Marauder Senior Happy to Be a Hoya
Hannah Seibel signs national letter of intent to play women's lacrosse at Georgetown, a Division I school at her home in Hanover, N.H. on Nov.13, 2013. She getting the time from Moe Garmon, the assistant Hanover High coach, her father and Hanover head coach, Chris Seibel is behind her. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »
Gifts in Georgetown colors for Hannah Seibel, who has signed a national letter of intent to play girls lacrosse at Georgetown, a Division I school. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — This is how much Georgetown University women’s lacrosse coach Ricky Fried wanted Hannah Seibel to be a member of the Hoyas’ next recruiting class: He sent her national letter of intent via FedEx.
It’ll go back to Washington just as quickly.
On Wednesday, Seibel signed her NLI, which assures her a partial athletic scholarship at Georgetown, where she is expected to join a nine-player incoming women’s lax class. All that’s left for Seibel to complete the college lacrosse recruiting process is to be admitted, which should be a formality given the arrival of the NLI on Monday along with the Hanover High senior’s 3.7 grade-point average.
“It doesn’t feel that different, which is probably bad,” said Seibel, who verbally committed to the Hoyas a year ago. “But I think it’ll hit me once I get the acceptance letter.”
Wednesday marked the first day for lacrosse recruits to sign an NLI. According to laxpower.com, the Hoyas are bringing in Seibel and eight other freshmen to bolster a program that qualified for its fifth NCAA tournament under Fried’s guidance last spring.
Seibel made the signing official late Wednesday afternoon at her family’s Blueberry Hill home with her parents and two younger sisters, among others, watching. The Seibels had a small party planned to celebrate Hannah’s big moment, complete with presents festooned with Georgetown gift cards.
“(I’m) relieved, because they’re committing kids to colleges when they’re juniors,” said Chris Seibel, Hannah’s father and the second-year coach of the Hanover girls lacrosse program. “It’s not binding until they sign a letter of intent. … To sign the letter, there’s some relief.”
Soon-to-be-Hoya Seibel comes from a lacrosse family, with a father who played the game in high school and college and who coached her in Upper Valley club play years ago. Dad’s lacrosse-watching habits led his daughter to first consider Princeton as a possibility because she once caught him watching the Tigers’ men’s team on television.
Georgetown came to the front, however, as Hannah focused her playing energies beyond high school. Joining the Boston-based Revolution Lacrosse girls club program for out-of-season practices and tournaments two years ago opened the door for Fried’s interest as much as anything.
“It’s going to be a very big jump,” Seibel said. “The intensity is going to be different, but Revolution has helped prepare me for that because (it’s) a step up from Hanover intensity-wise. I think I’ve been prepared well, but I think it’s also going to be rough.”
Primarily an offensive force for the Marauders, for whom she topped the career 100-point plateau during Hanover’s 17-2 run to the NHIAA Division II finals last June, Seibel isn’t sure what her role will end up being at Georgetown. The good thing is she won’t be expected to fill it right away.
“Most likely, I won’t play a lot freshman year,” she said. “I’m not going to be (in) a key role. But they ease you into it. He’s not going to go crazy on us the first few months. The freshmen that we’ve met and talked with say he and the coaches make it a pretty easy transition.”
As the Hoyas have become regularly relevant in the NCAA conversation, so too has their coach at the international level.
In July, Fried guided the United States national team to its third consecutive FIL World Cup championship in Ontario. The Americans went a perfect 7-0 in the tournament, blew up Canada in the final (19-5) and outscored its foes by a record 13.2 goals per game, all of which led U.S. Lacrosse to re-sign Fried a month later to lead the national program through the 2017 World Cup in England.
“I’m relieved and excited; I’m happy and thankful that I haven’t had to go through the college process and had the stress of that,” Seibel said. “Lacrosse brought a different kind of stress, but I’m happy that it’s sort of done with, and I’m really excited to get down there and play.”
Hanover assistant coach Moe Garmon, a Woodstock High graduate who played college lacrosse at Vermont, knows what Seibel can anticipate as a D-I student-athlete.
“The biggest challenges are change to schedule,” Garmon said. “You wake up in the morning and you’ve got to go on your team run, then you’ve got to lift. You’ve got to find time to go to your classes. Georgetown is an academically challenging school, so finding that balance is a lot. And it’s year-round. … This is just nonstop.”
With the NLI, Seibel joins a small group of Upper Valley natives who have earned playing opportunities with D-I scholarship athletic programs. The recent list includes Lebanon High’s Alexander Morrill (UNH football), Hanover’s Miriam Drubel (Colgate women’s hockey) and two current members on the St. Lawrence men’s hockey team, Pat Doherty (Hanover) and Gavin Bayreuther (Canaan).
Although lacrosse is her future, Seibel has spread her athletic interests around in order to avoid burnout. She exchanged basketball for swimming last winter — she’ll continue the latter this year for the Marauders — and just concluded a successful Hanover field hockey campaign.
Chris Seibel enjoyed his daughter’s NLI day more as a father than a coach.
“If you look in our backyard, there’s a pitch-back, there’s a net, and what people don’t see is how much time and effort Hannah puts into the game of lacrosse,” he said. “They might go to a game or read the paper and think, ‘Oh, she’s a good lacrosse player.’ And she is good.
“But it’s a lot of time and a lot of dedication. … As a parent, you have that hard data of the backyard. She’s worked hard.”
Greg Fennell can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3226.