This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below HPU’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams winning seasons and incredible growth.
The lacrosse players that coaches Lyndsey Boswell and Jon Torpey recruit to play for High Point University spring from the same mold.
They come from supportive families, and they’re forged by discipline and hard work. They’re good. And they’re hungry.
As members of a program still considered young in the eyes of the lacrosse world, they feel they have something to prove. So, when they come to HPU, they play with a passion that fuels their goal: Let everyone know HPU men’s and women’s lacrosse can compete with the best.
They have. And they’ve won.
They’ve beaten ranked teams once thought untouchable, and because of their play, HPU men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have been ranked nationally, too. But how did this happen in such a short period of time?
Start with the coaches. The team’s winning chemistry begins there.
Feeling Like Family
Know this — Boswell and Torpey are a lot alike.
They both come from blue-collar backgrounds, raised in families full of tough love. They were raised with a lacrosse stick in their hands, and they played in the sport’s biggest hothouse of competition and talent — Maryland.
Boswell coaches the women; Torpey, the men. Off the field, they’re warm. On the field, they’re all business. Together, they are HPU’s lacrosse dream team.
They’re both close. They describe themselves like brother and sister. Their teams are close, too. One finishes practice and the other starts. One is playing a game and the other is in the stands sitting together, cheering loud.
That synergy, the players say, is crucial. It’s created a brother-sister bond between both programs. As for the teams, players say there are no cliques. They see themselves as one, mentors to one another.
They practice six days a week at least two hours at a time. On some days, they get up an hour before daybreak, hit the practice field at sunrise and go to class sometimes without a shower.
Their work ethic breeds respect, and the wins come.
Players hone their bodies and improve their skills by using the innovative technology in HPU’s biomechanics lab. They also tap into the expertise of a sports psychologist and listen to motivational speakers to help get their minds right to practice and play.
And they listen to Boswell and Torpey. The coaches are like surrogate parents. They help their players on all aspects of life — from heartache and staying healthy, to schoolwork and navigating their future.
That kind of sage counsel helps teammates feel like family, and they realize lacrosse is a guidebook to life.
Like Samantha Herman, the senior captain who graduated in May.
“We knew we’d be better people off the field because of those early morning workouts and late nights finishing up homework,” she says. “It made everyone better.”
And HPU’s role?
“It starts with our president, Dr. Nido Qubein,” Herman responds. “He wants an inspiring environment with caring people and an extraordinary education. I was impacted by all three.”
Building a Powerhouse
The women’s program turns 10 this fall, the men’s program will be nine, and both Boswell and Torpey have helmed the program from the beginning.
That newness has made their players scrappy. Against more established programs, players say they fight for respect because they long to build HPU into a lacrosse powerhouse ranked year in and year out.
So, players come for Boswell, for Torpey and for the idea of creating a lacrosse dynasty.
Take Abby Hormes, a junior from Fallston, Maryland. After accepting an offer to play for HPU, she sat in the stands when Boswell’s team beat Towson 21-15 in the spring of 2017. It was HPU’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win in any sport.
“It gave me chills watching them,” Hormes says today. “Just the fact that I was going there in the next year made me super happy. I knew I had made the right choice.”
Last spring, Hormes was named Offensive Player of the Year in their conference, the Big South.
Then there is Asher Nolting. He came to HPU from Greenwood Village, Colorado. Last spring, he was named Second-Team All American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine and highlighted on ESPN when he scored with a behind-the-back goal when No. 11 HPU beat No. 9 Virginia.
“WHAA?!’ the ESPN announcer yelled repeatedly.
It was some kind of shot. But that’s indicative, Nolting says, of how they play.
“This is what makes our program special,” Nolting says. “We are all so close, from the top to the bottom of the roster. We know everything about our guys. We’re all like brothers, and we’ll do anything for each other. There are no cliques, and that makes it easy for us to play for each other. We play hard.”
There’s no better example than a Wednesday in February.
HPU beat Duke 13-9.
It was the highest-ranked opponent HPU had ever beaten in the program’s history. Duke was No. 2. When the game ended, the entire team stormed the field. Nolting immediately found his goalie, HPU senior Tim Troutner Jr. Troutner made 19 saves that game.
Nolting hugged Troutner hard.
“I knew we could do it!” Nolting told Troutner. “This is why we wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning!”