Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with a college lacrosse player to get you better acquainted with his or her team. Today's guest is Mount St. Mary's attacker Hannah Gutcher, who is tied for third on the team in scoring with 10 goals and three assists and hopes to help the Mountaineers win their last three games to qualify for the Northeast Conference tournament.
The Hampstead resident and Mount de Sales graduate followed all of her siblings, Emily, Jamie and twin brother Austin, to the Mount after spending a year at Towson. Gutcher, who has a 3.5 GPA and majors in accounting, has made the NEC academic honor roll the past two years.
Why did you decide to go to Towson your freshman year when all of your siblings had gone to Mount St. Mary's?
I was just looking at schools that had recruited me for lacrosse. My brother and I were going to go to Catholic University together, but it's Division III and they didn't really offer that much money, so we both couldn't go there. Austin had gotten a free application to the Mount in the mail. I guess because my siblings went here, so he was like, "Oh, I'll apply," and I thought I would just go to Towson and see how I liked it and save some money.
Why didn't you play lacrosse at Towson?
I guess I was a little intimidated by the big school, but I did play club lacrosse there, and that was a really fun experience. We went to nationals and I got to go to Arizona and play in a national championship game, which is pretty awesome.
How does playing Division I lacrosse differ from playing club lacrosse?
It's definitely a bigger time commitment. At Towson, we practiced three times a week, and usually from 9 until 11 at night, just because that's when the fields were available. It was great, though. They let us use the stadium fields at odd hours, but it was still fun. It was pretty relaxed. If you couldn't make a practice, you just said, "I can't make it," [laughs] where at the Mount, you have to learn to balance all your schoolwork and other activities because it's a lot more of a commitment.
How much did lacrosse figure into your decision to transfer to the Mount?
I was looking at two schools to transfer into and I knew at either one, I was going to try to walk on. They were St. Joseph's University in Philly and the Mount. Being closer to home probably helped me choose the Mount as well as all my siblings going here. When my oldest sister, Jamie, went here, we went to a few lacrosse games, and I've always had a dream of playing for the Mount.
What is your role on the Mountaineers attack this season?
I'm a captain this season and I'm not the most vocal person on the field, but I'm definitely trying to be better at that and really help lead the attack. We have a lot of upperclassmen, and that helps with the whole leadership aspect. And last year, I think, I was the leading feeder on the team, and I like assisting a lot. Last year, I used to assist Kaitlyn Larrimore a lot. She was a senior, and this year I haven't really found that person that I feed to often. My coach, B.J. Johnson, she's been talking to me about how I can find that person and have the team recognize different cuts and things like that so I can help them out and assist them for goals.
The season hasn't gone quite as well as you had hoped at 2-11. How do you think the team can finish strong?
We just need to realize that we're still in [the Northeast Conference race] and just stay positive. I think the NEC has gotten so much better, so it's a matter of who comes out to win each day. If we focus on each game, game-by-game, I think we can come out with three wins and make it to the NEC tournament.
Have you considered staying another year and using that one last year of eligibility?
Coach B.J. has been talking to me since I transferred sophomore year [laughs] about a fifth year, but this past summer I had an internship with an accounting firm and I told her if I don't get an offer at the end of it, then I will come back for another year. I ended up getting that offer, so I have a job lined up when I graduate. I told her unfortunately I can't pass that up. If I didn't get a job, I would definitely have stayed.