Forselius Emerges on Defense in Junior Season
Any team that’s as dynamic as the Guilford girls’ lacrosse squad needs each of its players to provide steady contributions in every game. While the Grizzlies’ offensive firepower played a huge role in leading the team to its third-straight SCC title and second-straight state crown this year, junior Emy Forselius made significant contributions on the other end of the field as a defensive force for Guilford. Emy’s attitude also kept things light for the Grizzlies at times during an eventful and intense 2022 season.
It meant a lot to Emy that she earned a starting spot on defense for such a strong Grizzlies’ team. Emy knew how successful the girls’ lacrosse program had been when she joined and was excited to etch her own name as part of the team’s legacy. Despite the nerves that came during her first season as a sophomore, Emy was ready to tackle the challenge.
“We knew going into high school that the Guilford High School girls’ lacrosse team has always been really good,” says Emy, who also plays soccer for Guilford. “It was a little nerve-wracking moving into high school, because we knew the competition was going to be so different. It was really exciting, because I was excited to be a part of a winning team like that.”
Emy got settled in during her first season with the team and then took on a significant role with the Grizzlies this year. She knew that many of the team’s top defenders from the 2021 club had graduated. Emy improved by playing and training throughout the offseason with her eyes set on becoming a full-time member of Guilford’s defensive corps.
“We lost a lot of defenders last year, so I really wanted to step up my game this year, so I knew what I would be able to contribute to the team, as well as the girls who came before,” Emy says. “Our defense has always been strong, so I just wanted to make sure I could fill that spot in a good way.”
Emy stood true to her word and stepped up in a major way for the Grizzlies this spring. Emy’s defensive skills proved a huge boon for a Guilford squad that posted an overall record of 21-1 while defending its SCC and Class M state titles. While Emy’s contributions may not always show up in the scorebook, Head Coach Wendy Epke describes her as a vital member of the program due to her versatility on defense and all-around positive personality.
“Emy is a good communicator with the other players of the defensive unit. She does a really good job of being aware of what’s happening on defense, the slides, and being able to crash when we need her to,” says Epke. “Emy is always a bundle of energy for us at practice and on the bus. I think she brings a lot of comic relief. A lot of times when you’re in a stressful situation, you need that kind of personality, as well.”
Emy feels extremely proud of the Grizzlies for believing in themselves on their road to capturing more postseason hardware this year. Emy says that the mental preparation of Guilford’s players as the team entered the playoffs was one of the biggest reasons why the Grizzlies once again came out victorious.
“It was really exciting. We didn’t want to go into anything thinking we were winning just because we had such a good season. It’s easy to think like that. Some of the teams that we were playing we had already played before, so it was easy to go in confidently, but we didn’t want do that, because you never know what could happen,” Emy says. “One of the most important things was just not thinking we were going to win the whole thing.”
By taking the season game by game, Emy was able to focus on improving her skills on a step-by-step basis. Two of Emy’s best performances came in each of the Grizzlies’ matchups against East Lyme—a 15-5 regular-season win on April 23 and a 19-8 victory in the second round of the Class M State Tournament on June 3.
“Our second East Lyme game was a playoff game, and the tension was really high, so I played really well that game, because we obviously wanted to keep moving in SCCs and states. I had a few really good interceptions in that game,” says Emy. “Both of our games against East Lyme have been my best games. I tend to play really well against East Lyme.”
Emy looks forward to bringing her passion and personality to the Grizzlies as a senior leader in 2023. Guilford is losing many key pieces from this year’s team, but Emy believes that the culture of the program will give the Grizzlies a great chance to repeat history.
“I’m excited for next season, because we want to try to win SCCs and states again, which will be difficult, because we are losing a lot of important parts of our team,” Emy says. “But I’m very confident that we can still do it, because we are still a really strong team.”
As she receives support from her coaches and teammates, Emy also draws inspiration from her mother Anna. Emy’s mom has always inspired her to reach for her potential in lacrosse while playing a sport that she loves. This type of encouragement has made a world of difference for Emy as she makes her impact for a storied Grizzlies’ program.
“My mom motivates me the most, because she was the one who got me into lacrosse. I probably wouldn’t have started playing if she didn’t make the suggestion. She always pushes me to try new things,” says Emy. “I wouldn’t have been so motivated to do those things if it wasn’t for her. She likes to see me win and see me play, so she’s always trying to make sure that happens for me.”