I’m not sure I’d be the player I am without my sister, Taryn Ohlmiller.
When I went to my first lacrosse practice in third grade, Taryn was right alongside me. Together, we fell in love with lacrosse, and it became one of the strongest pieces of our connection.
As kids, we could often be found in the backyard playing catch, going one-on-one, or competing in some silly game that accidentally improved our skills. Our parents supported us in every way they could and were immediately invested in our interest, helping find club teams, watching games, and learning the sport themselves to relate to their daughters.
Taryn was there at Islip High School and played with me for four seasons, because middle schoolers were allowed to play up, and she made varsity as a seventh grader. The same person I have honed so many of my fundamentals with in the grass behind our home when we were much too young to drive was practicing with me, playing with me, and working toward a common goal with me.
When it came time to choose a college, I opted for Stony Brook. Originally, I thought I wanted to go far away from Long Island, but after the Seawolves reached out and I went on a visit, I realized that staying close to home was the right decision for me. I committed to Stony Brook in the summer of 2012, soon before I started my 11th grade year.
I had no idea I was setting the stage for a family reunion.
Fast forward to 2015. I’m a freshman at Stony Brook, and Taryn is verbally committed to another school. That season, we went 18-2 and 6-0 in league play with America East regular season and tournament titles and a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. My sister had a front-row seat for it all, she it opened to her eyes to what was happening just down the road from home.
Taryn switched her commitment and decided to join me at Stony Brook, reuniting the old Ohlmiller duo. I had the fortune of sharing my junior and senior seasons with my little sister, and there’s nothing I’d trade for the experiences we molded together through that run.
In our two seasons at Stony Brook, we were 40-3 overall and 13-0 in the America East, with two conference regular season titles and two conference tournament championships, plus two appearances in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals. We helped take Stony Brook women’s lacrosse to places it had never before been, and we did it together.
When we were younger, we both set out to achieve the same goal: play Division I lacrosse. Little did either of us know we would share the same jersey while doing it. I’m so incredibly grateful that’s how it turned out.
Chasing your dream is special. Chasing your dream with one of the most important people to you, who also shares your dream, is beyond that – it’s among the highlights of my life.
Thank you, Taryn, for being my sister, and thank you, lacrosse, for offering me an avenue for an everlasting bond with my best friend.