And then there was one.
One Fort Lewis College womens lacrosse player has seen all the ups and downs of the program through four years of existence.
She was there on the ground floor when being on the wrong side of blowouts was the norm, and she is here now, set to play at home one final weekend on a team that has a chance to crack .500 in a season for the first time in the programs fledgling four-year history.
Not bad for someone who had no lacrosse experience when then-coach Kelley Queisser McPeake convinced her to give the sport a shot four years ago.
Jess Adams, a Cortez native, eschewed track scholarships to far-flung schools in California and North and South Dakota four years ago to stay close to her family. And shell both graduate and lace up her spikes for the final time this weekend at Fort Lewis.
Safe to say, its been an emotional week.
After I took my last final, it was, like, shocking. ... Who wouldve thought four years go by so fast? Adams said.
Its been quite a career for the former Montezuma-Cortez High School track standout. Adams is the programs all-time leader in groundballs with 79, and her 48 draw controls and 38 caused turnovers are second in the abridged history of Skyhawk womens lacrosse.
Now shes just a warrior and an athlete, and she is one of our top players, FLC head coach Kelsey MacDonald said.
If it wasnt for an inquisitive professor and Adams tattoos, this lacrosse adventure may never have happened. Visiting marketing instructor and faculty athletics representative Steve Stovall asked Adams about the winged tattoos she sports on each ankle, a reference to her days as a runner. He suggested a meeting with Queisser McPeake, and the coach convinced the speedster to give it a go.
Still, with a lack of stick skills, the early going was a bit rough. Not to mention the win-loss mark.
Our stick skills werent there quite yet. Its super difficult, but practice, practice, practice, said Adams, daughter of Skip and Trudi Adams of Cortez.
A lot of girls quit when it was like that because it was too hard, but you just have to find the love for the game, thats why I always continued to play.
But Adams skills got better, and so did the team as a whole. FLC finished 7-7 last season, and Adams was selected to the All-Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association second team for her work as one of the leagues better two-way players, a role shes been solid in again this year, scoring 11 times and forcing 22 turnovers.
Shes one of our most solid defenders, MacDonald said. And it takes pure athleticism to do what she does on both ends of the field. And when we need a goal, Ill be like, Jess, we need a goal, and shell run down the field like a bolt of lightning.
At 6-7, the Skyhawks have replicated last years success in Adams senior campaign.
They also came within a whisker of topping Colorado College and Regis, two teams that have dominated FLC in recent years. The loss to the Rangers came in overtime, and while the rest of her teammates consoled themselves with the fact that theyd get another shot next year, Adams knew that for her, it was an opportunity lost.
Such is the life of the teams lone senior.
No one knows until they are in my position how emotional even practice is. ... Its hard because you know youre not going to get the chance again or get it back, Adams said.
But with games against Lindenwood (4 p.m. Saturday) and Adams State (3 p.m. Sunday) still to go, Adams has one final chance to make another big impact for the Skyhawks. And once those games are over, the game she didnt know shed grow to love will be missed.
Losing lacrosse is going to be really difficult because its something that I dont want to quit. ... I just want the girls to be successful, Adams said.