Jamie, Lucy, Maggie and Georgia Schneidereith have played lacrosse together on and off since they were about 6 years old. But nothing means more to the Towson High seniors than playing together this spring.
Quadruplets who made national news in November when they all signed to play Division I college lacrosse, the Schneidereiths opted for three different colleges and, in the fall, will go their separate ways for the first time in their lives. Midfielders Jamie and Lucy, who are identical, will play for Drexel, while attacker Maggie is headed to Johns Hopkins and goalie Georgia to Albany.
Although all four say they're ready to assert themselves as individuals, they want to savor the final few weeks of what is likely their last time as teammates.
Signing day "was what we had all been waiting for for so long," said Lucy, who like her sisters made an oral commitment about two years ago, "…but now, in our senior year, we didn't realize how fast those years would go by."
This is the first year they all have started for the Generals. Georgia played on the junior varsity as a freshman and then behind last year's All-Metro second-team goalie, Haley Hicklen, for two years. Jamie missed part of last year with an injury, and Lucy missed the first four games this spring after taking a hard check to a hand in the season opener.
When Lucy returned April 12, the Generals (4-4) upset Hereford, 8-7. Maggie, the Generals' leading scorer, had four goals and an assist. Lucy had a goal, a draw control and two caused turnovers. Jamie had three ground balls. Georgia had six saves.
"It's just so fun playing all together," Jamie, the oldest, said. "Since Georgia wasn't there freshman year and we play on different club teams, it was so fun to play together, and we'll definitely take advantage of our last games together."
The sisters, the only children of Jenny and Wilbur Schneidereith, considered going to college together. Once they became serious about playing lacrosse and began the recruiting process, they realized they wanted to experience college as individuals.
As quadruplets, they're often lumped together, but they're quick to point out how different their personalities are. Jamie is the organizer. Lucy is the musician. Maggie is known as the quiet one. Georgia is the most outgoing. And that's just the beginning.
They won't take those labels to college.
"I definitely wanted to do my own thing," Maggie said, "because obviously with my sisters, I'm the quiet one, but when I'm not with them, I'm not known as the quiet one because they always have something to say and it's hard to get in a word with them. But I feel like all my friends have come because of my sisters, too. We all like the same friends, and it's going to be fun to do our own thing with our own friends and have our own experiences and not being known for being a quad, just being me."
Georgia, the youngest, said that was one of the reasons she liked the idea of going as far away as Albany.
"I'm excited to start off college and [have] nobody knowing except for my roommates that I'm a quadruplet, and I can make that name for myself and then introduce the fact that I have three other sisters," Georgia said.
Even though Jamie and Lucy are going to Drexel together, they'll have their space, too, rooming separately.
"Right now, we all know about each other's experiences because we experience it with them, so you can't really talk about anything that's super exciting because we already know," Lucy said. "Once we go to college, we can come back and introduce new friends and share all these stories from college about everything, and it's going to be really fun."
The Schneidereiths might be the first set of quadruplets to play a college sport on scholarship. After signing day, they were featured on People magazine's website. No one who responded to the story ever had heard of quadruplets signing.
The girls said they were stunned to be featured on people.com, but they always had joked about how their family life would make a good reality-TV show.
"All girls, two identical, two fraternal — it doesn't happen that often," Jamie said.
Lucy added, "Our life is so crazy. … We always pack up our huge car and go to lacrosse tournaments. We all climb out of the car. Everything is just so hysterical. We always have such a good time."
They probably don't have enough family drama to support a reality show. Like all teenage sisters, they fight sometimes, but mostly, they just get along.
"They like each other," Towson coach Jamie Giffuni said. "I have two sisters, and we're all fairly close in age, and when we were in high school, we weren't each other's best friends. What's really unique is, they are each other's best friends. They're always together, but they bring other people in, so it's not like they're a closed-off unit."
Good sisters, teammates
Jamie Schneidereith calls them "the team within the team." They have an instinctual connection as sisters — especially Jamie and Lucy in the midfield — and it's been further honed by playing together for so long.
Generals teammate Caroline Ware said no one complains when the ball goes from Georgia to Lucy to Jamie to Maggie for a shot.
"They're great teammates," Ware said. "Not only do they push each other, but they push everyone else on the team to become smarter players in general. They're very unselfish players, always looking for that extra pass or assist, which is a great thing to have as a teammate."
Hereford coach Anne Ensor, who teaches at Towson, said the four have a dynamic that's fun to watch.
"They're all more focused this year, which makes Towson a dangerous team," Ensor said. "With four girls who are sisters and grew up playing together — and this is the last time that will happen — I think Towson will probably play at a higher level, because those girls want to go out on top."
The girls weren't thinking about college lacrosse when their father introduced them to the sport at 6.
"I think he really wanted to have some boys, too," Lucy said with a laugh, "so he tried everything he could to do all the same things he could have done with a son with us, and we all just love it so much."
Because Wilbur Schneidereith had four of the 12 girls on the roster on that first team, he was named coach. He continued to coach the girls on recreation and club teams until high school.
Although the sisters enjoyed many sports — soccer, basketball and swimming among them — lacrosse was the only one they all stuck with. Maggie, Jamie and Lucy played soccer last fall for the Generals, and Maggie and Georgia played basketball, but they've all played four years of lacrosse.
"It's the one thing that they have as a common bond," Wilbur said, "and it's interesting because, as sisters, they were referred to as 'the quads' by a lot of people — it's almost like as a group — and it didn't bother them with lacrosse that much. They want to be individuals as well, but it wasn't like they were competing that much with each other on the lacrosse field. They were really helping each other get better."
As the lacrosse season dwindles away, the Schneidereiths enjoy every minute on the field together. There's no doubt among the girls that lacrosse has strengthened a bond that will last well past high school.
"We … compete with each other on a healthy level," Jamie said, "but we all know how to motivate each other and support each other. We all know how to be good sisters to each other, so I think that's why we're still so close and we're getting closer and closer as we get older, because we all know how to be there for each other."