McDonogh lacrosse standout Caroline Godine laughs when recalling an early conversation with her shooting coach.
“He said, ‘Wow, you play just like a guy,’” the junior remembers. “I took it as a compliment.”
That’s because the athletic attacker spent much of her childhood scuffling around the backyard with her two older lacrosse-playing brothers. Together with oldest brother Doug, a junior who played the past two years at Denison, and Will, a sophomore at Georgetown, Caroline spent countless hours shooting at mini goals with kid-sized Fiddle Sticks.
And her larger siblings didn’t always take it easy on her.
“Growing up with two brothers, you can’t be soft,” Godine said. “They were pushing me around, but I love them for that and they definitely shaped me. I was always in the backyard. Lacrosse was kind of our childhood. I always wanted to do whatever they were doing and be just like them.”
These days, it’s Godine who quickly is becoming a player to emulate in the ultracompetitive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. She burst onto the scene as a freshman, starting every game and finishing with 14 goals and 28 assists to help McDonogh to an unbeaten season and its 10th conference title in 11 years.
She even had a highlight-reel moment, feeding teammate Izzy Marsh for the game-winner with 14.8 seconds left in the second sudden-death overtime period in the Eagles’ 5-4 championship game win over St. Paul’s in 2019.
Now, following a lost sophomore season, the North Carolina commit is expected to take on an even more prominent role for a team that features 17 players with no varsity experience. She already has five goals and four assists through three games this spring for McDonogh (3,-0, 3-0 IAAM A Conference).
“Caroline has been somebody who’s been a quiet leader and quarterback of our offense since her freshman year,” Eagles coach Taylor Cummings said. “She has always been so mature, and she’s always kind of toed this line between being really smart and also being really creative. This is a player who has the lacrosse IQ to know when to play simple and to know when to play with flash. That’s something that only really tremendous players can do. and she’s one of them.”
She has genetics, at least in part, to thank for that.
Her father, Douglas, was a standout attackman at Gilman before playing at Virginia, where he graduated in 1991. Her grandfather, also named Douglas Godine, and his brother, Dick, were All-America attackmen at Virginia in the 1950s.
And her mom, Corie, played lacrosse and soccer at McDonogh in the mid-1980s.
With that kind of pedigree, it’s little wonder why Caroline will continue to play a critical role on the offensive end for a team that entered Friday’s game at Maryvale having won 222 of its past 223 games. She does some of her best work when getting the ball behind the goal.
“I like to be kind of the quarterback of the offense,” she said. “I definitely love to dodge from behind, but if I can make my teammates better and get the ball moving as fast as I can and create offense, that’s kind of my job.”
Away from the field, Godine also is a standout in the classroom. She said she chose North Carolina because of her rapport with the coaches and a chance to compete for a national championship, as well as her interest in the school’s undergraduate business program.
She hopes to one day either become a sports agent or follow her dad’s footsteps into a career in the financial sector.
“She’s super smart,” Cummings said. “She has a great personality where she knows where to compete and she also knows where to be a little silly and lighten things up. I think that’s something her teammates really respond well to.”
Cummings also believes that growing up playing with her brothers has helped shape Godine into the player she is today.
“Just drawing on my own experience playing with my sister in the backyard, you have a safe space to try new things and to be creative,” said Cummings, a former three-time Tewaaraton Award winner at Maryland. “I think that’s healthy, and probably has allowed her to add different elements to her game, which has helped her as she’s gotten older.”