be the best we can be as a team,” according to head coach Courtney Grove.

“The team is starting to come together and working hard to make an impact this year.  We will continue to work throughout the season to improve and also continue to work hard,” said Grove.

As for the Simmers sisters, their are mixed emotions entering the 2015 season. For Nora it will be bittersweet playing on the lacrosse field with her sister Emma for the very last time on a collegiate level.

“Entering my sophomore season it is both nerve racking and there is lots of motivation,” said Nora.

Likewise for Emma her lacrosse career will slowly come to an end game after game.

“This season, I only want to contribute my best effort on the field every day at practice and games,” said Emma.

But, with that said both Simmers sister plan to keep making an impact for their team as they strive to make a run for the PSAC finals this year and for SHU as student athletes!

The Griffins women’s lax team will begin their season play as they host Lake Erie College on February 25 in their home opener.

 

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