Garcias share special connection from New York to Wisconsin

Shea+and+Nolan+Garcia+with+their+parents+at+Marquette+womens+lacrosses+senior+day+April+24.+

Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Shea and Nolan Garcia with their parents at Marquette women’s lacrosse’s senior day April 24.

Shea and Nolan Garcia have shared a lot as brother and sister. They shared a home, a backyard and the sport of lacrosse.

Now with the both of them playing at the Division I level, they can add one more thing to that list: calling Valley Fields home.

After committing to Marquette in December of 2020, Nolan, a first-year midfielder on the men’s lacrosse team, said that everyone in his family was excited for him, but that someone in particular was a little bit more excited than the rest.

“My parents were really excited, my other siblings were really excited but the most excited person was Shea,” Nolan said. “She was by far the most excited, she wanted me to come there (Marquette) the whole time.”

Growing up just two years apart from each other in Manhasset, New York, Shea said Nolan and her were always close. 

“I loved it (growing up with Nolan), he’s two years younger than me so we’ve always been really close and we have two older siblings who play lacrosse, so we pretty much hung out on the sidelines at our siblings’ games all the time,” Shea said.

Besides growing up in a hotbed of lacrosse, Nolan said that the Garcia children were introduced to lacrosse through their father Jorge, who played club lacrosse at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“The amount of time we spent in the backyard together with our dad, either having catch or trying to help one another, I think that really brought us a lot closer because I feel like not all siblings have that one thing in common other than being siblings they can bond over and I just think that helped us a lot,” Nolan said.

Shea said the two of them would often train together in the backyard during their middle school days, something of which that has continued to this day.

“We would do speed and agility stuff together, so it really started that young,” Shea said. “We’ll do some stuff in the summer, we’ll go down to my old high school and we’ll play together.”

Shea will be the first to admit she’s the fastest sibling while conceding that Nolan is the more athletic one.

Nolan did not completely agree with that assessment.

“Maybe when we were younger, I don’t know about (right) now,” Nolan said.

In those training sessions they have, Shea said that she has used some of the moves Nolan has taught her in games.

“When I would go into the backyard to play and get a little wall-ball in and he’ll always come outside and he’ll always teach me something new, Shea said. “So a lot of times moves in games,  I’ve learned from him.”

Shea said having her younger brother at Marquette has been awesome so far.

“It’s been great, I love seeing him, I always pass by him in the HPRC, it always adds a little smile to my day,” Shea said. “Sometimes he doesn’t give me the same back but it always makes me happy to see him.”

Having her family close by, Shea said it has given her an extra sense of motivation for Nolan this season.

“I think it’s really cool to have both the Garcia names make an impact at Marquette lacrosse and I definitely think that motivates him with me being here,” Shea said. “Not to toot my own horn but I was BIG EAST Freshmen of the Year and he definitely wants to show what he can do.”

With Nolan just seven games into his career and Shea at 58, Nolan said Shea has been there to help him with anything during his adjustment period to the collegiate level.

“She helped a lot, any question I needed answered (I could) go to her, she would always help me, Nolan said. “She just looks after me, she always has and she just takes care of me if I ever need anything.”

Men’s lacrosse head coach Andrew Stimmel said he believes that having Shea nearby has helped Nolan adjust to the game sooner than most.

“So much of having success as a young player in the college game is finding yourself and getting comfortable and if you are able to do that you can just go out there and play,” Stimmel said. “Having Shea here has helped him I think just adjust a bit quicker than maybe some others and I’m sure it doesn’t hurt to really bank on her experience playing the same sport.”

Even though both siblings have busy schedules they still try to be with each other outside of sports.

“We’ll try and have dinner once a week or something,” Shea said. “My parents have been coming a lot this spring and a lot of times we go out to dinner with them.”

Having two siblings play the same sport at the same university is not something new for women’s lacrosse head coach Meredith Black, who played at Notre Dame at the same time as her older brother, Eric.

With the Garcias, Black has offered advice when it comes to spending time together.

“Embrace it, every moment of it and spend time together, because I assume they have their own friends and of course their own teams and it’s so easy to not really see each other, but take the time to make sure to see each other and hang out with each other on the weekends and spend time together like you would if you were home,” Black said.

With this potentially being Shea’s last year with Marquette, she gave some words of advice as her brother begins his Golden Eagle career.

“Enjoy every moment with being able to play on this field (Valley Field),” Shea said.

This story was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at jackson.gross@marquette.edu or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU.