Senior laxer reflects on development of team

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During her time at NMU, senior defenseman Tori Aidif (front) treasured many experiences with her team.
Photo courtesy of NMU athletics

Nate Bellville

A few years ago, the Northern Michigan University Athletic Department decided to adopt two more sports teams for its sports brochure. The two teams were women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer. The idea behind the decision was to balance out the new teams based for Title IX requirements.

One of the players who was intrigued upon hearing of the additions was then-club lacrosse defenseman Tori Aidif. Aidif was one of 16 student athletes that transitioned to the varsity team after being a part of NMU’s club lacrosse program that competed in the North Central Women’s Lacrosse League (NCWLL).

Aidif recalls being approached for a spot on the team and eventually accepted a spot on the team once the sport became official.

“I was really excited when I found out about the varsity team, but I was also nervous if I was ready to contend at a [college] varsity level and wasn’t too sure what to expect,” Aidif said. “Our coach came to a couple of our club practices and talked to us about the varsity sport and offered us a spot on the team and if we wanted it.”

Aidif, a senior nursing major, is on the verge of wrapping up her final year on the NMU Women’s Lacrosse team. Throughout her career on the team, she saw how the team’s bond grew stronger each year as the squad developed over time.

“I have watched my team progress in unity, resilience, and overcoming adversity,” Aidif said. “We have developed a lot of resilience due to being a start-up team and suffering through some tough losses, but we always play on and hold our heads high. We win as a team and lose as a team.”

Aidif recalled some unique memories that strengthened the team’s comradery, such as winning a lip sync battle.

“For the first year, the majority of us knew each other already from the club team, but we meshed well immediately with the recruited class,” Aidif said. “Over the seasons, we have bonded through hundreds of hours on the road, practices and meals together.”

She also relishes the team’s chemistry on the field when they earned their first-ever GLIAC victory over Davenport University last year.

“We worked really hard for that win and the energy throughout and after the game was something I’ll always remember,” Aidif said.

This season, the Grandville, Michigan native has been limited to only four games thus far due to schedule conflicts with her studies.

Despite neither scoring a goal or recording an assist in the stat sheet last season, her best season came last spring when she started 12 games while playing in 15, recorded nine ground balls and forced 12 turnovers. Aidif knows that as she wants to score a point, she doesn’t fret having any scoring stats in her position.

“My job is to stop the other team from getting goals or assists added to their stats,” Aidif said. “As cool as it would be to score a goal as a defender, I won’t have any regrets not having that on my stats.”

Even though she wasn’t in the lineup for most of the games this season leading up to senior weekend, Aidif said it will be an emotional weekend for her and her senior teammates.

“This team has brought me my best friends,” Aidif said. “Meg [Megan Palacio], another senior on the team and I cry even if we talk about it because we don’t want to face the fact that our time together is coming to an end.

“Meg, Amanda [Robers], Casey [Marshall] and I have all spend hundreds of days together since we all came from the club team. We’ve been through all the highs and lows together,” Aidif added. “It’s going to be so strange going from seeing them and the rest of the team everyday to not seeing them at all after graduation.”

As Aidif and her teammates prepare to end their careers, she advises her younger teammates to enjoy themselves while they can.

“The message I want to pass down to my teammates is to have fun, do your best and cherish every second of college because it goes by faster than you would ever expect,” Aidif said.

Aidif and the NMU Women’s Lacrosse team’s final home games of the season will be on Thursday, April 18, against the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds and on Saturday, April 20, against the Ashland University Eagles.