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McGuire uses fifth year to inspire younger players

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McGuire uses fifth year to inspire younger players

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Photo by Elena Fiegen

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The night before every game, graduate student Charlotte McGuire said she dreams of running up the field, receiving a pass from teammate Cate Soccodato, finding the cage and scoring a game-winning goal.

“That game-winning shot is why you play lacrosse,” McGuire said.

Her path to those game-winning goals came after an unusual upbringing in lacrosse. She didn’t start playing until she was in fourth grade.

Even though she had also played softball, soccer and basketball, McGuire said the transition to lacrosse was difficult.

“There was a lot that I had to learn and pick up,” McGuire said. “Especially when girls from the East Coast are learning that lax IQ at a really young age and I was just basing it off my prior knowledge from other sports. That’s where I was a little bit behind when I got to college.”

When she got to Marquette, she took some pointers from her teammates from the East Coast.

“Letting your own teammates teach you what they’ve learned all their life on the East Coast has been really cool for me,” McGuire said.

A native of Northfield, Illinois, McGuire and head coach Meredith Black both said Marquette women’s lacrosse is unique for having players from all over the country with different backgrounds.

“I love how our team is geographically from very different areas,” Black said. “It’s fun just seeing them get to know each other. … They’ll make fun of accents, they’ll talk about ‘How do you say this? How do you say that?’”

McGuire has adapted to different roles every year. As a freshman, she was a redshirt. Then as a redshirt sophomore, junior and senior she didn’t start, instead playing alongside different attack groups. This season she’s one of the captains.

“I’ve literally been in every role possible in women’s lacrosse,” McGuire said. “I try to use my different roles to provide advice to the underclassmen. I’ve learned what leadership works and what doesn’t.”

Black said McGuire has a very energetic personality.

“She has been through it all and (has) been great through it all,” Black said. “She brings a really positive and light look on life. … Throughout any season you’re going to have tough times … (and) she’s great for all those things.”

Her positive outlook comes in spite of adversity. She suffered a stress fracture toward the end of last year.

“While she was sitting out, she was talking to the other injured players about what it means to be injured, how that affects you, (the) good and bad of it,” Black said. “She just plays through pain, which is awesome.”

Taking a fifth year has more meaning than just playing the game she loves.

“(It) has allowed me time to sit back and reflect and say, ‘What do I want to do now?” McGuire said.

Black said when she found out McGuire was staying, she was ecstatic.

“You have to be hands-off and wait until they decide,” Black said. “Once she did, I was so excited.”

She made significant strides as a lacrosse player last season, starting in six of the 18 games she played and scoring 42 total goals. So far this season, she scored 34 goals in 12 games she has started and is the second-leading scorer on the team.

“She’s the fastest player on the field, there’s no question about it,” Black said. “She takes advantage of her role on offense and makes the most out of it.”

McGuire’s big presence doesn’t stop off the field.

Her Instagram account is “charlottafun” and encompasses who she is.

“She’s just hilarious,” Black said. “That’s her name, ‘charlottafun,’ and she is just that. She’s the one dancing the most in the locker room before the game. … She’ll just say stuff to me that no one else on the team would ever dream of saying.”

As a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs, she has a quote from catcher Willson Contreras in her locker and plays a lot of the team’s walk-out songs in the locker room.

“(The Cubs) just really motivate me,” McGuire said. “A lot of their walk-out songs pump me up so we play those in the locker room.”

Black said McGuire plays her best lacrosse when she’s not thinking too much.

“When I’m having fun out there, when I’m relaxed, when I’m having fun with Grace (Gabriel), having fun with (Megan Menzuber), that’s when we play our best lacrosse,” McGuire said.

“If she’s not going at full speed, you know she’s in her head,” Black said. “She’s amazing and she’s unstoppable. She definitely thinks sometimes, which everyone does.”

Both McGuire and Black said their favorite memory will always be the Golden Eagles’ 15-14 upset over University of Connecticut last season, which took Marquette to its first ever BIG EAST Tournament. McGuire scored three goals and four points to help the Golden Eagles come back from 14-9 with less than 18 minutes remaining.

“It reminded me of why I play lacrosse: those close, tight games, those comebacks,” McGuire said. “It reminded me why I wanted to come back for a fifth year. … I’m looking for more of those memories with this team, and I think we definitely have a few ahead of us.”

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