GREENSBORO, N.C. — When opponents have taken the field against the Guilford College women’s lacrosse team this spring, there has been one name they’ve had to worry about more than any other ”“ Colley.

Unhappily for them, there’s more than on Colley to fret about.

Juniors Lily and Becca Colley ”“twin sisters from Wells ”“ have helped lead Guilford, a school of 2,700 students in Greensboro, N.C., to the best start in program history, at 9-1.

The Quakers offense is fifth in the nation in scoring, with 17.5 goals a game. Lily, who scored a state-record 66 goals her senior season at Wells in 2010, is fourth in all of Division III with 67 total points, including tying a school record with 11 (five goals, six assists) in a 17-7 victory over Bridgewater College last Saturday.

“She just kind of says I’m going to get this ball and I’m going to put it in the goal,” Becca said of her sister. “She knows what she has to do, and she’s really not afraid to push it 100-percent all the time.”

Not to be outdone, Becca had a career-high five goals in the Bridgewater game, including two off feeds from Lily, and is fourth on the team with 31 points.

Though the latter isn’t as prolific a scorer, Lily said Becca finds other ways to affect games, as seen by her work in the faceoff circle, where the Quakers win 19.7 draws a game, the most of any team across all three NCAA divisions.

“She does all the little things that you need someone to do. I would call her an un-sung hero,” Lily said. “Every team needs that person, and a lot of times that person goes unnoticed and is often underappreciated. But without that person to keep the team cohesive, you can’t be successful.”

While the Colleys have been a dynamic duo in Greensboro, coming out of high school there was a strong chance the sisters would never play on the same team again.

Wanting to get out of Maine, Becca had her mother Nancy draw up a list of small schools with lacrosse programs in the North Carolina area, selecting Guilford with an assist from her father, Kevin.

“My dad said to me ”˜I can’t really ever see you sitting on the bench, so if you want to go to some big time school I’ll totally support you. But if you go to (Guilford) you’re going to play every game and help build the program.’”

Lily, meanwhile, was also a basketball star at Wells ”“ she was selected to the 2010 Maine McDonald’s High School Senior All-State basketball team ”“ and decided to attend Clark University in Worcester, Mass., to play hoops and club lacrosse.

But after playing under eight minutes a game for the basketball team her freshman season, and finding life at Clark being “Not what I was promised,” Lily made the decision to transfer during her sophomore year. That’s when Becca got involved.

“She was looking at schools and I told her it’s kind of an easy decision,” Becca said. “You’re going to come here and play. You’re going to have a family member here.”

Also looking at Endicott, where older sister Kate had played, Lily was sold by her twin’s pitch.

“It just seemed like it would be an easier transition because my twin sister already went there,” Lily said. “It’s been an awesome experience.”

As you’d expect from twins, together again the Colleys clicked right away, helping lead Guilford to a school-record 11 wins last year and its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament victory since 1992. Lily scored 78 points on 48 goals and a school-record 30 assists, and Becca caused a school-record 32 turnovers.

“It was an easy transition back to playing together,” Becca said. “We know where we’re going to be before (the other one) knows.”

However, with their head coach leaving for another post after last season, and few new recruits coming in, the Quakers knew they’d need to rally around each other to keep the momentum going into 2013.

“We kind of just had a ”˜come to Jesus’ meeting with all the core players, saying we really want to be special this year and keep building the program,” Becca said. “We knew we had to just (keep) working with what we have and become really tight-knit, because we have such small numbers. It’s just been a lot of will.”

That will has been tested this season. With just 15 players on the roster, both Colleys find themselves playing every second of the full 60 minutes each game.

“There’s sometimes occasionally where I’ll drive into the eight and collapse and drop the ball and be frustrated because I’m so exhausted,” Lily said. “But overall I do love having the opportunity to be in control and play the entire game.”

So far the Quakers haven’t had a problem, dispatching opponents by an average of 7.9 goals a game. Guilford has also started 3-0 in ODAC play, and both Colleys said the goal was to win the school’s first conference title and earn a trip to the NCAA tournament.

“Last year we kind of had the mindset of let’s just win one. Let’s reach that goal, and people weren’t too upset when we lost in the semis,” Becca said. “This year we really want that ring and we’re really driven to win the whole thing.”

— Contact Staff Writer Cameron Dunbar at 282-1535, Ext. 323.

        Comments are not available on this story.

        filed under: