Senior goalkeeper Kristen Gilwee talks about breaking records and her school pride
by Leah Abouahmed, Ohio State Athletics Communications
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kristen Gilwee, a senior on the women’s lacrosse team, had no ties to Ohio when she came to the Buckeyes’ summer camp before her junior year of high school. The Maryland native had no background of the traditions of Ohio State or the size of the campus. The camp went well and by November Gilwee had given her verbal commitment to play for the Scarlet and Gray not bad for someone who started playing lacrosse because a neighbor told her she should.
“When I was six, I started playing soccer and then my neighbor, who was a huge lacrosse nut, put a lacrosse stick in my hand and said you need to start playing lacrosse,” Gilwee said. “I played soccer and lacrosse all the way thru high school and in college, I decided to play lacrosse.”
The decision to play lacrosse at Ohio State has worked out well for Buckeye goalkeeper. Gilwee set the Ohio State career record for wins by a goalie in Ohio State’s 15-9 win over Canisius (March 29). She also set the OSU career mark for most saves this season and has more than 475 stops (as of April 16). But Gilwee recognizes her accomplishments could not have happened without a little help.
“I’m really excited and proud of what I did, but the unsung heroes of the team are the defense,” Gilwee said. “I wouldn’t have the ability to make those saves if it wasn’t for the defense that was in front of me. I really give them a lot of credit.”
The goal keeper position is a competitive one. Gilwee likes the rush, knowing that she is the last chance if their opponents make it past the Buckeye defense. She welcomes the pressure of such an important role.
Currently, the No. 13 Buckeyes are 11-3 with two road games left in their regular season. Ohio State will travel to No. 17 Penn State this Sunday and finish at No. 1 Northwestern April 22. This season, the Buckeye senior class has set a standard they expect the younger players to carry on and Gilwee knows they have the tools they need to do so.
“The standards have been set for the women’s lacrosse program and they just need to keep going with what we started with this 2009 team,” Gilwee said. “I think there is a lot of leadership and talent in the younger players and if you mix it the right way and execute it the right way, then there is no reason why you can’t keep getting better.”
Gilwee may have entered Ohio State with limited knowledge about the university and its athletics program but when she graduates in June, Gilwee will leave her own mark on the women’s lacrosse program and as one of the staunchest Buckeye supporters out there.
“I go to the best university,” Gilwee said. “And the traditions that live within this school just don’t live within the school limits they are everywhere. My sister told me she was walking to class one day on her university campus in New Orleans, wearing my OSU lacrosse shirt and someone yelled to her O-H. The Ohio State spirit is not just here, it’s everywhere and that’s the thing I love most about it.”
Spoken like a true Buckeye.