Anne Thomas began playing lacrosse when she was just five years old.
"Living in Baltimore it's kind of contagious and everyone starts young," Thomas said. "I think I was shorter than my stick when I first started playing. Eventually, I had a spurt and was tall, but not when I first started."
In addition to the strong lacrosse tradition in Baltimore, there was an equally strong lacrosse tradition in the Thomas family. Her grandfather and uncle, Richard Thomas, Sr. and Richard Thomas, Jr., both played lacrosse at Princeton and both her mother, Christina, and father, Henry, played in college.
"My mom played field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse at Trinity during a rare time that women could play all three sports and my dad played lacrosse at BC," Thomas said. "Mom was a midfielder, definitely a runner, and my dad was attack."
Thomas followed in Mom's footsteps, migrating to the midfield.
"The midfielder's most important job is to connect with the defense and the attack, especially in the transition," Thomas explained. "But it's also the same concepts with defense, stopping the ball on a 1v1 and finishing your shot. It's definitely hard because you're running up and down the field and you're not really concentrating on one side of it, but I really enjoy the combination of the two of them."
Thomas has had her opportunities to be part of the attack, especially during her first year when she tallied five goals.
"It was actually kind of bittersweet as we had a few injuries, so I was able to see time my first year toward the end of the season," Thomas said. "I definitely got a few shots in there. I was very surprised when it was happening, but I was very lucky to play."
During that first year, she experienced two of her most-memorable moments as a player.
"The most-memorable moment for me was probably me tripping on national television as we were coming out when we played Towson," she laughed. "And that was a great win for us as a team. Other than that, the ACC's my freshman year, I scored three goals against Virginia Tech. I think I was really excited about that game and it made me look forward to continuing to work hard my three years."
With graduation right around the corner, Thomas knows she is really going to miss her team and her teammates.
"It's going to be hard graduating and not being in a competitive sport since I've been so used to it my whole entire life, and the team atmosphere and being in the locker room at those times on and off the field with those girls because it's been the best four years of college and probably the best college experience I could have asked for," Thomas said.
"I'm also going to miss the dance parties we sometimes have in the locker room and Lelan Bailey's speeches before games. Her speeches are definitely a fun, interesting, and hilarious way to pump us up."
The history major, with a minor in media studies, spent last summer interning at the local ABC affiliate in Boston, working as an assistant to the news editor. She hopes that experience will help her land a job in production in television or in film.
For now, she continues to focus on this lacrosse season, relishing her final trips up and down the field, and is appreciative for all the great moments the game and the University of Virginia have provided her.
"I think the past four years have been rewarding, humbling, and I'm very grateful to have the opportunity that I got to come here."
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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