As Addie Godfrey joined the Lafayette College women’s lacrosse program in 2009, she had no delusions of grandeur.
“When I committed to Lafayette in the fall of my senior year in high school, I knew I was not going to a top 10 team that was going to be playing for an NCAA championship,” said former Hun School standout Godfrey.
“I was committing to a challenge. I dedicated myself to getting it back to where it was 10 years ago.”
Emerging as a go-to scorer for the Leopards, Godfrey’s dedication helped the program progress to the point where it made the Patriot League tournament this spring in her senior season.
In her first two seasons, it looked like the challenge may be even greater than Godfrey imagined as Lafayette went 6-27, winning just three games each year.
“We were a very young team, playing mainly freshmen and sophomores,” said Godfrey, who was the Patriot League women’s
lacrosse Rookie of the Year in 2010.
“When you are playing six freshmen against teams with a bunch of upperclassmen it is going to be tough. It comes down to experience.”
Going through the tough times in those two seasons helped Lafayette break through with a 9-8 season in 2012.
“Once we got to my junior year, we had more juniors and sophomores out there,” said Godfrey.
“Everyone had at least one year of experience under their belt. I think junior year, we beat Duquesne. We were leaving for spring break the next day and we knew Duquesne was a good team. They were predicted to beat us. We had no idea of what they were like. We ended up winning in OT, it showed that we could play with a good team and win.”
The high scoring attacker showed she could play with the best in the league that spring, scoring a team high 68 points on 59 goals and nine assists to earn first-team All-Patriot honors.
“I think it had to do with the support I had around me on attack,” said Godfrey, reflecting on her accolades.
“We had a lot more versatility and more people taking it to the cage, which made things easier for me. It was a great honor; it meant a lot to the program. It showed that we were getting back on track and the other coaches were noticing it.”
The Leopards, though, didn’t get into the Patriot tourney in 2012 as they fell 8-7 to Holy Cross in their final regular season game to miss out on the postseason.
“It was definitely heartbreaking, the second we lost, our minds went straight to next fall and getting back on the field and getting things right,” said Godfrey, in assessing the setback which saw her tally three goals and an assist. “We knew that we were going not going to let that happen again.”
Coming into the spring, Lafayette wasn’t going to be denied, showing its intentions by winning its first four games.
“We expected ourselves to get to the tournament, there wasn’t that sense of this could be my last game,” said Godfrey.
“We never panicked. We were all about commitment. The 4-0 start was huge. We haven’t started like that in a long time. When you only win three games in each of your first two years that showed we are moving in the right direction.”
Godfrey showed a deep commitment this spring as she played through pain resulting from a nagging knee injury.
“I had stitches in my knee for half the season,” said Godfrey. “I fell directly on my knee and had 10 stitches just below my kneecap. I was able to keep running because they weren’t directly on my knee. I ended up having to leave Senior Day at halftime because the stitches came out. I ended up missing a game; that was tough, I hadn’t missed a game since freshman year. We had a great training staff, they put a kneepad on it and I was fine after that.”
The Leopards enjoyed a great finish as they topped Colgate 9-7 in their regular season finale to clinch a spot on the Patriot tourney for the first time since 2004.
“That was a wonderful day,” said Godfrey, who had a goal and an assist in the win. “We had played Penn State two days before; they were a top 10 team and had a good first half. We were confident. Every single person who got on that bus was so confident; we knew we were going to win. That was probably the best feeling I have had at Lafayette. When we went to Colgate, there was a good vibe, everybody felt great; it meant the world to me, my teammates, the coaching staff and the parents.”
Although Lafayette fell 9-8 to nationally ranked Navy in the Patriot semis, Godfrey has fond memories of the game.
“We went into that game with pretty much the same feeling we had against Colgate,” said Godfrey, who earned second team All-Patriot honors this spring as she tallied 63 points on 52 goals and 11 assists.
“We knew they were looking past us and thinking about being in the NCAAs. Everyone felt there was no doubt that we could win; we were all on the same page. Every single player had the game of her life. That game is the reason you play sports. Yes I wish we could have won because I think the championship would have been ours. It was just an incredible game.”
For Godfrey, having childhood friend and former Princeton Day School foe Cammie Linville as a teammate the last four years helped her on and off the field.
“Playing with Cammie was the greatest sports experience I have had,” said Godfrey, a four-time All-Patriot selection who ended her Leopard career with 218 points on 185 goals and 33 assists.
“We grew up together; the whole Linville family was there for me. Cammie was our sole captain this season and there was a lot of adversity, I don’t know if we could have gotten through it without her leadership. We roomed together all four years.”
Reflecting on her years at Lafayette, Godfrey gained more than she initially imagined from taking on the challenge of helping the program get headed back in the right direction
“I think as an athlete, I learned commitment,” said Godfrey. “You can’t play a D-1 sport and not be committed. I learned to love lacrosse and being on a team. The team was incredible this year. This was one of those seasons that will stick with me forever. It feels so good to have ended this way, I am so lucky. Even though we didn’t get in the NCAA tournament, I wouldn’t change a thing, I am completely happy with being at Lafayette.”